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How to Make a Big Impact in the First 10 Minutes of Your Day

April 30th, 2013

by Dan Richards

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

Dan Richards

Can changing how you spend the first 10 minutes of your day make a big impact on your business? For one advisor who altered his routine in January, the answer is a definitive yes.

At a recent conference, I had a conversation with an advisor name David based in Chicago who’d been on a panel of top producers. I asked David a question I’ll often use when meeting an advisor for the first time: “What’s working for you these days?”

His answer provided an important lesson for others in the business:

In January I changed how I spend the first 10 minutes of my day to do one thing differently,” David said.

I’ve had a great response from clients and my productivity has gone up significantly as a result.”

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A small change that made a big difference

In December, David read an article about 10 proven ways to communicate more effectively with clients. One of the suggestions in the article was sending clients hand-written thank you notes after meetings.

This was not a new idea” he told me “ far from it. I’ve been in the business 20 years and have come across this suggestion at least 100 times. The difference was that this time I decided to do something about it.

I did three things to make this happen:

  1. I visited a stationery shop and bought five boxes of really nice, high quality thank-you notes, this was right after Christmas so I got them on sale. I paid $120 for 100 cards. Then I went to the post office to buy stamps for the cards, because they were an odd size each stamp cost me $1.40.

  2. I asked my assistant before she left each day to put three cards on my desk and to print off a list of clients whose birthday was coming up in 10 days time.

  3. Finally and perhaps most important, I went into the calendar on my computer and I blocked off the first 10 minutes each day to write three thank-you notes.

Now when I come into the office in the morning, before I get my coffee and before I turn on my computer, I take 10 minutes to write three thank-you notes to clients. These can be clients who I’ve just met with or spoken to on the phone or who have birthdays coming up. Or maybe someone’s kid has gotten into university or they’ve had a grandchild.”

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