Skip to main content
Add funds
Fund 1
Fund 2
Fund 3
Fund 4
Confirm your location and role
location select
language select
Advisor Education

Give to get: Strengthen your referral network through education

Christine Stokes
Head of Client and Retirement Education
COI referrals

In theory, your relationships with CPAs, attorneys and other professionals should be a busy two-way street of referrals. With similar target audiences, yet distinctly different areas of expertise, these centers of influence (COIs) should be eager to partner with you to serve clients more comprehensively.

However, COIs may be reticent to make introductions, despite the undeniable potential for a win-win. One way to weaken that resistance – and strengthen your relationships with potential referral sources – is by providing free education

Understanding and leveraging the reciprocity principle

Referral relationships work because humans are hardwired to act in a reciprocal manner: when we receive, we feel compelled to give back. So why doesn’t sharing a referral ensure that you get one in return? One reason is that a referral also entails risk. COIs may fear that if their clients’ investment portfolios decline under the watch of someone they recommended, that could irreparably damage a client relationship they’ve worked long and hard to build.

Change the risk calculus

And how do you lower that perceived risk? Rather than leading with your value proposition as a wealth manager, try offering education. The idea is to provide tailored guidance their clients need (but the COI can’t offer). At the same time, you can potentially meet the COI’s need for professional continuing education. By changing how they perceive what you’re offering, you change the risk calculation.

Here's how:

Keep in mind that no single educational event is likely to trigger an immediate referral, and some COIs may never be willing to share their clients with you – no matter what you do. However, this simple approach can change the risk calculus of a referral and make it more likely that the COI will think of you the next time they field a question about the topic. And that sets the stage for a more fruitful referral relationship.

Download the article

All information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy is not guaranteed. There is no representation or warranty as to the current accuracy, reliability, or completeness of, nor liability for, decisions based on such information, and it should not be relied on as such.

This article is provided for informational and educational purposes only. Although this article contains general tax information, it should not replace a client’s consultation with a professional advisor regarding their tax situation. Nuveen is not a tax advisor. This information is not intended to provide legal or tax advice. Clients should consult with their legal and tax advisors regarding their personal circumstances. This article contains no investment recommendations and should not be construed as specific tax, legal, financial planning, or investment advice. Information was obtained from third-party sources, which we believe to be reliable but not guaranteed. Tax rates and IRS regulations are subject to change at any time, which could materially affect the information provided herein. Nuveen Securities, LLC, member FINRA and SIPC.

Aerial view of the ocean shore

You are on the site for: Financial Professionals and Individual Investors. You can switch to the site for: Institutional Investors or Global Investors

You are about to access our website for visitors outside of the United States.

You are about to access our website for Nuveen Global Cities REIT

You are leaving the Nuveen website.

You are leaving the Nuveen website and going to the website of the MI 529 Advisor Plan, distributed by Nuveen Securities, LLC.

The Nuveen website for institutional investors is available for you.

You are about to access our website for visitors outside of the United States.

You are about to access our website for Nuveen Churchill Private Capital Income Fund (“NC - PCAP”)

Contact us
Contact us
Back to Top