Case Studies

Case Studies

Real Success Stories of Actual Coaching Clients

By: Joseph J. Lukacs, Success Coach to Top Producers

Case Study # 1

The case I present below is based on an actual client. The challenges, situation, and recommendations are all real. I have only changed the name of the person and omitted the firm name for confidentially reasons.

Background: Charles contacted me in July 1999. He has been in the industry since 1995 and as of July 1999 he was annualizing $250k in gross commissions and approximately $18m in total assets. Charles was doing business in the standard way. He got 95% of his clients from cold calling. He actively managed his client’s portfolio by recommending which security to buy or sell. And he was doing his own research for most of his recommendations.

Challenge: Charles contacted me because: He found he did not have the time or desire to effectively cold-call for new clients. He was getting bogged down in research and portfolio management and was not bringing in new assets. He came to work every day without a solid game plan and therefore was reactive all day. He did not feel he could grow his business effectively. Also, because of his poor time management, he did not have time to exercise and he spent less and less time with his family.

The Coach’s Recommendations: The first project Charles and I did was to establish his “ideal business model.” This was an exercise where he defined and detailed want he wanted out of his career and life. We defined things such as his ideal client, his ideal day, and what standards and goals he needed to have to make his plan a reality. Next, I asked Charles to decide if he wanted to be a portfolio manager or an advisor and assets gatherer. He was at the point of his career where he had to make a decision on his time allocation.

Charles decided that being an asset gatherer and advisor was the business model he wanted to develop, so we developed a 12-month game plan to systematically shift from being a stock picker to an advisor. A mistake many advisors make is to try to make a huge change all at once. By doing that you can jeopardize your business.

Implementation: First we agreed that Charles was not going to take on any new “trading” clients. Next, we set a goal of placing 25% of each client’s portfolio in some kind of “delegated – management” vehicle – mutual funds, UITs, or a money manager – in the next 12 months. I had Charles divide his clients into A-B-C categories. (It was very important to determine exactly where his business was coming from and uncover future opportunities with his current clients.)

Then we set up daily standards regarding the number of proactive client calls (5) and the number of times he proactively asks for referrals (3). We also created a list of clients he knew had assets with other firms.

Results: As of July 2000, Charles had $29m in total assets. He had $12m being “delegated – managed.” He averaged 10 referrals per month from his clients and had stopped cold calling altogether. He started getting involved with estate planning and writing insurance for his clients. He held his first client appreciation dinner in June which resulted in five new accounts and $1 million of additional assets from his clients.

Charles works on average 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday and a half-day on Friday. He has a 90-minute break each day for lunch and exercise. I estimate he will do between $350k-$400k in 2000.

Charles has increased his business, improved his health, and has time to spend with his family because his took action to improve his business by looking for guidance from a coach!

Case Study #2

The case presented below is based on an actual team of clients. The challenges, situations and recommendations are all real. The names of the people have been changed and the firm name has been omitted for confidentiality reasons.

Background: This team is at a national firm located in Atlanta, GA. In June of 2001, one of the senior members contacted me because he felt the team was not reaching its full potential. In 2000, the team grossed $1.5 million. After spending some time on a conference call, the focus shifted from working on becoming a better ‘team’ to becoming better individuals. In practice, a team is nothing more than a collection of people committed to the same goal or outcome. Detailed below is the process that was used in coaching each team member to develop his/her own personal development game plan.

Personal Development Game Plan: Each person’s plan is based on the following premises: The better someone is as a person, the better his/her business becomes. Each individual is 100-percent responsible for his/her own business. It’s up to each person to implement his/her personal plan.

Exercise: Each team member was asked to list three skills to acquire or improve upon in order to bring his/her business to the next level. There are nine team members, whom we will call Jim, Don, Pierce, Mike, Sam, Linda, Tom, Anne and Sid.

Organization and time management skills dominated the list. Paying more attention to health issues and learning ‘people skills’ such as communication and sales skills were next. Business and product knowledge, good old-fashioned discipline, networking skills and effective prioritization are vital to business success. Improving technical expertise and managing interruptions, as well as dealing with ‘overwhelm’ and over-commitment also cropped up. Good follow-through on commitments, consistency and dependability – any of these sound familiar?

