Tips and Tricks – Summer Time Cleaning For Your Centers of Influence
Now that Summer is around the corner. It is time to think of attending those networking events out on the patio , setting up milk routes and office drop ins. What a better time than now to think of ways to develop and grow your referral base and a COI is the way to do it! Or to do a little summertime cleaning and “clean out your COI’s”.
First Question is: What is a Centers of Influence? Centers of Influence are people in your professional network that can help boost your business through introductions and referrals.
When a client looks at his or her agent, they look at their agent in playing multiple roles. They are their “go to person” if they need recommendation for a roofer, CPA, lawyer…
Building a strong network of COIS- provides your clients and fellow network a wide range of expertise. Not only can you recommend your client a roofer but your COI CPA needs perhaps a recommendation for a realtor. You are that person.
You provide your clients with constant recommendations and really step up your customer service and your COI’s will always be grateful you recommended them.
Creating your own COI Network
Understanding and defining the type of client, target market you need helps understanding the COI network you need to establish. The norm in a producer’s world would be a mortgage lender and a realtor but branching out to think outside of the box can really help generate quality referrals. You can expand your network beyond the typical relationships to a divorce attorney, personal trainer, CPAs, interior decorators, contractors . It helps when thinking of COIS, to think what can you bring to the table to them as well in regards to client referrals and professional introductions. Do you two have the ideal client in mind? It may be easier in networking with different kinds of professionals left and right but to hone in on the “right” kind of COI is to make sure these professionals fit with being able to refer the ideal client to you and to you to them. If they are not, there is no point in having them in your network and it is time to REVAMP.
Checklist when thinking about the right fit:
- Has similar clientele
- Will provide (reciprocal) referrals
- Has a mutual understanding for the relationship
Once you start reaching out and networking. It is very important to communicate the value you bring the table, in your business, the type of products you offer , quote turn around time, response time to clients and being available.
Never forget to reciprocate the referral! Always connect, offer introductions within your network. If your CPA needs a good attorney, be that guy to make sure it happens. Setting up monthly coffee meets, office drop ins, offering an ear to see if they are in need of any referrals. Always have marketing materials and business cards available for your COI partners to hand out to their clients, and never forget to send thank you cards.
This is a great time to reevaluate how do you establish your centers of influencers? how do you gain referrals? When was the last time you dropped in to their office? Offered a Education class on Insurance and the products you offer to their clients?