How to Build a COI Network

Kristin Luke

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In financial planning, client referrals are important, but they are not as valuable as referrals from centers-of-influence (COIs) – the attorneys, accountants and other professionals who also serve your clients. In fact, a well-developed network of COIs that reciprocally refers prospects will bring in many more clients and help you keep your existing ones.

So, how do you find good COIs with whom you can trade referrals? Follow these steps to create a powerful COI network:

Step 1: List each COI with whom your clients are working

As you work with clients, you’re bound to interact with other professionals also working with those clients. Write down each COI’s name, company, the type of COI (attorney, CPA, etc.) and the name of the client. Once you’ve listed this information, reach out to these COIs and discuss how you can help each other gain and serve more clients.

Step 2: List each COI in your professional network

Who are the accountants, attorneys and other people within your network? Are you optimizing your professional relationships with them? Add them to your list of potential COIs and bring them into your network.

Step 3: List each COI in the professional associations to which you belong

Are you a member of your local chamber of commerce or another professional association? List potential COIs in these organizations and make them a part of your network.