GET STARTED

Fintech Automation Blog

Finding Your Center(s)

process Oct 13, 2021

by Mark Anthony Figueroa

 

Introduction

In the previous posts, we set the stage for our email marketing application. Before that, we went into Zapier, connected our applications and created our first zap. The goal was to get you familiar with creating a simple zap using a simple form. This should enable you to see what Zapier is capable of, how it works and how you can use it operationally or personally.

This post, we’re going to dive deeper into the realm of marketing and building a digital presence. Don’t worry the core topic of the series isn’t changing. Instead, it’s expanding. That said, during this post, our friend and colleague, Cameo Roberson, AAMS®, will discuss Centers of Influence (COIs) and how you can leverage them to meet and/or accelerate your goals.

Remember, if you have any questions, feel free to ask. We’re here to help! Shoot an email to [email protected]

Already have COI contacts in mind, but don’t know how to vet them?

Wouldn’t it be nice to have some kind of a screening form you can send with a short introduction of yourself?

Something like:

Hi (name),

I found you on (platform) and decided to reach out because (reason). I think we (insert exchangeable service, goods or type of collateral) in order to achieve our goals. If this sounds good, please let me know, or [linked: fill out this brief questionnaire]. It shouldn’t take more than 2 minutes and will help us both identify how we can best assist each other. Thanks in advance. 

Thanks,

(Your name)

That’s just an idea of how you can use a form here and manage your COI contact, without any actual management. There are a ton of ways that you can get creative with this process, but first thing’s first, you need a form. Check out our JotForm templates.

Our templates are designed to be automation-friendly. Check them out. They include comprehensive conditions for rapid operational use.

Each of our forms includes a comprehensive video series on how to edit and use the form. While most of our forms are primarily used by Financial Advisors / Planners, Consultants and Attorneys there are some that are non-industry specific and the others can be customized further using our JotForm training courses. Purchasing the form will enable you to book a discounted Coaching Session with us to help you edit/modify the form for your specific needs if you need additional assistance.

Also, if you’re an XYPN or ACP Member, please be aware that we do offer discounted zap set up services.


Build your COI Network and Grow your Business

By Cameo Roberson, AAMS® 

One of the biggest problems newer advisors face is how to build relationships with COIs (Centers of Influence). Truth be told, seasoned advisors may have challenges in this area as well. COIs can be a great referral resource for any firm, regardless of the length of time in business. Relationships with COIs are a good way to grow your business through referral marketing and the opportunity here is to find a way to bring value to this new relationship. I will share more on this.

How to use a Niche when Networking

An initial item you want to consider is how to make it ‘easy’ for a COI to refer you. If a COI has to figure out who your ideal client is, chances are they may not refer anyone to you. A common description I hear is ‘I work with high net worth individuals and families who want to simplify their finances’. Who is that exactly? Can you visualize an image of this person? If a COI cannot pinpoint exactly whom you want to work with, your efforts to connect with ideal prospects may fall flat. When you use a niche description, which translates into a highly customized group, you give the COI a chance to make a connection with the niche and easily identify who in their client base may be a good referral for you. An example of a niche description, who could also be a HNW individual, is a ‘technology professional with complex compensation who wants to simplify their financial lives.’ Imagine painting a picture of what this ideal prospect does and problems they often face. By doing so your COI can get a mental image of what this prospect looks like.

An Initial COI Target Strategy

Advisors do not have to look far to connect with COIs. An extension of a wealth management team often includes CPAs, Tax Experts and Estate Planning Attorneys. Given the complementary nature of these professionals in a client’s financial life, they can be the first line of COIs you target. In my experience, while coaching advisors, there are a few questions you should ask yourself in advance. For example, let’s consider a CPA firm. 

  1. Are there any competition concerns? 
  2. Does the CPA firm have a wealth management arm to their practice?
  3. Does the CPA already have an advisor they work with?

Finding a CPA who already has someone they are working with is a good person to connect with. Why? Having a backup advisor often makes good business sense. Additionally, if they have someone they’ve worked with in the past, they may be open to building relationships with new advisors. I’ll mention to be cautious of a COI who isn’t working with anyone or hesitant to do so. They may not be interested in working with someone for a number of reasons including compliance concerns, a prior bad experience, concerned about making a bad referral to their clients, etc. As you figure out who should be on your COI list, don’t forget to consider out of the box COIs including life, business or executive coaches. The possibility for COI relationships extends to whomever the end client is working with across their personal, business or financial lives.

Finding COIs in your own Backyard and Building the Initial Relationship

An easy way to find COIs to connect with is to start at home. Do a census of your existing clients/households. Find out who your clients are working with for their (Estate Planning, Insurance, Tax, Employee Benefits, Coaching/Consulting) needs. Build a spreadsheet of those individuals. After you have created your census, reach out to your client and ask who they’re working with. If they provide you with a few names and they know the COIs well, ask for permission to use their name when contacting the COI. It is easier to reach out to another professional when there is a client in common between the two of you. 

Draft an introductory message explaining who you are, your firm and the client you share. Reach out to this person via email, LinkedIn, etc. and ask to set up a call to learn more about their business. Remember this is a numbers game, so the more COIs you contact the greater chance you’ll have to make a beneficial connection.

After you have connected with the COI, set the right tone/expectations and go about your normal relationship building activities; including adding them to your email newsletter (with their permission), invite them to events of interest, send interesting and relevant articles that would be valuable to them. Keep them in your tribe. Rinse and repeat this process with each COI and before you know it, you will have a network of COIs who can become valuable referral partners for your business. These actions will help you build the know, like and trust factor. Important considerations for building mutually beneficial referral opportunities.

About Cameo

Cameo Roberson, AAMS® manages Atlas Park Consulting & Finance helping financial advisors and service-based entrepreneurs clarify business vision, move ideas from concept to profit, organize business operations, drive revenue, escape burnout and save time. Reach her at www.atlasparkco.com

Next Post

During this post, Cameo Roberson, AAMS® discussed Centers of Influence (COIs), how to make organic connections with them as well as ideas on how to leverage them to meet and/or accelerate your goals. 

As always, thanks for following this series. If you’re a newcomer, please share your thoughts and feel free to look at the previous article. 

If you found this helpful, like, comment and share. Chances are there are many people in your professional network who would benefit from this information, so don’t keep it a secret. 

The next post will be up the Wednesday after next, as usual. In the meantime, feel free to set the zap up on your own. If you’re an XYPN or ACP Member, please be aware that we do offer discounted zap set up services.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. We’re here to help! Shoot an email to [email protected] or click here to see our form templates for sale.

Each of our forms includes a comprehensive video series on how to edit and use the form. While most of our forms are primarily used by Financial Advisors / Planners, Consultants and Attorneys there are some that are non-industry specific and the others can be customized further using our JotForm training courses. Purchasing the form will enable you to book a discounted Coaching Session with us to help you edit/modify the form for your specific needs if you need additional assistance.

This blog is written by the Sphynx Automation team to help DIYers use web-based apps.

Not a DIYer? Not a problem, click the button below to chat with us.

Let's see how we can help!