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Bently Ford • Diana, TX
Ford Financial Services • Questar Capital

I have been a lifelong resident of east Texas and went to college in the state. Through my financial-services positions for several companies, friends, old school acquaintances, and my involvement in the community, I have been able to build up a sizable network of personal contacts. I am active on LinkedIn and Facebook and continue to try to build more connections through networking on those two platforms.

My broker-dealer has a robust portfolio of compliance-approved materials on relevant financial-planning and investment topics. I select topic areas that I know people who are approaching retirement are interested in and will usually post two or three articles or videos per week. I am not aggressively pushing the content out but rather offering it as an educational resource. This financial-education social media strategy has been successful in generating inquiries and facilitating meetings with prospects.

I actively try to keep my social media networks growing. I used to work with local hospital employees, offering guidance on their 403(b) plans. This hospital had 6,000 employees, and I had come to know a good number of people. I try to connect with everyone I used to work with to see if I can build further contacts from these sources via social media. If I worked with someone in the past, there is a good chance they will be open to helping me network.

Once our firm takes on a new client, I believe in trying to make that a meaningful and long-lasting relationship. I continue to reach out to them with educational materials via social media. In addition, we frequently hold client-appreciation events. While these are intended to help impart information to current clients, we also encourage clients to bring a friend, family member, or associate. I want these events to be educational—not a selling exercise. We will often invite representatives from one of our investment firms who can either discuss broad market topics or the specifics of a strategy they work with. People appreciate hearing expert commentary from an industry professional, and I think that enhances the value that our firm brings to our client base.

Disclosure: Securities offered through Questar Capital Corporation (QCC). Member FINRA, SIPC. Advisory services offered through Questar Asset Management (QAM), a registered investment advisor. Ford Financial Services is independent of QCC and QAM.

Photography by Angela Duncan