I spoke with Mr. S., who is father-in-law to my college roommate. More importantly, he’s a North Carolina based financial planner with First Command Financial Services. It’s a small firm of independent contractors that practices cradle-to-grave financial planning. They have similar philosophy to life planning that we have to end-of-life planning. However, many financial planners are only concerned with selling products that prepare for retirement. Once withdrawal starts, it’s unlikely that they’ll buy anything new. This reinforced that we need to be very careful about who we refer our clients to.
His firm markets locally and regionally, much of it in person at events. Referrals from happy customers are their biggest source of new business. Mr. S, has never had a good experience with referral services. In fact he has never had a referral service provide a single decent lead for him. He would be very unlikely to pay for raw leads. However if they became actual clients, he’d take all he could get. We didn’t get into specific pricing but it like $100 per acquisition would not be out of the question.
Seems like we validated our referral model at the most basic level.
He’s going to hook us up with a couple of his friends on the west coast. So we can continue the conversation in person.