Longtime Advisor Shares Insights to His Success

November 2, 2021
Three business people meeting, two of them shaking hands

For more than 40 years, Tom Fink has been helping individuals and businesses reach their financial goals. Tom started his career selling group insurance, then branched out into retirement plans. He became an advisor and is now president of Magnacorp-TF.

Tom is well-known in the industry and his community for his genuine nature and commitment to giving back. In the Loop recently spoke to him about his career success. We’re sharing his insights here.

Focus on Helping People

In the Loop: What has motivated you during your long career in the benefits industry?

Tom: If you’re in the benefits business, you’re hopefully in it because you want to help people.

Tom told the story of his first pension client, a dentist who had to retire at age 50 after a health problem. The client credited Tom and others for making sure he had a solid retirement plan in place.

Tom: We developed a plan for him. He was a saver. He trusted his money with me. I’d like to feel that I make a difference in people’s lives.

Look for Door-Openers

Tom Fink, president of Magnacorp-TF

Tom Fink
President, Magnacorp-TF

Group plans make up one-third of Tom’s business and retirement plans make up the rest. He doesn’t credit his success to any specific tactics, but says it comes down to really listening to people. It means not only figuring out what benefits they might need now, but what benefits they might need years down the road.

Tom: You put it in the back of your head and say, “I better keep my feelers out for when...they’re going to need more help.“

Listening to people also helps him spot opportunities for crossover business.

Tom: When I first got my start, I learned about 403(b) plans. So I went out and wrote a lot of school districts for [group benefits], which then meant that I was helping and hearing from a lot of administrators and teachers and their families. As their insurance guy, they could consider me for their retirement needs as well. They went hand in hand.

Be Honest and Build Trust

ITL: What advice do you have for new advisors or advisors who’d like to start selling retirement plans?

Tom: The No. 1 thing is to be honest with your client. If you don’t know the answer, tell them you don’t know the answer — but you’re going to get the answer. And that you have their best interests at heart.

If you can sell yourself, the client is going do what you tell them to do if they trust you. And frankly, you don’t want a client who doesn’t trust you. It’s expensive to put business on the books. You want to have a long-term relationship with your clients.

Values and Service Matter

When it comes to finding the right provider partner, Tom says to look for one who shares your values. You want a partner who’ll treat your clients with the same level of care that you do.

Tom: I try to be a good partner to my clients. I look for a provider who does the same, like The Standard.

You don’t need to know all the answers. But you want a provider who’s responsive to the questions you and the clients have. They should answer the tough questions.

ITL: So it comes down to finding a provider partner who helps you deliver great service?

Tom: Yes, the only thing that I have to sell is service. With a partner like The Standard, I have a great team behind me.