Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Grow your practice by becoming a center of influence - Janus Henderson Investors
For Financial Professionals in the US

Grow your practice by becoming a center of influence

Bryan Powell, Senior Director, Practice Management, outlines three strategies for becoming a center of influence in your community to help accelerate the growth of your practice.

Bryan Powell, PCC, CPBA, CPMA

Bryan Powell, PCC, CPBA, CPMA

Senior Director, Practice Management

Sep 12, 2023
6 minute read

Key takeaways:

  • The most successful advisors shift from seeking relationships with centers of influence to being centers of influence – without asking for immediate reciprocation.
  • The goal is to be top of mind among other professionals and leaders in the community when a client need arises.
  • Strategies for achieving this reputation include establishing yourself as a thought leader, being a connector in your community, and treating each COI professional as an extension of your practice.

Connecting with centers of influence (COIs) such as attorneys, CPAs, and other professionals can be an effective approach to building a successful advisory practice. The goal is to meet with these professionals consistently so you will be top of mind when a client need arises. But as this strategy becomes more common, advisors may find themselves up against considerable competition when seeking to establish valuable partnerships in their communities.

The question then becomes, how do you set yourself apart from the other advisors who are all seeking the same relationships? In my experience as a coach and consultant, the most successful advisors shift from seeking relationships with centers of influence to being centers of influence.

So, how can you become the person others immediately think of when they want a trusted expert to help them meet a specific client need? Following are three strategies advisors I’ve worked have implemented to create vast networks by being of service to others – importantly, without asking for immediate reciprocation.

1. Offer your expertise as a thought leader in the industry.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2021 there were over 330,000 individuals registered as financial advisors in the U.S. alone. Setting yourself apart means proving you have a unique voice to offer – not only to clients, but also to other professionals – so you can establish yourself as a thought leader.

To get your voice heard, consider volunteering to write articles, participate in podcasts, or present at events. One advisor I work with offers to write articles that draw on his expertise in retirement accounts and wealth planning for CPAs’ quarterly newsletters. The circulation for these newsletters is often several thousand people, which means your name, knowledge, and unique insights can reach a large and varied audience.

One of the authors I often reference in my consultations with advisors is Simon Sinek, who wrote: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.”

Start believing in your unique voice as an advisor by considering how you can extend its reach through professionals who serve like-minded clients.

2. Focus on being a connector in your community.

When approaching introductory meetings, most advisors prepare by focusing on new accounts, assets, and creating a wealth plan. These are all important, although not everyone is going to be ready to jump into your pipeline. You can set yourself apart by first considering how to be of service to your potential future clientele. Spend time understanding their interests, role at work, and how you can assist them – not just in reaching their financial goals, but also with other priorities they are attempting to accomplish, both professionally and personally.

In this area I have witnessed advisors meet with executives, scholars, and leaders in all industries and seen them build relationships by connecting those who might not otherwise meet, enabling them to fulfill a common goal or desire. For example, one advisor will meet with senior executives to understand their organization, their culture, where they are focused in hiring, and other areas of importance. Then when the right meeting appears, they are able to connect an individual with the executive to help fill a specific role.

Start to learn more about each individual you meet with so you can build a reputation as someone who serves the community as a connector. Eventually, you will become the first person these individuals think of when they’re ready to move their accounts because you understood their needs and provided value to help them achieve their goals.

Try incorporating these questions into your introductory meetings to spark ideas for productive connections:

  • What do you enjoy most about your current position?
  • What skills do you look for when adding a new leader or team member?
  • Who could I connect you with that might assist you either personally or professionally?

3. Treat each COI professional as an extension of your practice.

One thing I’ve learned from those who are viewed as COIs in our industry is that they treat other professionals as members of their practice. That means not simply asking for referrals, but actively engaging other professionals to ask for their input when specific questions or needs arise. You can take this one step further by inviting these individuals to client events and introducing them as a trusted resource. And remember to reciprocate by proactively reaching out when you know your skillset could be useful in assisting with a particular client need.

When shifting your mindset from accumulating COIs to becoming one, this area will be key. Remember, most advisors are engaging with these professionals to ask for their partnership in terms of referrals. You can distinguish yourself by viewing your network as a group of professionals who share a similar purpose in helping clients achieve their goals, whether that is in wealth management, insurance, real estate, legal needs, or other areas.

When engaging with professionals who may earn the right to become an extension of your practice, ask the following questions.

  • What success stories do you have that demonstrate how you have gone above and beyond for your clients?
  • How do you assist your clients in accomplishing what is important to them?
  • What specific needs do you fulfill for your clients that set you apart?

By sharing your unique voice and expertise, being a connector in your community, and treating professionals as an extension of your practice, you can become a center of influence rather than vying for the attention of other COIs.

I hope these steps assist you in accelerating the growth of your practice by engaging with successful professionals through the mindset of service.

To learn more Modern Prospecting strategies, check out the online learning course in Janus Henderson’s Knowledge Studio.

Knowledge Studio

Experience our most popular programs on your own time.



This material is for information purposes only. There is no guarantee that the information supplied is accurate, complete or timely, nor is there any warranty with regards to the results obtained from its use. This material may not be reproduced in whole or in part in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission.