How Do You Build Meaningful Relationships With Other Professionals To The Benefit Of Your Clients? John Bowen Has Answers About Building Referrals And Relationships

Wednesday, October 02, 2013 12:43
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How Do You Build Meaningful Relationships With Other Professionals To The Benefit Of Your Clients? John Bowen Has Answers About Building Referrals And Relationships

Tags: Advisor businesses | advisor industry people | business strategy | client communications | client retention | content marketing | marketing | referrals

With 61% of financial advisors saying accountants and attorneys were the source of their five best new clients last year, it makes sense for financial planners and investment managers to tune out the noise and focus on building strategic relationships with accountants, attorneys and other professionals who advise wealthy individuals. But how do you do that?

 
How do you build meaningful relationships with other professionals to the benefit of your clients, you, and other professionals you want to work with? How do you optimize strategic alliances with other professionals for your clients, yourself, and the other professionals?

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Firms that practiced collaboratively with outside professionals, according to a 2009 study by CEG Worldwide, a company founded by advisor coach John Bowen, showed average revenue of $1.06 million in 2008 versus $661,959 in revenue averaged by advisory firms using an “internal” model. 
 
Bowen says, clients like it when an advisors brings in other professionals to help with taxes, selling a business, legal matters, or other issues requiring a specialist. And creating such partnerships is not as difficult as you might think because it is based on doing the right thing for clients.
 
Bowen is a brilliant businessman, salesman, and thinker. He was an incredibly successful advisor and has been coaching advisors for the close to 15 years. Successful advisors who I know and respect highly say Bowen’s programs work.
 
Bowen is speaking about financial advisor strategic alliances at this Friday’s A4A Webinar Series. If you’re a paying member of A4A ($60 a year), you can attend Bowen’s session for free.  Attendees will receive an e-book about how to build strong professional partnerships.  
 

 To make John’s session as helpful as possible, please think about:

 
  • Strategic-alliance opportunities that you might have open to you now
  • Opportunities for strategic  alliances that you have blown
  • What’s stopping you from pursuing strategic alliances?
  • Ethical concerns you might have
  • Compliance and disclosure issues arising from strategic partnerships
Please post  comments or questions in advance of this session so we can make our time with John most productive.

 

Comments (6)

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FamaFiduciary
Question for John Bowen: I have many connections who are CPAs and attorneys who I would like to cultivate. However, I have a JD degree myself, and am still licensed to practice law. I'm afraid that attorneys may be fearful of losing a client to me. I state in writing that I will not accept a client from an attorney who referred them to me for investment work, even if the client says he fired the referring attorney. I'm not sure this appeases them unless they know me really well. And with CPAs, I'm finding that many of the firms now have an "investment" arm wherein they not only prepare tax returns and do tax planning, but also do investment planning. Where (and how) does one go in order to locate the serious (and niche focused) centers of influence? Do you recommend any interdisciplinary groups online or anywhere else? Any other thoughts, suggestions, comments? P.S. I really enjoy your monthly column in Financial Planning magazine. Thank you!
FamaFiduciary , October 04, 2013
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FamaFiduciary
As a follow-up to my question above (submitted prior to the webinar on 10/4), John did a very solid job of answering the points I addressed above. However, I did note from another attendee's review that independent, fee-only RIAs would need to be cautious when engaging in any type of revenue-sharing arrangement with a CPA firm. I agree with John that attorneys have strict prohibitions against fee-splitting and that is a separate challenge in itself. But I imagine that a fee-only RIA, acting as a fiduciary, would have to cross the T's and dot the I's carefully if fee sharing and there would want to be a lot of disclosures as well as attention being paid to the solicitation rules, I would guess, as well as clear disclosures in the ADV Part 2, etc. So, while I agree with John that the opportunity to partner is a potentially very lucrative one, an independent fee-only RIA would have to examine all of these details carefully. If John (or anyone else) has any further comment on this topic, that would be welcomed!
FamaFiduciary , October 09, 2013
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agluck
I'll get a compliance expert to opine on how fiduciaries can set up these partnerships. One attendees actually said at the webinar that NAPFA Registered advisors cannot enter into revenue splitting arrangements. I will also seek clarity on that. I know longtime NAPFA members who have had these kinds of relationships and don't think they are prohibited as long as they are properly structured and disclosed.
agluck , October 10, 2013
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stvnrsmth
What would be REALLY valuable is a description of ways to make collaboration work without revenue sharing.
stvnrsmth , October 15, 2013
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agluck
I like that. But it's very hard to do. I have done many partnerships like that in my marketing company but people really need to get tangible benefits to make partnering work. If anyone has done this successfully or has ideas about how advisors could pull it off, please speak up.
agluck , October 15, 2013
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jbowen
RE Question from FamaFiduciary: As I mentioned in the webinar there's two types of economic glue that can be used with other professionals in forming strategic alliances. The first is joint business development and the second is revenue share.

If you decide not to use revenue share it is very important that you have demonstrated ability to help the other professional attract new clients. We have many financial advisors in our coaching programs, who have decided not to utilize revenue share in strategic alliances and therefore place the focus on business development. The most successful financial advisors have utilized joint marketing events such as seminars, dinner meeting and webinars very effectively.
jbowen , October 16, 2013

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