Andree Mohr is chief implementation officer for Integrated Partners, a leading financial advisory firm. Mohr has helped to develop and grow the Waltham, Mass., company’s CPA Alliance program, which has helped its network of more than 200 advisors nationally to soar.
Russ Alan Prince: Why is working with Centers of Influence so essential for organic growth?
Andree Mohr: Centers of influence are essential for organic growth because they enable you to focus your energy on creating custom and specific processes to grow your business with only your ideal clients. Let’s face it: growth, true organic growth, requires relationships. As you foster that relationship and get to know your center of influence partners, you can implement techniques to make it easy for them to refer business to you by making wealth management a part of your business. By focusing on one or two centers of influence, you are making your business more efficient.
Prince: What makes working with CPAs unique?
Mohr: Let’s face it, CPAs are a client’s most trusted advisor. They are your client’s most trusted advisor. This means getting a referral from a CPA puts you in the best position to succeed. By working with a CPA, you go into a meeting offering coordination for a client’s financial life, which they can’t get from advisors who are not working together. This is an opportunity for a true partnership, but it also requires you, as a financial planner, to put your ego aside and really put the client first.
Prince: What kind of success does the average advisor at Integrated Partners have when working with a CPA?
Mohr: I’m going to tell you something without hyperbole: Advisors working with CPAs can truly double their practice without doubling their client base. It is all about being effectively efficient. Part of the efficiency created by working with a center of influence is about growing the right way.
Prince: Okay. So, how does it work?
Mohr: The first step is finding the right CPA partner who is focused on growth and has the type of clients you are looking for. Then, it is all about building a deep relationship with the CPA to truly understand their goals and business model so you can find the best way to integrate your offerings and grow the partnership. Remember what we said earlier: Put your ego in your pocket. Ask a lot of questions along the way. Truly understand their client base and then ensure they understand the problems you can help to solve for those clients.
Prince: Do you have a success story or a case study you could share with us?
Mohr: The beauty of an elite relationship with a center of influence is that one case can have a significant impact. Recently, we closed a large case focusing on helping business owners retain key employees. One case easily sparked five more from the center of influence because the message resonated. Do you have any business owners worried about keeping key employees? One sentence added an additional $250,000 in revenue. That’s the power of a strong partnership.
Prince: What’s the big takeaway?
Mohr: If you want to grow your business sustainably, a partnership with a great center of influence is one of the most effective ways to do so. But like any great relationship, it requires work. It takes work upfront. So don’t give up until you’ve found the right partner and built the right process that works for everyone.