US-EN Advisors

Fostering success with centers of influence

Episode 99: Sarano Kelley returns to the podcast to explain how creating – and maintaining – centers of influence can add value to your clients and your business.
February 2020
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Fostering success with centers of influence

What if you could have advocates in your target market promoting your brand? Word-of-mouth marketing has one of the highest ROI’s but is one of the hardest to create.

Sarano Kelley returns to the podcast to explain how creating – and maintaining – centers of influence can add value to your clients and your business.

In this episode:

  • What is a center of influence (COI)?
  • What does a successful COI relationship look like?
  • Turning a COI into a Goodwill Ambassador
  • Measuring the success of a COI
  • How to navigate through a COI not reciprocating your good will


Sarano Kelley – The colder the prospecting approach, the more disciplined, the more systematic, the more focused the individual will tend to be.  Then when you give them a methodology that’s literally easier, right, warm relationships, friends, family, social acquaintances, COI’s, referrals, this is where people think because it’s warmer that means it’s okay to be less structured, less disciplined, less of a process, less of a sales funnel, less of a pipeline and it’s totally backwards.

Ben Jones – Welcome to Better Conversations. Better Outcomes. presented by BMO Global Asset Management. I’m Ben Jones.

Emily Larsen – And I’m Emily Larsen.  On this show we explore the world of wealth advising from every angle, providing actionable ideas designed to improve outcomes for advisors and their clients.

Disclosure – The views expressed here are those of the participants and not those of BMO Global Asset Management, its affiliates, or subsidiaries. 

Ben Jones – One thing I hear consistently from marketers is that word of mouth endemic marketing brings in the highest return on investment.  So what if you could have advocates in your target market promoting your brand?  Today’s episode is all about Centers of Influence, or COI’s.  When working correctly, you can build mutually beneficial relationships that can add value to your clients and your business.

Emily Larsen – Sarano Kelley is a personal efficiency and professional development speaker and coach.  He last appeared on the show back in Episode 61 where we talked about how to overcome objections from clients with effective communication.  Today he’ll be sharing critical advice from his new book, “Reversing the Deal Flow – Volume II”.  He’ll talk about managing reciprocal relationships with few COIs and taking them to the next level to create mastermind groups.

Ben Jones – Sarano is a former White House communications coach and when you listen to today’s episode you will hear him directly coaching you on how to approach your COI strategy.  But first, one thing prevalent in Sarano’s work is the necessity for structure.  For example, before we implement a COI strategy, we’re going to need to build on a foundation by understanding everything about COIs and how exactly you can leverage them in your practice. So today we’re going to be talking about COIs and Centers of Influence.  This is something that just my observation over the years is that every advisor says that they have some COIs or a COI strategy.  But very few have actually mastered driving success through a COI strategy.  You’ve put a lot of thought into what makes a good COI relationship, how you turn them into Goodwill Ambassadors and how you go about executing the strategy.  So I’m super excited to talk to you today.  But maybe we could just start with level setting the conversation.  What is a COI?


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