Sales Development Program

Grow Group Retirement Plan Sales By Putting The Right Tools In Advisors’ Hands

Most sales development programs are great at explaining why an Advisor should do 401(k) and other group retirement plan business. What they don’t do well is show the Advisor how to begin a 401(k) and other group retirement plan business or improve an existing one. We deliver insightful information at the convenience of the Advisor with built-in next steps to promote the Advisors’ persistent activity and ultimately accomplish their and your organization’s goals.

Chris Barlow, Managing Director of KnowHow 401(k), has been active in the group retirement plan marketplace for over 30 years. He has worked as an Advisor, Sales Trainer, Wholesaler, National Sales Manager and Strategic Director for some of the top companies in financial services. He knows the business, from all perspectives.

Chris began developing his sales training discipline in 1988, training Merril Lynch Advisors at the coporate campus in Princeton, NJ. Chris participated in one of the first organized Broker Dealer 401(k) sales development efforts while with Merrill Lynch. Their initial success still positions Merrill Lynch as a top Broker Dealer distribution group today.

Chris is an experienced sales expert who works one-on-one and groups of Advisors communicating a proven process for 401(k) and other group retirement plan sales success.

Stages of Advisors that benefit from the work of KnowHow 401(k)

Launch: Many Advisors, regardless of their years of service in financial sales, are new to the group retirement plan sale. Our program shows the quickest ways to build business, and how to approach existing relationships about company plans.

Grow: Many Advisors work with existing plans (<20), acquired primarily through relationships with decision makers. These Advisors realize the power of group plans and they want to put forward a proactive effort to acquire new plans. Our workshop can help Advisors break through growth ceilings, and find new ways to expand.

Improve: This part of our program addresses Advisors who specialize in group retirement plan sales and are responsible for the professional development of team members. The workshop and other program offerings are business improvement resources for their team.

Advisor commitment to the program will determine their success, and yours. Programs work best with Advisors that have made the commitment to do the daily work to build a group retirement plan business over the long term. These Advisors are looking for insight and proven processes to develop their group retirement plan business.

We won’t pick up the phone or speak to the Advisor’s prospects. We simply provide tools that prepare them and produce a process which increases their confidence, focus and promotes their persistence as they move toward success.

Outcomes for Advisors

Prepared:  Advisors will be prepared to answer the two big questions that plan sponsors want them to answer:

1.  Why you?

2.  Why is your support better than what they have now?

Confident: Advisors will confirm that 401(k) and other group retirement plans is a market that they want to pursue, and they will understand what it is going to take as far as time, frustration and effort to achieve their goals.

Focused: Our system provides a proven approach to building a solid business plan, plus accomplishing the day-to-day tasks needed to meet long-term goals. Our system shows Advisors what they must do to succeed, and how to stick to their plan.

We begin a Sales Development Program by meeting with you to define goals, activities, timeline and monitoring.

Goals: What is the lift in AUM, number of plans and number of participating Advisors you want to achieve? We can define the parameters, activities and monitoring to achieve your goals.

Audience: Which Advisors do you want to focus your firm’s resources on? Those Advisors launching, growing or improving their businesses? Our program helps you reach the right Advisors, and accomplish your goals.

Activities: Just as we assist Advisors to project out the activity necessary to achieve their goals, we can do the same for the organization. Activities can be defined and monitored for Advisor participation. A timeline can be established to maximize the effectiveness of any program training. Specific activities lists can be assigned to individuals, delivery dates set, and results monitored.

Sales Development Program Features

401(k) Sales Champion Workshop©

The 401(k) Sales Champion Workshop is the online, anytime on any device 401(k) sales and service training professional development experience for Advisors. The 401(k) Sales Champion Workshop is comprised of 36 video segments that describe a 7- Step process Advisors can follow to inspire them to optimize their 401(k) sales opportunity.

Additionally the workshop provides 30 E-Tools Advisors can access and use to improve their 401(k) sales and service efforts.  When they have a question or comment simply hit the Contact Your Coach button to be connected with Chris Barlow. The workshop tells the story of how Chris and thousands of Advisors he has worked with the past decades have built their 401(k) business.

