The Five-Step Process to Create Centers of Influence

Cindy BeuoyAdvisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

There is a five-step process to turn someone into a COI. You can identify a person as a potential COI because several of your clients have enthusiastically endorsed them, you have meet them socially or they fit into your niche. Maybe they are someone you know casually or through a board you are on or a club to which you both belong.

The path to an introduction is more than a script. The effective process for a potential COI is an extension of your respectful relationships with your clients, and it is characterized by two foundations: humility and candor.

Ask your source (client, friend, etc.) to introduce you by email or a phone conversation. Don’t send them a letter because you won’t know if or when they got it, and it isn’t personal enough.

As an introduction to you, your client might say something like, “My financial advisor, Jim, has become a trusted advisor to me and my family. I thought the two of you might want to get to know each other.” In the case of a professional they use (like a CPA or attorney) they could say, “I consider both of you my trusted advisors and thought you should get to know each other.” At that point you can jump in and set up a casual meeting for coffee outside your offices to talk.