Tuesday, March 19, 2024
HomeFinancial AdvisorIdentifying Your Own “Soft Assets” To Turn COIs Into Powerful Referral Champions

Identifying Your Own “Soft Assets” To Turn COIs Into Powerful Referral Champions

Soliciting prospect referrals can often be an effective way for financial advisors to grow their firms with clients who are ready to act and who will benefit from the firm since many referrals come from sources that are familiar not just with the advisor and the services they offer, but also with the prospect being referred and the needs they seek. This is particularly true when referrals come from Centers of Influence (COIs) – professionals who are trusted by their circles to influence ideal prospects to consider an advisor in the first place. Yet, many advisors might not prioritize networking with COIs or approaching them for client referrals and, as a result, may miss potential opportunities for valuable client referrals.

In this guest post, Michael Schein, founder of MicroFame Media and author of The Hype Handbook, helps advisors recognize how COIs can be powerful referral generators and shares his process of building connections with COIs using the power of their own “soft assets” that help them identify and leverage shared interests and skills not necessarily related to professional achievements.

Soft asstets are talent, interst, and skills that are not directly related to one’s professional field. They tend to come naturally, are plentiful, and ar easy and pleasurable to share with others (such as an enthusiasm for cars, cooking, or closely held values). And the financial advisor who can find an overlap between their soft assets and the interests of a COI they’d like to connect with is much more likely to be successful in their outreach efforts. This is because they demonstrate that they are paying attention and want to ‘deposit’ something meaningful with the COI, rather than just seeking to ‘withdraw’ from whatever services the COI may have to offer.

In order to identify a match of soft assets, something as simple as following potential COIs on social media and noting the issues and interests that are shared at any given time can be a great starting point. From there, when the advisor is ready to reach out (whether via email, social media messaging, or something similar), leading with soft assets is key to building common ground. Often, sharing a connection through soft assets can be more valuable than the professional services of the COI – at least at first. Of course, the professional ‘ask’ can (and should) still be present, but “burying the lede” by placing this ask deeper in the email or message can help advisors establish connection-oriented alliances with these COIs – and from there, unlock the door to long-lasting professional relationships!

Ultimately, the key point is that building connections with COIs can sometimes take time and effort – but when advisors can align overlapping soft assets with a COI and identify shared, more personal common interests, they are far more likely to develop relationships that offer mutually beneficial outcomes. Which means that introspection and awareness of their own personal interests can take advisors a long way to connecting with COIs and new clients – and, in the end, leading to arrangements that benefit everyone!  

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