Webcast Series

A series of webcasts are delivered to reinforce information discussed in the 401(k) Sales Champion Workshop. Webcasts can be recorded and available for playback by Advisors. The webcast series can include the following titles:

  • Program Introduction and Business Plan Development. This presentation introduces information to prepare Advisors to successfully acquire and retain 401(k) plans. Defining their value proposition, goals, activities and monitoring strategy are primary topics discussed.
  • Prospecting and Profiling. This presentation discusses various 401(k) retirement plan prospecting strategies and profiling approaches. The presentation shows how effective prospecting enhances profiling, leading to successful sales presentations. The 401(k) Sales Champion Workshop Profiling Menu© is introduced.
  • Sales and Service Strategies. This presentation discusses the organization and delivery of effective sales presentations and a 401(k) service model. Defining and delivering meaningful service strategies will enhance the Advisor’s retention of plan assets and expand the relationships they have with the plan sponsor and plan participant clients.
  • Plan Design & Compliance. This presentation will cover the use of plan design as a business development tool, and review common plan compliance issues that Advisors can leverage as talking points with decision makers at the plan sponsor level. Your firm will be responsible for development and delivery of this presentation.

One-on-One Business Plan Development

This process produces a custom plan the Advisor uses to guide his or her efforts to achieve their goals. Chris Barlow has assisted over 1,200 Advisors one-on-one to build their business plan. He leads a multi-step, multi-week process to create a customized plan for each Advisor. Ongoing communication with the Advisor is strengthened with the completed plan. The plan is referred to during Monthly Check-up Calls between the Advisor and Chris. One Advisor noted, “Just thinking about my business plan and working on it every night has given me a new sense of motivation and it is quickly paying off.”

Monthly Check-up calls

These calls serve to inspire and motivate each Advisor. These calls promote the accountability many Advisors are looking for from their coach. Calls are with Advisors that complete a business plan, and help us learn about their progress. The first six months of the process can take a toll on Advisors, so ongoing one-on-one support provides needed encouragement. Several advisors noted the value of the calls: “I just need to have someone else to report to besides my manager.” And because Advisors knew the calls were coming, they made more sales calls in advance https://viagrafro..elly-uk/.

Monthly Study Group Web cast

We will develop the schedule for the monthly study group web casts from an extensive topic list. During the monthly study groups we will review products, listen to internal and outside speakers and discuss timely topics Advisors can share with prospects and clients. These study group meetings assure Advisors that there are others going through similar experiences. And the shared knowledge prepares them and encourages them to carry on.

Activity Reports

Reports provide you with details on Advisor attendance in the online workshop, webcasts, ongoing Study Group Calls and their business plan progress. KnowHow 401(k) coordinates the data collection for all activities and produces the reports.


“I have had a few opportunities to meet with business owners through the cold calling I have done and have encountered some health care opportunities and was able to help one business find a better TPA, but have not, as of yet, taken over any 401(k)’s through the cold calling. I started the program a little later in and I know it is a consistent, week-by-week, month-by-month, long-term strategy, so I look forward to winning some plans in the future.

During this time, however, the weekly calls, personal calls with you, working through my 401(k) business plan with you (revised copy coming your way), asking questions, listening to the experiences of others, and reading the articles and things you share with us have grown my personal knowledge and skills and given me confidence in talking to people I come across. I mentioned I haven’t won any 401(k)’s through the cold calling as of yet, but because I am in this program, I am being brought in on cases with other advisors and uncovering opportunities through the networking I do. Through all of this, I have had 2 startups this summer, have another two startups we are working on, and have 2 takeover opportunities I am working on currently, one through my BNI group, and the other through a natural market connection.

This is all flows directly from the time you have spent with us week after week, month after month, and the personal time you have given me, and I just wanted to say thank you.”

JH –Dallas

“Thanks for all that your team has done for our firm relative to this initiative. I was able to participate in many of the sessions. I also spent several minutes on a few occasions to review your materials (online workshop). Much good stuff! I really like your scoring methodology to prioritize the plan opportunities in your pipeline. To date I have heard good feedback on all initiatives.”

MM – Director Retirement Plan Division BD firm

“Your program is different from others in that they present concepts and you focus on Advisor action items.”

JT – Sales Manager Mutual Fund Company

“The workshop is fantastic. Chris is the first person I’ve seen with a successful quantitative approach (and willing to share it). I reviewed John’s (Advisor) business plan and it is terrific. I’ve been after him for 4 years to produce something like this. He has given me very watered down versions but nothing with real substance. As Chris says, it will only work if you implement it. I believe he (John) will since he now believes he will.”

FG –Branch Manager