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chuTzPA

Marketing idea for small tpa

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With the objective of increasing advisor relationships, we are thinking to offer the following type of promotion. Anyone done anything similar?

  • $1,000 off first year tpa services for a new client which is the first client brought by a new advisor for retirement plan services to our firm

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I have been the marketing partner in our TPA firm for 25 years. I don't believe "retail" marketing ploys work in a professional service business. And I don't believe discounting fees is the way to start a relationship.

Here is what I believe works:

  • knock on doors
  • set appointments to meet advisors
  • offer to assist them in their education of retirement plans
  • offer to assist them in their meetings with potential clients
  • tell them you will not charge to complete proposals
  • promise that you will do your best to not embarrass them in front of their clients
  • commit to offer the best work you can
  • tell them if mistakes are made you will do what is necessary to correct
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A few pithy sayings to remember:

- Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.

- If you really do put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price.

- Your clients will remember your quality of service long after they have forgotten your price.

- Low Price, Prompt Service, High Quality. Pick 2 because you can’t have all three.

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As a plan administrator, I like A Shot's list (post #2). And you could consider adding that you would put your promises in writing.

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I agree 100% with all comments above and indeed this is what we practice. But it doesn't seem to be enough.

I would pose the question - is what worked 25 years ago, and for much of the time since then, still the best approach today and moving forward? As such a longstanding established tpa, is it easy to understand the work environment and challenges of a relatively young practice?

The market is certainly much more saturated today, but there is still room for growth for quality service tpa's. I believe the opportunities are not so much in creating relationships with advisors that don't already have one, because most of them do. But rather in getting them willing to create new relationships because existing relationships have led to substandard and complacent servicing in some, (not all), cases. Many of these competing firms excel not in service, but in relationship management. This is where our challenge lies-advisors know that some of their existing tpa relationships have room for improvement in quality, but: 1. they are afraid to damage such relationship, 2. they are simply lazy and hesitant to create a new one.

So, our thought is - times have changed and we do believe it is no longer business as usual, we want to shake up the local market.

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