Exercise: In the next step, each person’s three items was discussed, focusing on the skill that seemed to be the most challenging. What three strategies would help to conquer that particular challenge? Sid noted that communication and sales skills are the most challenging for him. He feels that practicing his conversational skills by listening to cassettes about different selling techniques would help. A great source for these materials is the Nightingale-Conant web site. Excellent courses there include Sales Magic by Kerry Johnson, who specializes in high-end sales and communications, and the Brian Tracy sales series. Influence and persuasion are what ‘sales skills’ are all about, so any conversation about sales skills will include them.

Anne has a difficult time focusing on her business plan. She decided that concentrating on two items, her existing clients and her list of prospects, would get her off to the right start. The prescription: Anne should organize her entire book of business – a task she immediately felt would be difficult. Increasing Anne’s energy levels would greatly improve her focus on organizing her book. It’s easy to see how our physical condition can affect our emotional and mental fitness.

Pierce says his primary challenge is presentation and communication skills. His strategy consists of educating himself on techniques, practicing those techniques and getting objective feedback from others. The prescription: Pierce should record his calls and match/mirror the person he is talking to. Pierce uses Bill Good tapes to get ‘good ideas.’ But there’s a difference in an idea and a strategy. An idea implies something different – ‘let’s do this, this is a good idea.’ A strategy brings about change.

Don’s biggest obstacle is discipline. He doesn’t have a system for managing his time. The prescription: create a game plan to stay on course. Business is about planning, prospecting, appointment setting, conducting the meeting, closing and then providing excellent client service. Don needs to make a grid, divide it into six boxes and list each area in a different box, then check off each activity each day after it’s accomplished. For Jim, increasing his product knowledge is the most difficult. If he carves out a block of time each day for reading and learning, he’ll be amazed how quickly his product knowledge will increase.

Tom spends too much time on his business plan. The prescription: instead of carving out an entire day to work on it, Tom should take about 30 days and think of goals that make sense, list each goal and review it. He should also create a grid of different areas of business he feels he needs to ‘hit’ every day, checking each item off as it is accomplished.

Linda feels that time constraints are particularly hard to manage. Hiring an assistant, negotiating priorities with her manager and improving the technology available to her at home are the strategies she intends to use. The prescription: Linda should make the development of technology at her home a priority in order to create more time for handling the other issues. Mike used to make a ‘To Do’ list every afternoon for the next day. Somehow, he fell out of that habit and needs to get back into it.

John also feels differentiating what’s ‘important’ and what’s ‘urgent’ is his main problem. Like Anne, if John will focus on increasing his energy level, it will help him have more clarity in managing his time. Also, making a grid like Don’s will keep things from becoming ‘urgent’ tomorrow by starting them today.

Wrapping it all up, there are four primary skill sets to focus on in a personal development plan. Being committed to personal and professional development is the first one. Set aside a minimum of five-percent of your income to invest back into your business.

Purchase tapes and attend seminars. Attend a motivational seminar twice each year. Write in a journal and read motivational books. Build a support structure with colleagues.

Talking ‘success,’ brainstorming, developing top-notch communication, sales and ‘people’ skills – this business can and should be fun. Truly enjoying people, clients as well as colleagues, is a magnet that attracts everyone. It is a skill that can be learned and that pays off in numerous ways, both personally and professionally. Increasing energy levels fosters efficiency and helps prioritization and time management. Investing in a speed-reading course and increasing technical knowledge will add hours to anyone’s day.

Continual self-evaluation in each of these areas will result in a new level of achievement.

Case Study #3

The case I present below is based on an actual client. The challenges, situation, and recommendations are all real. I have only changed the name of the person and omitted the firm name for confidentially reasons.

Background: Chip contacted me in January of 2000. He has been in the industry for 15 years and as of December 1999, his gross production was $525k and Chip had amassed approximately $87m in total assets all in standard transactional non-fee accounts. To the best of his knowledge, Chip has over 500 clients and over 1,000 accounts. Chip has been unsuccessfully trying to move more to a fee-based business. However, his lack of organization and a realistic game plan always drove him back to his “traditional” way of doing business. On a typical business day, Chip would receive approximately 30 inbound telephone calls. He would try to make outbound calls on a consistent basis but because of his lack of organization and the sheer number of his inbound calls he failed on a daily basis. This caused him to miss opportunities for his clients in the market and cost his client’s profits and himself commissions. Because of his low production, he has a full-time registered assistant that he shares with two other producers in his office. Chip did a poor job of managing and delegating tasks to her. He spent his day reacting to his business; in the last two years, he had seen very little growth in new assets and his gross production has declined because of commission discounts to his active clients and a lack of organization.

Challenge: Chip’s challenge is very common for advisors who are looking to transform their business from transaction/commission based to one of fee/advisory. They know they have to. They just do not know how to implement the change. Below I have listed some mistakes/challenges that hold an advisor back from making a successful transition to a fee-based business:

1. Not being personally organized.
2. Poor time management.
3. Lack of a written business plan and goals.
4. Fear they are going to ruin their business.
5. Lack of a business budget & personal budget.
6. A short-term approach or lack of patience.
7. Fear their client’s are going to reject the idea.
8. Addicted to the “action” of doing daily business.
9. Not clear on the value they bring to the client relationship.
10. Not having a compelling reason to change now. (I will do it later.)

Not being personally organized: Transitioning to a fee based business requires an advisor to wear two hats throughout the day. In addition, you have to call and set-up either physical meeting with clients or a telephone call to discuss the change in your relationship. If you are not organized, you will “default” back to the type of business and day you are comfortable.

Poor Time Management: You must be committed to being productive the entire working day. Personal calls, office chats, staring at your terminal will not give you the focus necessary to change. In addition, you may want to reevaluate your day and set aside time for planning and meeting preparation.

Lack of a written business plan and goals: If you are really serious about your business you must have an actionable, concise, and written business plan that outlines in detail your timelines and how you are going to make the transition.

Fear they are going to ruin their business: You cannot run your business or live your life in fear of what might happen. You must and should offer fee-based advisory service to all your clients. Let them tell you why they do not believe it would be in their best interest. I will guarantee you if you take no action you will ruin your business at some point in the future.

Lack of a business budget & personal budget: If you are running a business and are a financial advisor you must practice what you preach. Most advisor are afraid of the short term financial consequences of transitioning to a fee based business. If you financially plan and prepare for the transition, you will be more patient with the process and not panic at the first setback.

A short-term approach or lack of patience: When you are committed to making the transition plan on at least 12 months if not 18 – 24 months until you can fully say you run a fee-based business. We live in a “I want it now!” society. If you have this long-term believe and timeframe you are going to handle the inevitable setbacks and frustrations in stride and not abandon the process.

Fear their client’s are going to reject the idea: Most advisors are their own worst enemy when dealing with their own clients. If you position fee-based accounts property with the client and show them the advantages to working this way you will have a good if not great transition ratio. Do not pre-qualify your clients – let them decide.

Addicted to the “action” of doing daily business: If you have been in a transactional environment you probably measure your daily success in the amount of “gross” you do each day. Each day you buy and sell based on the markets and your clients. It is very easy to be hooked in the pursuit of daily action and immediate financial results. It can become such a strong addiction that it prevents you subconscious from changing.

Not clear on the value they bring to the client relationship: If you have been a stockbroker for your clients and not providing them financial advice and guidance this issue is one that can really hold you back. If you have asked yourself, “How am I going to justify my management fees?” Then you must sit down and create a client service plan that outlines all the proactive investment service you can bring to a client. You must be very clear internally with yourself as to your value as an advisor. If not you will never be able to articulate it with confidence to clients and prospects.

Not having a compelling reason to change now. (I will do it later.): If you keep procrastinating on getting started with transitioning your business, you probably say things to your self like; “I will try and call some clients to discuss fee-based accounts.” Alternatively, “I will try and write a plan to convert as much of my book as possible.” If you do not have a compelling reason then you need to find one and write it out and read it everyday. Here is the question you must ask yourself. “If I don’t start transitioning my business successfully now what is the worst that can happen?” Create a worst-case scenario, write it out, and read it each day. It must scare and disturb you to be effective.

The Coach’s Recommendations: When Chip contacted me, we discussed the need for him to set goals in writing and to commit to getting organized. In the past, he just showed up everyday at his office and reacted. I asked him to come write down in detail what he wanted his business to look like and function in three years. Next, Chip has over 500 clients, but he could not tell me who his top 50 relationships were. He managed his business with a desk calendar and various Rolodex cards with his clients’ information on them. I asked Chip to take two full days off and organize his book of business into A, B, and C groups. I told him we really needed to determine where his income came from. Next, I strongly recommended that he invest in contact management software (Act, Goldmine, Etc.) Chip needs to treat his business as a “real” business, which means using technology to improve his effectiveness and organization.

We developed a 24-month game plan to systematically shift from being a transactional stockbroker to a fee based financial advisor. This was an important step to demonstrate we were going to start slow and evolve into the new business model not make quick wholesale economically painful changes.

