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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.

If you have questions or would like to explore how Nuveen can further support your efforts to grow your business, reach out to your Advisor Consultant or call 800.221.9271.

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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.

The views and opinions expressed are for informational and educational purposes only as of the date of production/writing and may change without notice at any time based on numerous factors, such as market, economic or other conditions, legal and regulatory developments, additional risks and uncertainties and may not come to pass.

The information provided does not take into account the specific objectives or circumstances of any particular investor, or suggest any specific course of action. Investment decisions should be made based on an investor's objectives and circumstances and in consultation with their advisors. This report should not be regarded by the recipients as a substitute for the exercise of their own judgment. It is important to review your investment objectives, risk tolerance and liquidity needs before choosing an investment style or manager.

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