Manage Referrals and COI Relationships Effectively Agenda • Define your process for handling referrals and developing relationships with leads • Identify Referral and COI Sources • Create a shared client service model with your best COIs • Be prepared when asking for referrals or engaging COIs • Use Internet tools to conduct market research on clients, prospects and COIs • Prepare effectively for meetings with prospective clients and COIs • Create a Client/COI Advisory Board and prepare for your first meeting 2 77% of clients gave their advisor an average satisfaction rating of 8/10 or higher* 93% of clients are somewhat or extremely likely to continue working with their advisor 29% of clients provided a referral 83% of clients are comfortable providing a referral** Source: Advisor Impact, Economics of Loyalty: 2010 3 Define Your Process For Handling Referrals And Leads Identify the lead and collect background information Contact each lead and attempt to schedule an initial meeting Define action steps to be followed when the lead says “yes,” “no,” or “maybe” – if “yes,” send an invitation to the lead confirming the time and location If “maybe” or “no,” send a “nice to meet you” email Prepare for, conduct, and follow up on the initial meeting as you would with any lead Identify opportunities based on the lead’s needs and add him or her to your sales pipeline report 4 Define Your Process for Handling Referrals and Leads 5 Define Your Process For Working With Referral Sources Add the name of the referral source to your COI Tracking report Send a "nice to meet you” email with marketing brochure Call to schedule an introduction/preliminary meeting Prepare for the introductory meeting Conduct the preliminary (introduction) meeting Determine if a reciprocal relationship makes sense Send follow-up communication capturing meeting highlights and identifying next steps Schedule regular meetings to stay in touch 6 Define Your Process For Working With Referral Sources 7 EXERCISE: Identify Referral and COI Sources Identify Specific Referral Sources To Pursue 9 Identify Specific Referral Sources To Pursue Are there disciplines where you need to find additional contacts? • Tax planning/tax completion • Estate planning/legal • Financial planning (if that is not a service you provide) • Risk management (life, property and casualty insurance) • Human Resource directors • Small business owners (they can be referrals for your clients and potentially become clients themselves) • Real estate agents and mortgage brokers • Architects • Interior designers 10 Identify Specific Referral Sources To Pursue If you do need additional names, determine where you can meet those contacts. Think outside the box to consider people who work in venues that would be considered non-traditional in terms of referral sources. 11 Create Strategic Partnerships Create a shared client service model that defines the client experience as your two firms work together on behalf of the client. 12 13 Typical Agenda For Working Sessions • Define the ideal end state: what will a successful outcome look like for all parties? • What’s in it for the advisory firm? The strategic partner? The client? • Define your client service model: The advisory firm and the strategic partner will each define their own client service model and create a Year in the Life (YITL) diagram • Create a shared client service model and YITL diagram • Share the messaging and stories you want the other party to use in describing you • Define the pipeline (identify targets, communicate the message, make the introduction) • Coordinate processes 14 Be Prepared When Asking For Referrals Know why you are asking for the referral Share the definition of your ideal client and how you help them Define, document, and communicate your process for handling referrals Answer the question: What’s in it for them? 15 Best Practices When Asking For Referrals Use a script or agenda the first few times Gather background on the lead from the client Ask for a warm introduction and arrange to contact the lead Share your process for handling referrals Use storytelling to guide the conversation where appropriate Thank your client Track activity in your pipeline 16 Use Internet Tools To Conduct Market Research • Understand more about who your client or prospect is and what matters to him or her. • Build a profile of a prospect’s industry or company to show in-depth understanding and knowledge of the prospect's particular needs and challenges. • Research a competitor's strengths and weaknesses (via website, published articles, etc.) to better position yourself and your practice when seeking to win new clients. • Research industry trends for key clients and report back to them to proactively show your interest in and your knowledge of their specific operating environment. • Access information on a key individual within a company you are seeking to work with. 17 Resources For Conducting Market Research • Warm Call Center • AlertMix • Google, including Google Alerts • Pipl • Glassdoor • ZoomInfo 18 DIALOGUE: How are you using the internet to conduct client and prospect intelligence? Prepare Effectively For Meetings With Prospects Do your research: recent news, background, industry/position, volunteer activities Create an agenda in advance Be able to describe what type of client you are looking for, and describe your services Prepare good questions based on your research Listen for the prospect’s goals, priorities, pain points, and needs Define next steps together Follow up as agreed 20 Create A Client Advisory Board Goals: • Solicit feedback to improve your practice • Deepen relationships with board members Tips: • Regular or one-off (focus group) • Consider facilitation • Develop objectives and a charter • Identify your “dream team” • Schedule your first meeting All Rights Reserved to ActiFi 21 Schedule Your First Client Advisory Board Meeting • Plan the logistics • Create an agenda and share it in advance o Include questions to consider • Prepare materials • Follow up after the meeting with a thank-you note and a call All Rights Reserved to ActiFi 22 EXERCISE: List the questions you would ask your Client and/or COI Advisory Board THE BEST QUESTION YOU CAN ASK: “How would you describe what it is that we do?” Questions?