From the beginning, a great many financial professionals need to think about working with COIs differently. The general perspective among a large percentage of financial advisors is that they are profusely thankful if some COI would just consider making referrals to them. This is the diametrically wrong point of view.

If you want to have high-caliber COIs sending you wealthy clients on a regular basis, you have to select the right ones to work with. The key here is that you are selecting them; they are not selecting you. The way this works is that you meet with potential COIs and audition them. You need to determine if a possible COI is able to significantly benefit from the value you can deliver to them—not their clients—to them. This value usually takes the form of helping them substantially build up their practices (see below).

Part of the audition is a flexible, systematic assessment of a COI’s world. The comprehensive discovery process addresses five key areas:

• Attributes are the characteristics of the COI, such as how his or her practice operates

• Contacts consist of the relationships the COI has with clients, prospects and other professionals

• Resources the COI can access, such as the firm’s database, meeting rooms and the like

• Intent, which entails the COI’s personal and professional goals and objectives

• Critical concerns are what is most pressing to the COI and can possibly derail the relationship

By going through a discovery process like this one, you are able to determine if a COI passes the audition. In effect, you are deciding if the COI is worth your time and effort.

Failing To Help Your COIs Refer Their Wealthy Clients To You