COI Marketing is a Waste of Time

By: Larry Miles

Stop spending time with traditional Centers of Influence (COIs). There are hundreds of thousands of advisors and brokers in the country and it seems as though nearly all of them have read a playbook that states – “take a professional service provider out to breakfast and lunch every day of the week and they will give you all of their clients.”

A casual walk by the restaurants near our office building proves my point. Every day, you can witness one wealth manager after another taking the same Trust & Estate lawyers and CPAs out to an overpriced Italian lunch. To what end? Do they really expect a so-called COI to hand over one of their prized clients after caprese and chicken parm? If you’re taking them to lunch, you’re not getting their business.

Real COIs, those who can actually impact your business, have 3 traits:

Target Rich. They need to know the types of people you want to meet. If they don’t know folks who would be good clients for you, then what’s the point? I hope that’s obvious.

Ability & Willingness. Good COIs need to have the ability and willingness to introduce you to their network. I hear all the time, “this CPA has a great client list.” Sure, but so what? You want someone who is able to introduce you to their clients and willing to do so. Being Target Rich, without the ability or willingness to introduce you does you no good. Again, pretty simple.

Not getting the intros you want? Your COI is telling you they are not able to introduce you, or they simply don’t want to. And it’s probably time for you to move on.

BFF. You are close to your best COIs personally. That’s why your best COIs may not be the attorneys or CPAs so many advisors line up to take to lunch - they may be friends from college, neighbors or involved in the same community activities.

Your best COIs are personally invested in your success. They may not be in professional services – but they know people who need your help, they will go out of their way to make a great introduction and they will take YOU out to lunch.

Are you ready to join a network of like-minded advisors? Plug in today.