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Insights | March 22, 2024

Forging a COI Relationship in 3 Steps

There’s almost certainly an accountant, lawyer or other specialist you come into contact with on a regular basis. But do they actively recommend your services to their clients?

These relationships can yield better leads with easier conversions than other forms of prospecting, and yet few advisors have a dedicated COI strategy. If you’re among those who do not, here are the three main steps to get started.

Introduce highlights.

COIs need a reason to take notice. Even if you have a relationship already, formalizing a referral process with another professional is a step they need to justify with real advantages. A brief, high-level introduction, shared digitally or in person, can broach the idea that a referral partnership would benefit their clients and their practice.

Present advantages.

Take the time to define a clear value proposition for COIs. This should be different from (though related to) your value proposition for clients, and it should explain how a partnership with you will further the COI’s goals. What can you do for their clients and what does that do for their perceived value? Is there an opportunity for you to introduce your clients to their service?

If your introduction leads to a conversation, your presentation material should lay out this value proposition in more detail. Spell out the advantages, share testimonials and success stories, list the qualifications of your team, and include any relevant details for the referral process itself. Which client types are suited to your service and how can your COI put them in touch with you?

Provide tools.

Make it easy for your COI to refer clients to you. This could mean hosting an event or simply providing practical collateral that they can include in their client onboarding packages, pass to clients during review meetings, or share digitally to introduce your practice.

Again, any tools you provide should include a distinct message for your COI’s clients, whether they’re individuals navigating divorce, business owners planning for succession, or pre-retirees looking for guidance. The easier you make it on them, the more likely they are to follow through with the referral process.

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