Advisor Today - May/June 2015 - (Page 59)

SALES & MARKETING PROSPECTING By Jim Pittman, CLU, CFP Creating a Center of Influence It takes time and effort, but the relationships you develop can have a positive impact on your business success. I f you have ever watched Meet the Parents, you probably recall "the circle of trust." Robert De Niro's character, Jack, a former CIA agent and protective father, wanted to make sure his future son-in-law, Greg, was trustworthy and honorable enough for his daughter. This dynamic is similar to the strategic alliance that professionals strive to create with one another to be a part of their Center of Influence (COI). A COI is a person in a position or business who wants the best for his clients and has great influence with prospects in different target markets. In my experience, the investment you make in aligning yourself with a COI can make a significant difference in the lives of your clients. A single connection made through a new referral partner can amount to multiple clients in the future. Finding your COI You need to identify unique individuals who see the value in uniting their clients with a team of experts to solve problems beyond their area of expertise. This takes an enormous amount of time and energy, but the results are substantial. Here are some ways you can use to find your ideal COI: * sk your best clients to A introduce you to their CPA and/or attorney. Try to learn as much as you can about their background and specialty. * ontact the local estateC planning council, the CPA association and the Bar association. Ask them to send you a list of members. * ontact a licensing agency C to obtain a list of all licensed professionals who are currently practicing in your area. A single connection made through a new referral partner can amount to multiple clients in the future. * onduct a search via the C internet or Yellow Pages to obtain a list of local CPAs and attorneys. Building the relationship If you want referrals, make sure the professional you are talking with is proactive and is willing to work as a team, because not everyone wants this dynamic. When I began my indirect prospecting system, I was unaware of the fact that most professionals simply don't refer anyone. I was told years ago that there is no upside to a referral. Telling a client you're going to be great and you are great simply meets his expectations. On the other hand, if you're merely good, that referral can come back to haunt the referrer. This taught me the importance of keeping in mind the risk others take when they refer their most valuable asset-a client they have worked with and have developed a relationship with over many years. To ensure the person has the team-building gene, you must conduct a thorough fact-finder similar to what you do for your prospects. I recommend asking them how they like to work with other advisors, if they see you as part of their team, and how they feel about life insurance, including what they like and dislike. One of the most important questions to ask is if they would like to bring a team of experts together to help their clients get the best results. Their responses will give you a better insight into their work ethic and let you know if they are the best fit for your team. May/June 2015 | ADVISOR TODAY 59

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Advisor Today - May/June 2015

From the Editor
New Products
Investing with Purpose
Ascending to Greatness
DI Insurance Saves a Family—Twice
Hack-Proof Your Social Media Site
A Unique Asset That Is Often Overlooked
How I Sell Whole Life
When Being Wrong Is Right
Selling Life Insurance Today
Retirement Planning for Today’s Boomers
Repotting Your Career
NAIFA Government Relations
After the Sale
Marketing to Millennials
How to Win the Hispanic Market
In Step with a Winner
Work for Free—and Make Lots of Money Doing It!
Creating a Center of Influence
Lighter Side
Advertiser Index
Back Page

Advisor Today - May/June 2015