"You gotta work with Vernon!" Recently, Vernon Cale began a new million-dollar relationship with a client who was introduced to him by a home remodeler who is in Vernon's network. The home remodeler's endorsement of Vernon to his client was short and emphatic: "You gotta work with Vernon!"
Vernon (not his real name) has been an advisor for 15 years, is a CFP, has $90 million under management, and runs a 90% fee-based business.
Every one of Vernon's new client introductions come from a center-of-influence network that Vernon has built. Originally part of a larger national networking group, two years ago Vernon and 12 other professionals split off to form their own association, the Business Administrative and Networking Development (BAND). Other BAND members include an attorney, a mortgage agent, a realtor, life and health agent, a property and casualty agent, a CPA, a heating and air conditioning contractor, a home improvement contractor, a photographer, an auto body repair owner, accounting services, a home inspector, and a computer repair consultant.
The group meets every Wednesday at 7:15 AM to discuss a variety of topics. They constantly profile for each other what their ideal client looks like. They coach each other on how to make the proper introductions. They explore creative methods to generate introductions among the group. They are mutually supportive of each other, and work hard to get the introductions just right.
One of the keys to the success of the group is the conscientiousness that each member brings to the partnership. They have discovered that providing introductions is more than passing around names and phone numbers like baseball cards. After making the initial introduction, the BAND member always follows-up to ensure that the connection has been made. This attention-to-detail by all BAND participants serves all members well.
Vernon has discovered that the steady flow of introductions that he receives now did not come right away. It took some time to build the feeling of reciprocated trust and respect among fellow BAND members. The pay-off has been big--99% of prospect meetings result in new client relationships.