How can you do so well as an advisor or agent and do so poorly as a developer of center-of-influence/professional referral sources? Research shows a high-quality professional referral can be worth up to 20 times the value of a typical client referral. We know this type of referral is valuable, because we’ve seen some of the most successful advisors regularly receiving them.
So what are we missing? We have failed to understand how to successfully serve a center of influence. We have failed to see that we need to treat COIs exactly as we would treat a valued client. So let’s compare how we treat a client vs. how we treat a COI:
Break the ice.
To the client, we say: “We’d like to discover whether there is a good fit between us, and if we can be of service to you.”
To the COI, we say: “We’d like to tell you about our world-class service, our superior products and the valuable referrals we hope to provide you with.”
Make your case.
To the client, we say: “We’d like to ask you some questions about your situation and determine if our products and services are right for you. After you complete this fact-finding questionnaire, we’ll be back with our recommendations.”
To the COI, we say: “Let me tell you why we should work together. We offer great service, have superior products and may (if it’s appropriate) introduce you to others who may need your services.”