Refining the art of networking

Michael Blumreich is learning that 'there's never a dull moment'

Mar 23, 2014 @ 12:01 am

By Liz Skinner

Michael Blumreich is already learning the skills of prospecting after less than a year with BKD Wealth Advisors.

The 23-year-old attends monthly networking events where he's meeting new people and learning how to extend polite introductions to a follow-up conversation.

“It's important to put yourself out there and interact with people who have similar passions,” Mr. Blumreich said. “The idea is to put myself in situations that will ultimately lead to clients.”

(Follow Michael's progress:

  • With a father who has spent his career in mergers and acquisitions and an uncle who is an accountant, Michael's interest in finance is no surprise. But his move to a concentrate in financial planning was his own initiative. Family scion chooses own path

  • Michael's first three months at BKD Wealth Advisors have been a baptism by fire — and he wouldn't have it any other way. Thrown into the drink, it's either sink or swim

  • Six months into his staff adviser role, Michael's career is taking him in an unexpected direction — retirement plans. Finding new direction)

NO PRODUCT PUSH

BKD Wealth doesn't sell any products, so he feels comfortable talking to people about his firm's advising work and investment management offerings without having to “fake sincerity” or push a sale, he said.

One person he met recently at a monthly breakfast later asked the firm to review some insurance policies. Mr. Blumreich is even gaining some confidence in potentially luring clients from other firms.

“If someone is already working with a firm, I'll ask them about what that firm is doing for them and bring up other things that our firm has to offer,” he said.

Mr. Blumreich, who graduated from the University of Missouri in May with a degree in personal financial planning, is enjoying being back in his hometown of Springfield, Mo.

CLIENT MEETINGS

He regularly sits in on client meetings with the two advisers at the firm he works for, and helps them prepare for meetings by developing the agenda, dealing with paperwork and reviewing previous client notes to evaluate whether certain issues need to be discussed again.

Mr. Blumreich was considering taking the CFP exam in May but now thinks he'll wait until after November to take advantage of the switch in exam formats. The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. in January said that beginning in November, the test will be a one-day, computer-based exam instead of the current day-and-a-half written test.

Overall, Mr. Blumreich still likes the fact that every day is different.

“There's never a dull moment, and that still continues to amaze me,” he said.

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