For a financial sales professional, finding opportunities to create residual investments and, thus, residual commission income provides long-term career growth and income sources. Selling retirement plans to small business owners is a niche often overlooked because the process takes so long. Prospecting through plan implementation may take months, even years. Those who are diligent in pursuing retirement plan sales, though, generate consistent monthly commissions with each dollar contributed into the plan by both the employer and the employee.

Step 1.

Read through the various small business retirement plan options (Simple IRAs, 401K, SEP IRAs, Keogh, solo 401K) allowed by the Internal Revenue Service. Learn the pros and cons about each plan and the type of business each type of plan best serves.

Step 2.

Start a database of existing clients and prospects. Go through existing client profiles to find clients who have personal accounts with you but are self-employed. Make a list of small business prospects by listing the names of businesses surrounding your office or that you frequent.

Step 3.

Network at local business mixers put on by the Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Administration and local economic councils. Be friendly and open about what you do, specifically that you provide retirement benefits solutions for small business.

Step 4.

Sponsor a seminar through one of the local business networks to educate small business owners about retirement planning. Invite all members of the organization, as well as those who are in your prospect book.

Step 5.

Maintain a professional image in all meetings, presentations and correspondence. You are offering a premium product and should demonstrate a sense of personal success, including quality stationary, pens and presentation binders. Dress in properly fitted business attire that is clean and pressed.

Step 6.

Offer free consultations to review existing plans or develop retirement plan strategies. Use these consultations as a way to get to know prospects and show them your expertise.

Step 7.

Send newsletters via email (or mail for those without email) describing legislation effecting retirement plans and new opportunities to increase retirement savings or to increase employee retention.

Step 8.

Follow up with prospects after you have made a presentation. Offer to answer any questions or design any secondary proposals.

Step 9.

Ask for the sale. You can do all other things right, but if you don't ask for the sale, you most likely won't get it. Be friendly and direct, but don't push.