011: Derek Coburn on Being a Connector, the Ultimate Business Tiebreaker, and Networking 3.0

011: Derek Coburn on Being a Connector, the Ultimate Business Tiebreaker, and Networking 3.0

This week on The Elite Advisor Blueprint, Derek Coburn (@cadredc) of CADRE joins us to talk about a wide range of topics, including networking and how he redefined “success.” CADRE is a network of high-level professionals who value high-quality networking opportunities and speakers over the traditionally self-interested networking circuit.

Derek began his career as a financial advisor in 1998, establishing his successful wealth management firm largely through cold-calling. During the economic downturn of 2008, Derek realized that he had to spend even more time focusing on his current clients (and even less time networking and learning). Despite the financial hard times, Derek learned what would become the foundational lesson of CADRE: that creating meaningful relationships will always be more time-efficient and fruitful than simply collecting contacts. Thus, Derek and his wife Melanie founded CADRE in 2011 to provide elite professionals with opportunities to meet with and hear from similarly ambitious, dedicated, and exceptional peers.

In this episode, Derek shares his journey, some key client stories, and why he had to reconsider what “success” meant for him. Derek also talks about how to stand out from other financial advisors (or whatever field you’re in), and reveals some of his favorite email-enhancing tools that help him stay in touch with clients.

This interview is absolutely packed with excellent advice. Don’t miss out on all of Derek’s game-changing ideas!

Already heard it once or twice? Please leave a short review here, and tell me which guests I should have on!




  • What Derek’s initial work as a financial advisor taught him about networking. [3:03]
  • How Derek and his wife Melanie came up with the idea for CADRE. [6:35]
  • Why you should have pre-interviews with potential clients to avoid making exceptions that hurt your practice. [8:44]
  • The “Ultimate Tiebreaker” you can provide for your clients by be excellent at what you do. [11:45]
  • Why you should spend time learning about your client’s ideal clients. [18:41]
  • Why the client appreciation events Derek often hosts are key to his success (and that of his clients). [20:01]
  • The importance of being a resource for your clients, no matter their needs. [21:05]
  • Why you should think of yourself as your clients’ wingman when you’re at networking events. [26:42]
  • Why you should encourage your clients to invite guests to your events, and how to connect people for even more fruitful relationships. [27:05]
  • How your clients can make a better first impression on potential leads than you can on your own. [29:40]
  • How Derek improves the businesses of his clients by referring them to his network. [34:40]
  • Why asking your clients to invite peers to events where they meet other thought leaders is a much more effective way of generating leads.  [38:55]
  • Key apps and tools that Derek uses to keep in touch with clients. [45:12]
  • The story of Derek’s friend, Scott the Pool Guy, and how he marketed his way from near-bankruptcy to huge success. [53:02]
  • The books Derek often gifts to friends and clients. [60:33]
  • How Derek has recently revamped his morning routine and feels better than ever. [1:06:34]
  • Derek’s number-one piece of advice for success. [1:11:31]




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The information and opinions contained herein are provided by third parties and have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by Advisors Excel. The guest speaker is not affiliated with or sponsored by Advisors Excel. Results from the use of these concepts are no guarantee of your future success.

While client appreciation events may be permitted, such event should be reasonable and customary. All producers and investment advisors should be aware of any gifting limitations imposed by federal regulation, state regulation, insurance carriers, broker-dealers and Registered Investment Advisors, as applicable. Investment advisors are strongly encouraged to obtain pre-approval from the broker-dealer and/or Registered Investment Advisor with which they may be affiliated prior to implementing the concepts or strategies discussed in this interview.

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