CEO & Founder, CLJ Advisory LLC.

Benefits to a COI partnership – #3: Differentiate Yourself

In this blog I will discuss the third reason you want to establish COI relationships. By engaging your client’s CPAs and attorneys you will DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF from other financial advice professionals in your area. 


If you ran a google search for “financial advisors” in your city, what would you see?  You would see a long list of several financial advice professionals ready and willing to bring on a new client.  Keep in mind, potential clients see the same thing when they run that search.  Based on SEO optimization, your name may not even be on the 1st page.  The point is this, an individual has several available options for insurance or investment planning.  With so many options, why should they choose to work with you?  How do you differentiate yourself from the masses?  Specializing in COI relationships can help you do that.

We are living in an environment where many clients are now looking to manage their own financial plan.  When I started CLJ Advisory, one of my initial ideas was to create a training from the perspective of high net worth clients to understand why they select an advisor.  I asked several professionals including my dentist, business owners in my city,  and other CEO friends of mine how they select an advisor.  I was surprised to hear their responses.  Many of them either hadn’t worked with an advisor in years, or they handle their investments on their own.  This means that there are many high net worth prospects that don’t see the value in working with a financial advisor.  They feel they can do just as good on their own.   By offering a different type of value, you can give a good reason to do business with you.  

Since the Great Recession of 2008, we have seen an increased aversion to fees.  Clients are concerned about the fees they pay for investments, as well as what they’re paying you as a financial advisor.  I’ve seen financial advisors compete for business in this arena.  Here’s how it plays out: a dissatisfied client is now looking for a new advisor to move their account.  They present their portfolio or existing holdings to the advisor.  The advisor highlights how much the client is paying in fees and presents their “much lesser expense” solution to them.  I’m not placing blaming on financial advisors, because the same thing happens with wholesalers selling investment products.  In fact, this competing on cost happens in most other industries as well.  

In short, clients are looking for more value from you.  In the past blog article, Benefits to a COI partnership – #1: Serve The Client Well, I discussed how by working with your client’s CPAs and attorney you can do that.  Providing a different value will help you attract more clients while differentiating yourself from the masses. 


Over the years, many financial advisors have told me they don’t even know most of the clients’ CPAs.  This tells me that most advisors aren’t effectively approaching these professionals.  Much less, doing joint work together.

Imagine if part of your value proposition to clients is that you work diligently with your client’s tax and legal professionals to make sure their total financial picture is taken care of.

This will distinguish you and your business.  It is quite possible that your client may have never had an advisor that has talked about working with their COI, much less done it!  As your client sees you building these COI relationships (for their benefit) you will automatically put yourself above thousands of other advisors in your city and state.  I talk to many insurance agents and financial advisors around the country, and most of them are not doing this.  In my experience, I’ve only come across three or four out of a hundred advisors that have good relationships and get referrals from CPAs. 

You have skills and talents that no other person has.  Share your unique qualities as growing these COI partnerships.  As a result, you will truly differentiate yourself from other financial advisors in your area.

Go get ’em!  

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