Every person in your network is significant to your business, but Centers of Influence (COIs) are a central relationship “hub.” They are trusted professionals such as accountants, attorneys and many others who can provide you with a regular flow of recommendations and referrals from their ample list of clients.
Unfortunately, studies have shown that very few advisors have effectively garnered business from these COIs. Often, it’s because they haven’t implemented a consistent, persistent approach. While they may take the initial step to meet with COIs, they often become impatient with the process. However, as with any sales approach, building a COI network is a numbers game and a contact sport, and without a consistent approach, the results are often minimal.
Have you met with a few COIs and sometimes sent referrals to them in the hopes they will reciprocate? This is akin to an advisor who’s waiting for clients to give them referrals because they provide great services. While it may happen a small percentage of the time, most of the time it doesn’t work.
Be honest with us: Have you been guilty of giving referrals to COIs without establishing a clear agreement regarding referral reciprocity? How you taken a COI out to lunch only to see nothing in return?
If so, the problem may be a lack of “numbers,” or just that fact that you haven’t made the effort to strengthen your relationship with COIs and/or to educate them about the services you provide.
Yes, it can take months, and in some cases years, to build a solid COI network and to see significant results. Don’t get discouraged, just get started.