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Hanson identified three keys for success in the rollover market.

* Find the rollovers: First, target specific clusters of workers, such as employees at a particular company or members of an organization.

* Know the rollover ropes: Second, become an expert in retirement benefits and rollover rules for all kinds of plans, including changes to the complex tax laws that govern qualified plan distributions and withdrawals.

Even so, expertise can be as simple as understanding how to fill out the forms; Hanson has also won business as "the guy who knows how to fill out the form" rather than as an experienced financial planner.

* Do a little boasting: Third, planners have to communicate that expertise to potential clients. Hanson's firm does so by reaching out to employees at local firms and providing free retirement-planning seminars. By developing relationships with potential clients before their rollover need arises, they become a trusted source for advice on the topic.

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