There has to be something in it for them

When I worked at that semi-prestigious law firm as an associate, my goal was to develop a national ERISA practice and I thought that a great foundation was the firm’s existing business clients. I thought it would make sense since the originating attorney for the client would get a 50% referral fee from any fees I originated on the ERISA attorney side. For some reason, these former solo attorneys were more interested in protecting their clients than making money.

So rather than sitting around and waiting to die, I tried to engage financial advisors and try to sell them my legal services by citing my flat fees and how I was less expensive than what my former third-party administrator was charging and I could offer an attorney-client relationship. One advisor put it out bluntly: “what was in it for him as an advisor?” There was no quid pro quo, but I knew that getting cost-effective legal services for his clients was not his main concern.

So that’s why I started writing my articles that advisors and other retirement plan providers could distribute to their clients and potential clients for free. If I built enough goodwill with these providers with articles that could help drum up business, then maybe I’d get it back in referrals. 10 years later, I’m doing ok.

The point here is that you have to understand what other people may think and when offering them something, what’s in it for them. It doesn’t mean they’re being selfish, but life is a game of give and take.

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