We also agreed we would “draw a line in the sand” and stop taking on any new clients unless they were agreeable to being fee based. This one decision is very crucial because it breaks the cycle of adding more transactional business to his book.

Implementation: Chip divided his clients into A-B-C categories, cleaned, and organized his office. (In addition to the two days, it took almost a week of blocking out two hours per day. This process was very important to determine exactly where his business was coming from and to uncover future opportunities with his current clients.)

Chip was comfortable using computers, so he purchased a contact management program and a notebook computer for his business He would start by hiring an intern or temp to input all the client data into the program. (In most cases it is better to hire out the initial process of inputting data to someone rather than to do it yourself. A temp should cost you no more than $20 an hour, whereas your time is worth at least $200 an hour – and you have more important tasks to do!)

We set a goal of increasing his ROA from 60% to 75% in the next 12 months. We would accomplish this by annualizing “dead money” and start moving his clients’ money into fee-based accounts.

I asked Chip to set a standard of setting one telephone or office appointment with a client to discuss working to a fee based arrangement. Most importantly, we started with those clients that have assets but to not create substantial commissions. Chip would practice his approach with these low risk clients and work up to the high commission high transactional clients.

I asked Chip to commit to meeting with his sales assistant every day in the morning to go over projects and tasks for the day. Chip needed to start delegating responsibility and minor tasks to his assistant.

One of the most challenging requests I made of Bill was to stop answering his own phone at certain times of the day. We decided to make afternoons our time to focus on converting our book while the mornings were used to attend to our traditional business. In essence, Chip would wear two hats each day.

Results:  As of December 2000, Chip has been able to move $10 million of assets from existing clients into fee-based accounts. Also, by sitting down with them and completing an investment plan for them Chip has gather an additional $2 million dollars from the first 20 clients he sat down with. (And unexpected bonus to the process.)

Chip has done an excellent using his contact manager and staying organized. He now comes into the office each day and prints out all his client calls, meetings, and commotion’s. He has developed a regular call schedule for all his clients. He feels – for the first time in years – that he has control of his business and life.

Case Study #4

The case I present below is based on an actual client. The challenges, situation, and recommendations are all real. I have only changed the name of the person and omitted the firm name for confidentially reasons.

Background: Bill contacted me in September of 2000. He has been in the industry since 1987 and as of September 2000, he was annualizing at $875k in gross commissions and approximately $135m in total assets. Bill had been trying to do more money managing. He had approximately $20m with outside managers and managed the rest himself. In addition, he personally managed his own portfolio, which was worth approximately $1.2m. On a typical day, Bill would receive between 25 and 30 inbound telephone calls and makes 10 to 20 outbound calls. He had a full-time registered assistant, but admitted he did a poor job of managing and delegating tasks to her. He spent his day reacting to his business; in the last three years, he had seen very little growth in new assets or his income.

Challenge: Bill contacted me because he felt that his business was out of control and he was not enjoying his career anymore. In addition, because he managed most of his clients’ money as well as his own portfolio, the recent market decline had taken a very large toll on Bill personally and professionally. He was being bogged down in research and portfolio management and was not bringing in new assets. His typical day began at 5 a.m. when he woke up and turned on CNBC to check the international markets. He arrived at his office by 7:30 a.m. and read the WSJ. He tried to make decisions on what to buy and what to sell. By 8:30 a.m. the phone would start to ring with clients’ calls.

Bill came to work every day without any game plan, and therefore was reactive all day. He did not feel he was in control of his business. If he was lucky, he might get home by 8 p.m. In addition, because of his poor time management, he did not have time to exercise. By his own admission, he was 30-40 pounds overweight and had not exercised or seen a doctor for a check-up and evaluation in years.

His relationship with his wife and two children was strained. Because he also managed his own money, he started to watch his own portfolio decline and that caused him to focus on his positions and stop running his business. He became very emotional and very negative toward his business and clients.

The Coach’s Recommendations: When Bill first contacted me, we discussed the need for him to set goals in writing. It had been a number of years since he had any set any goals in writing. This had caused Bill to just show up everyday at his office and see what happened. I asked him to come up with 10 personal and 10 business goals he is committed to accomplishing in the next 12 months. Next, Bill had over 800 accounts, but he could not tell me how many clients he had or what his top 50 relationships were. He managed his business with a desk calendar and various Rolodex cards with his clients’ information on them. I asked Bill to take one full day off and organize his book of business into A, B, and C groups. I told him we really needed to determine where his income came from. Next, I asked Bill to decide if he wanted to be a portfolio manager or an advisor and assets gatherer. He was at the point of his career where he had to make a decision on his time allocation.

