Reframing your thinking to overcome fear about developing COI relationships

There should always be a holistic nature to financial planning. You can either fall into the category of transactional advisors, where you are simply looking to sell a product, or you can take the wholly encompassing, 360-degree approach to giving good financial advice, supported by a range of other professional services. We should always look to have access to a great legal service, tax support, general insurance and mortgage insurance, with solutions for specific categories of client, such as those who are vulnerable.

It is surprisingly easy to build relationships with centers of influence because they are in exactly the same business as us — the prospecting business. Let’s not forget they need us just as much as we need them.

Typically I obtain details of those centers of influence from a fact-finder because I talk to my clients about the people they’re working closely with or have had good experiences with in the past. They will inevitably say, “Well, I moved home a year ago; I used this great lawyer,” or, “I work very closely with my accountants and they’re really good.” If you are asking lots of questions about the other professional people they work with, you get names and a personal endorsement. It’s a call or two you can then make the next day.

When you contact people you will share, for example, the fact that you run a successful financial services business and work with lots of individuals who regularly ask you for recommendations to good lawyers, accountants and other professionals. This is music to their ears. They want to have these conversations. So whether it’s a lunch or a coffee, it’s easy to start a conversation about the possibilities of a mutually beneficial relationship.

Alessandro M. Forte, FCII, FPFS, is a 26-year MDRT member from London, England, U.K. Hear more in the MDRT Podcast: 


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