Ask Robert Marin what he likes best about his position as field director and financial advisor for Northwestern Mutual Financial Network and he quickly answers: “To me, there is nothing more professionally satisfying than enabling my clients to realize financial security.” A graduate of the University of Illinois in Chicago with a degree in accounting, Marin gained vital experience through accounting and tax work for several Fortune 500 companies. Eleven years ago, he realized his dream of opening the doors to his own Northwestern Mutual office in Schaumburg, Illinois. “Northwestern Mutual enabled me to have my own business and help individuals and business make smart decisions with their money,” he says. HE recently asked Marin to divulge his proven business formula for success.
1. Building Referrals
“Favorable introductions are essential to starting and growing our type of business,” Marin says. “Nothing is as effective as a client who recommends you to a friend, family member, or colleague. Being a client of Northwestern Mutual as an accountant and remembering how I was introduced and how I introduced others, I’ve sought to build my business through favorable introductions and personal observation.”
Of course, such growth is only possible if clients are satisfied with services rendered. And, according to Marin, superior customer service starts with simply listening. “Sitting down and learning who the client is—their personal, professional, and financial goals—establishes a solid working relationship,” Marin says.
2. The Big Three Questions
Once a client’s attitudes and goals toward financial security are determined, Marin and his associates encourage consideration of what he calls “the big three questions.” As he explains, “We ask them to consider what would happen to their family’s economic security if they were to die, become disabled, or if they were to live long enough so that they deplete their own life savings.” Marin then works with clients to determine how to meet such eventualities. “We begin by addressing objectives in the near, mid, and long term,” Marin says. “Where would the client like to be financially within the next three and 10 years? When it comes to retirement, we create a plan where they are able to work because they want to, not because they have to in order to meet needs.”
3. Solutions First, Products Second
Once a financial vision is established, Marin matches specific products with desired financial goals. “Whether it be something like a Roth IRA, mutual funds, annuities, or cash-value life insurance, we apply effective tools that enable our clients to save and then grow their finances in the most tax-efficient manner possible,” Marin explains. Above all else, he emphasizes, “We never set out to simply sell a product or have it be transactional.”
After a plan is in place, Marin’s office helps ensure continued progress through regular meetings with clients.
4. Building Upon Success
Marin has long been an advocate for Northwestern Mutual career opportunities within his own Hispanic community. “There is a growing need for high-level financial-planning professionals like myself within this community,” he says. “As the earnings potential of Latino families trends upward, effective financial planning is vital to both maintaining and growing their wealth.”
Marin currently employs seven associates, several of whom are also Latinos, who provide financial security to more than 500 clients per year. “This career provides unlimited income, independence, and, most importantly, the ability to impact our client’s financial future,” he says. Within three years, Marin would like to have more than 25 professionals in his organization, and continue making an impact on the financial security of the Latino community.