Developing centers of influence is a great activity year round, particularly if it is done properly. This means developing contacts with trusted advisers who will ultimately provide preferred access to their clients because you have gained their confidence. The most likely trusted centers of influence for your prospects and clients include their attorney, accountant, banker, financial planner, and maybe even their property and casualty agent or broker.

What we are talking about is institutionalizing this type of relationship cultivation and making it a systemic marketing effort - a pro-active, planned series of activities that you will implement, manage and repeat on a routine basis. A logical place to start is your existing clients. Do you know the names and contact information for all your clients' trusted advisers? Reaching out to your current clients to secure this information and to analyze it will open up a world of possibilities. Utilizing a simple client questionnaire, or providing your account management staff with a simple script for use during service calls are great ways to collect this useful information.

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