Bill realized that being an asset gatherer and advisor was the business model he wanted to develop. It would allow him to focus on advising clients and serving them, versus running the money. We developed an 18-month game plan to systematically shift from being a stock picker to an advisor.

Two very important issues for Bill are his health and his relationship with his family. I spoke to him about my belief that this is a business very many like professional sports. You have to be in good physical shape to be at your best. In addition, I spoke about having a great life at home with one’s family. I have never met an advisor who told me it was worth sacrificing a family for a career.

Implementation: First, we agreed that Bill was going to make an appointment to see his physician for a complete physical and to get the green light to start an exercise program. Next, because he had never set any office hours, we agreed he would keep his office start time of 7:30 a.m. but he would leave no later than 6 p.m. We agreed that his daily schedule would include a 90-minute break mid-day for a light lunch and a workout. I told Bill he was not paid by the hour but by the results, he produced every day. This allowed him to stop worrying about not being in the office and “minding the store.”

Bill divided his clients into A-B-C categories. (This took almost a week of blocking out two hours per day. This process was very important to determine exactly where his business was coming from and to uncover future opportunities with his current clients.)

The next step was to bring Bill’s business into the 21st century. He was comfortable using computers, so that made the recommendation of purchasing a contact management program an easy one. He would start by hiring an intern or temporary worker to input all the client data into the program. (In most cases, it is better to hire out the initial process of inputting data to someone rather than to do it yourself. A temp should cost you no more than $20 an hour, whereas your time is worth at least $200 an hour – and you have more important tasks to do!)

The only marketing I wanted Bill to do was to ask his clients for referrals. Because he has $135m in assets but a gross production of “only” $875k, it was much more important to become very proactive and work his book more effectively. We set a goal of increasing his ROA from 64% to 75% in the next 12 months. We would accomplish this by annualizing “dead money” and looking for opportunities to move more of his clients’ money into fee-based accounts.

I asked Bill to commit to meeting with his sales assistant every day in the morning to go over projects and tasks for the day. Bill needed to do a better job of managing and delegating responsibility to his assistant.

The most challenging request I made of Bill was to stop answering his own phone every time it rang. I told him of the importance of letting his assistant screen all his calls and offer to help his clients first, leaving Bill to handle those tasks or requests only he could do. (Bill found this to be the most challenging habit to break, but with persistence and a coach, he was able to gradually overcome his addiction to answering his own telephone.)

I highly recommended that Bill put his own portfolio with outside managers so he could concentrate on running his business and serving his clients. If the mangers Bill selected were good enough for his clients then they should be good enough for his own money. (This also allows Bill to sell managed money very congruently because he practices what he preaches!)

Results:  As of December 1, 2000, Bill had lost over 15 pounds and feels great because he exercises every day at lunchtime. He had placed his own money with outside mangers. He never realized what a burden it was to manage his own money. Now he can focus on his business and serve his clients.

He has already been able to gather an additional $5 million in new assets from existing clients by sitting down with them and completing an investment plan for them. This has allowed Bill to act in the role of an investment advisor, not just a typical stockbroker.

Bill has taken well to using a contact manager. He now comes into the office and prints out all his client calls, meetings, and to-do’s. He has developed a regular call schedule for all his clients. He feels – for the first time in years – that he has control of his business and life.

Bill has stopped watching television in the morning and uses this time to read motivational books, review his goals and business plan, and work with his coach.

Bill has set some great goals for 2001. He is committed to over $1m in gross production next year, and to taking his family on vacation for the first time in over five years. He is also committed to getting in the greatest physical shape of his life. He has been able to strengthen his relationship with his spouse, so much so that they are planning to celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary by taking a second honeymoon.

Bill has increased his business, improved his health, and has time to spend with his family because his took action to improve his business by looking for guidance from a coach!

Case Study #5

Background: Jim contacted me in February 2001 because his business had been in decline since August of 2000. Jim works at a major wire house in Chicago. He has been in the industry since 1992, the entire time at the same firm. As of August 2000, his business had $75 million in assets (including $10 million in fee-based managed money). He had been averaging $45-$55 thousand per month in gross from January thru August 2000. Jim’s business consisted of mostly transactional clients, and he was in the process of converting some of their assets to managed fee accounts.

In August 2000, Jim took a much-needed two-week vacation with his wife and son. Because of his time out of the office and his business being transactional in nature. Jim’s production for the month of August was only $25 thousand.

