A formula to establish centres of influence and referrers

(Steve Holmes)

OK, in this article we are going to get straight to the point because I think we all know the value of a great referrer. It is the greatest compliment anyone can give your business.

First, we need to define our value

  • Practice Mission – Positioning Statement
  • Corporate overview ie
  • why we care
  • who we are
  • what we do
  • why you should use our services
  • our team
  • our professional approach
  • our commitment
  • our services – advice and service overview


Step One
What are your objectives?

Step Two
What is your ideal target market

Step Three
Do you have a budget to develop COI’s

Step Four
What associations do you currently have? (sporting/service/charity/professional/development)

Step Five
Do you have any existing referral arrangements? Formal / informal

Step Six
What level of involvement do you want? (i.e how much time can you put into this?)

Step Seven
Do you actively seek or use testimonials?, if so how?

Step Eight
What events or approach can you see your self fitting in to?

Step Nine
Do you have a well thought our client on-boarding process?

Step Ten
What is your client retention strategy?


For me it is more then just following the steps I have highlighted above, it comes down to a set of six behaviours which should become habits, and they are:

1. Approach
Other professionals in your area (i.e Financial Planners, Accountants, Lawyers, Real Estate Agents)

2. Attend
Networking functions

3. Ask
For practice testimonials
For referrals
How can you help your referrers

4. Get Involved
In social media groups
With gatherings
With service clubs, sporting clubs or charities in your area

5. Host
Client events

6. Thanks
Thank your referrers, it goes a long way


Once we have done the hard work in setting up your centres of influence and referrers, how do you keep them?

  1. Do your CoI’s and referees understand Financial Planning and your Client Value Proposition? Overview of what it is and how clients may benefit. Highlight life events, current economic climate, aging population, use testimonials etc.
  2. Have you taken them on the journey of what it is like to be a client of yours?
  3. How do you add value to your referrers?
  4. How do you make your referrers look good in their client’s’ eyes?
  5. Do you have a reporting process on progress with client referrals
  6. If you have a referral arrangement – is the commitment clearly articulated in terms of what your practice can expect, what your clients can expect and what your referrers can expect from the association?



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