Collaborating with COIs

Imagine. A COI network that does the work for you.

The steps to building one are simpler than you think.

An often untapped way to gain strong new client referrals is by building relationships with centers of influence (COIs). A COI, also known as a strategic partner, is a professional you work with who also works within your target market. COI networks generate an average of 13 referrals per year.1

But the benefits don’t stop there. One of the biggest misconceptions around centers of influence is that they’re limited to asking for referrals. 

A strong network of COIs can: 

  • Deepen client relationships and expand the value you bring as an advisor by matching clients with trusted professionals
  • Expand your network, through the support of peers who serve similar clients, but in different ways
  • Create transferrable trust by having people out there, in many sectors, advocating for you and what you offer 
  • Convert clients into clients for life

Building a strategic network requires time and thoughtfulness. But it’s well worth the effort. 

Keep in mind that it’s not just about receiving referrals: it’s about adding value to both clients and COIs. Deliver consistent value to your COIs and always put the needs of the client first. When the goal is mutually beneficial, everyone wins.

Today’s clients expect more from their advisor.

In fact, a recent study showed that two-thirds of young investors (Generation Y and Generation Z) expect their advisor to provide services beyond financial advice and investment management.2 This is an opportunity to drive deeper client engagement and be seen as clients’ go-to professional. Refer clients to professionals that will meet their needs and deliver the highest possible level of service.

Go beyond the obvious.

Research tells us that the top 3 most effective centers of influence are accountants, lawyers and mortgage professionals.1 But an established, effective COI network doesn’t stop there. Deliver greater value for clients with a diverse set of COIs.

For example, tradespeople, mechanic, physiotherapist, health coach, local organizations, wedding planner, flower shop, travel agent, continuance of care specialist, etc. 

Imagine. A COI network that does the work for you.

The steps to building one are simpler than you think.

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Voice of the Advisor Center of Influence study, Sun Life Consulting, January 2023

2 Fidelity® Research Spotlights Significant Growth Opportunity for Advisors With Young Investors, Fidelity, January 2023