Next week, I’ll be part of a conference for sports financial advisors and athletes in Scottsdale, Ariz. I’m giving a preview of what I’ll be addressing this weekend in my hometown outside Houston. Today, I’m going to organize my thoughts a bit in this space. I hope you don’t mind.

I’ll be talking about how to build or expand a practice with NFL clients. There are really three rules you have to go by, four if you count ‘you have to be a good financial advisor.’

Here’s an overview.

  • You have to be able to make contact: Lots of well-meaning financial professionals register with the NFLPA’s program, thinking it will give them secret passage to a thriving NFL practice. They find out that the NFLPA only wants to vet them (and not always that well), license them, and cash their checks. Another common misconception is that financial planners can knock on a few agents’ doors, shake their hands, impress them with how earnest and honest they are, and expect agents to hand over their clients’ phone numbers. That’s another misconception. Most times, agents don’t want any part of their clients’ financial hires. Too many bad things can happen.
  • You have to know when to make contact: Veteran financial professionals know that players want to save their offseason for non-football ventures. Most of them don’t want to deal with boring things they don’t understand, like investments and saving, on their own time. That’s why they tend to focus on these things during the season. Of course, that’s veterans. To get veterans, often it’s best to set the table before they become veterans. To do that, it’s best to go where draft prospects are, which is all-star games. Most years, there are five to six of them. This year, there are only three. It’s important to know when they are, where they are, and when, specifically, to go to these games.
  • You have to know what to say: I talk to a lot of financial advisors that want to get into the game, and when I ask them why, they start off with how much money they have under management. I get it – that’s important. Point is, most players will presume that you have lots of big clients and know exactly what you’re doing, money-wise. You’ll be hired based on your ability to connect with the player and his family. And by the way, a player’s family plays a much bigger role in his financial planner decision than in his agent decision (which he often makes on his own).

This is the 30-second version of the 60-minute presentation I’ll be giving this weekend. Want more? Interested in hearing the souped-up version, either this weekend or next week? Email me here.