From September thru December 2000, the market volatility caused Jim and most of his clients to be very cautious in buying and selling securities. His entire production for that time period was only $92 thousand. The real cost to Jim was his attitude. He became negative toward his business and clients. He focused on what the market was doing that day instead of calling his clients or doing any other marketing. Then throw in the unusual and prolonged presidential election for some added distraction. Each day Jim spent his usual 10 hours in the office, but all he watched was CNBC and CNN and obsessed over things he could not control.

By January, Jim was desperate. Because he had stopped being proactive with his business he had “forgotten” how to be successful and proactive. Add the fact that most of his office was in the same boat mentally and one can imagine how negative his working environment was. In January his production slipped to $9 thousand, an amount he had not seen since his first year in the business.

The Coach’s Recommendations: In February 2001, Jim contacted me. I agreed to be his coach with the stipulation we go back to square one and rebuild his business, and, more importantly, his attitude. Below is a brief outline of some key points of my game plan to “fix” Jim’s business.

1. Jim had to get leverage on himself to commit to doing whatever it took to get the results he needed. I had him write a paragraph on what would happen if he were not successful in rebuilding his business. It had to be real, scary, and painful to write, and to read it everyday. The “pain of loss” vs. the “pleasure of gain” motivates most people. Jim did an excellent job in describing what would happen if he did not change.

2. Jim had no goals or business plan for 2001, so the next step was to get down on paper what he wanted to accomplish. I had Jim come up with a list of 10 business and 10 personal goals he was “committed” to accomplishing in 2001. I asked him to focus in on “why” the goal was important to him. We would work together on the “how to.”

3. When I asked Jim what he did every day to create a motivated and positive attitude, he told me he watched the news or read the WSJ every morning. I told him his “ritual” had to go. We needed to create a daily success ritual for Jim; a process that would put him into the proper state of mind to go and execute daily. We agreed that on his way to the office every morning he would listen to motivational tapes in his car. When he got to his office he would review his goals and daily game plan. Also, he would limit his communication with the advisors in his office who were extremely negative about the market and the business.

4. I told Jim he had to get “external” and focus on helping his clients navigate thru the market volatility and their fears and concerns, and not stay “internal” and worry about the market or his business or himself. Jim had to get “external” and look to help other people who felt they had been abandoned by their advisor. This would become the basis of our new marketing plan.

5. Because of his “obsession” with the market, Jim never felt he had the time to exercise. Because of this, he had gained twenty pounds and his energy level was quite low. His lunch usually consisted of a fast-food burger, fries, and a shake. He agreed to my strong recommendation that he exercise every lunch break for sixty minutes and radically change his eating habits. I told him he did not get paid to sit at his desk in a “fast-food coma” each afternoon. Rather, he got paid to produce results, and those results would take energy to accomplish.

6. Jim needed to organize his clients into categories using a contact manager. The fact that Jim could not tell me how many clients he had was cause for concern. We needed to create a proactive contact schedule with each client. Also, we needed to identify those clients who had additional assets.

7. Jim would call ALL his clients to determine how best he could help and advise them. This was crucial to being proactive in contacting his clients due to the focused media attention on the market and monthly statements that were a cause for concern.

8. Each day Jim would have a list of clients to call along with other activities he would commit to each day. Below is a sample:

  1. Call 10 clients. (Review, referrals, new money)
  2. Ask for referrals 5 times.
  3. Set 2 review appointments with clients.
  4. Make 50 cold calls.
  5. Exercise.
  6. Plan the next day.

There would be other activities that would come up each day, of course, because of inbound client calls and mail. The above list is the PROACTIVE items that would get done each day.

9. Jim would get into his office at 7 a.m. each day and walk out no later that 6 p.m., even if he did not finish all his work. In addition if he got through his list early he would reward himself and go home early.

10. Jim would identify two clients each week to discuss and present the managed-money program to them. This is Jim’s long-term goal to create a fee-based managed advisory business.

Update: As of June 1, 2001, Jim had made tremendous strides in his business and life. In May his production was back to $51 thousand. More importantly he feels in control of his business and life for the first time in years. By being proactive and external he has consolidated many of his clients’ assets, gathered many referrals, and has placed $8 million dollars with private money managers. Jim’s energy level is great and he has lost 22 pounds. What was the turning point for Jim? He was dissatisfied with the current state of his business, and he took action to find the resources and support that would get him to the next level- he found a coach!

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