In the retirement industry, the typical way of receiving new clients is entirely referral-based. We want to change that.

This blog post will teach you how to find clients that your business can establish strong relationships with for the future.

Why is obtaining clients such a challenge?

Obtaining the clients that are most aligned with your firm’s mission and goals is a challenge that the retirement industry is currently facing. This is a result of firms often sticking to the status quo by relying on referral-based practices as their only means of getting new clients.

What is stopping a change from happening? A lack of marketing awareness makes it difficult to determine which categories to look at and how to rank the most important segments within them. However, we are here to help with that.

How do I do it?

1) Start by identifying your own company goals. You want to define your goals as narrowly as possible. Think SMARTSpecific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.

When beginning your research process, here are some places to start:

  • Primary research – research you do yourself (interviews, internal data, etc.) to discover/uncover trends within your current client base that may have been overlooked
  • Secondary research – research done by someone else (government resources, public libraries, etc.) Various resources you can use are listed at the end of this post.

Then, divide up, or segment, the entire United States market into smaller, more manageable chunks by some shared characteristic. You may find that the segments and categories you identify differ from what you were originally expecting before research, which is normal!

When looking at companies, you can choose to divide your search into one of several categories, such as Company Size, Industry, and Geography.


Narrow your search, combining government data with your own company data regarding clients. Here is an example of how we did it by industry:

The top 5 industry segments for retirement-based firms to target are:

  • Finance & Insurance;
  • Information & Media;
  • Professional, Scientific, & Technical Services;
  • Manufacturing;
  • Wholesale Trade

These are the most beneficial industries to target because the companies within them tend to be very receptive to retirement plans, and their employees are, on average, more likely to contribute to their retirement plans.

Look at overall trends to determine the top selections within these categories to target. This can also enhance the quality of referral partners by allowing you to enter the conversation with a better understanding of how to reach your goals.

When revising your own marketing strategy, here are some resources to get you headed in the right direction:

*note: You will need to have an account with a public library that offers these resources and databases to access them.

Be sure to read our next blog in this series, where we dive into the top industries to target and what they consist of.

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