Practice management expert Kip Gregory, author of Winning Clients in a Wired World, offered strategies for getting more done in less time to attendees of IMCA’s practice management conference on Monday:
- Follow through faster. When you meet with a client or prospect, don’t wait until the next day or the end of the week to send a follow-up message thanking them for their time and offering next steps. Instead, send a message from your BlackBerry or iPhone in just a few seconds (read more below on how to accomplish this).
- Reduce time spent on e-mail. Sifting through e-mail, according to Gregory, is the No. 1 productivity killer.
- Catalog your knowledge. Warehouse your most important material so you can access it instantly.
Contrary to customary conference protocol, Gregory encouraged attendees to get out their BlackBerries. Then he taught everyone how to set up auto text functions, which enable you to simply type a few characters to have a brief thank-you message appear in a new e-mail that can be customized for individual clients. What about iPhone users? A few 99-cent apps will do the same thing (EasyWriterPro and ShortHand).
To reduce the time you spend on e-mail, Gregory recommends unsubscribing from all unnecessary lists, setting up a secondary address for non-critical information, and using rules, tags and folders in Outlook to help manage the flow of e-mail.
He also encouraged attendees to start a knowledge journal—a place where you catalog your most important material—including notes from industry conferences, your marketing calendar, office procedures, etc. For an idea of what this looks like, download a sample journal file at www.winningclients.com/forms.php.
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Financial Planning Association