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Volume 6, Issue 12  
In This Issue...
(click on any title to read its content)



Make Your Resolutions Stick

Individual and Team Coaching

Scheduling Kip to Speak

Take a Look Inside...


Visit the Winning Clients companion Web site.

See what others are saying about the book.

Hi -

Happy New Year!

As I write this, the final hours of 2006 are winding down and the focus shifting to what the coming year will bring... a natural occasion to be thinking about things like change and New Year's resolutions.

This month's Tip addresses both. I hope you'll take a few minutes to read and reflect on it. To paraphrase an old saying, when you're ready to resume climbing the ladder of success, it pays to be sure it's leaning against the right wall.


How to Make Your New Year's Resolutions Stick

Understanding the process of initiating lasting change

New Year's and resolutions -- the two go hand in hand.

Do you make them yourself? Research shows 4 in 10 of us do; some business-related, most individual.

Three quarters last a week, two-thirds a full month, and a little less than half (46%) until the middle of the year or beyond. Put another way that means 20% of those who say they'll make an adjustment of some kind actually follow through and do so.

So how do you increase your chances of being among the 20% who succeed? According to John Norcross, a psychology professor at the University of Scranton who's studied the issue closely, the answer is committing to identifying specific adjustments needed and a plan for making them. Do that, and you're ten times more likely to complete a change than those who never get beyond the "I've got to do something differently" stage.

Norcross and two colleagues co-authored the book, Changing for Good. Based on research they conducted, it outlines six discreet steps in the change process: you're aware you should, but not yet ready to (pre-contemplation), you start actively thinking about it (contemplation), you develop a plan (preparation), you do what needs to be done (take action), you stick with it (maintenance), and you complete the work (termination).

My guess is your challenge isn't figuring out what needs to be done, you already know that -- keeping in closer contact with clients, communicating and delegating more effectively within your office, taking advantage of the technology you own, whatever's relevant. The real problem is taking those first few "doing" steps… or more precisely, figuring out what those first few steps are, and then taking them. That's why it didn't surprise me when close to 600 people downloaded the work flow worksheet I highlighted in last month's issue. (I don't want to build the car, Kip, I just want to drive it.)

That appetite for guidance in smoothing the road to improvement is why I want to share one more tool with you this holiday season: a self-assessment questionnaire, designed for taking stock of your situation and what aspects of your business need your attention. Clients tell me they find it helpful in focusing on what really matters. Fill it out on your own, or share it with your team. If it prompts you to contact me about working together, great; either way, use it with my best wishes.

One final suggestion: Take a look at the online services offered by the folks at 37signals.com. Their Basecamp project management collaboration tool and Backpack information organizer are two in particular worth your consideration. They are easy-to-use, affordable ways for you to map out and execute your strategy for making 2007 your best year yet.

Take care, and let me know how I can help you. I wish you a happy, healthy, successful 2007.


Ways We Can Help You Improve Results

One-on-One and Team Coaching

If you'd like a faster, straighter, more dependable route to your next level of success... or you're not reaching your full potential and any of the following are challenges for you... we should talk:

  • Finding and fixing productivity leaks - minimizing the time you lose to email, putting a stop to recreating information you know you already have, locating what you need online faster, and delivering on follow-up commitments more efficiently are just a few examples

  • Defining sales and service processes – from contact to contract to ongoing care and feeding of clients… understanding who does what when, and where technology fits (or could fit) into the picture

  • Developing a marketing communication strategy and calendar – mapping out an annual plan for keeping in touch with and in front of clients, prospects, centers of influence, and the media

  • Cultivating referrals from current clients – strategies and tactics for expanding your business with help from those who know it best

  • Designing a step-by-step improvement plan for strengthening key aspects of your business - identifying opportunities and developing work flows in designated areas of the practice

  • Team building and successful delegation – defining the vision, setting expectations, identifying desired results, managing the process, and the tools that make it easier
Those are just a few ways I can help you. There are others. Together we'll decide what to concentrate on after you share your completed assessment questionnaire.

And it's not all talk. We'll roll up our sleeves to address specific objectives and develop practical ways of achieving them -- through smarter use of people, process, and personal technology -- focusing everywhere possible on executing those strategies using resources you already own.

We'll also draw on a variety of proprietary tools -- forms, worksheets, databases, and online conferencing (all available at http://gregory-group.webexone.com) -- designed to help you reach your next level of success.

Sessions run roughly an hour on whatever schedule works for you… all in the comfort and convenience of your office. Which means everyone on your team can participate. There's no travel expense or time lost in traffic, and no nights spent in a "bootcamp" hotel room.

Interested? Email or call me now (202-364-6913) and let's visit.

Remember, the results you're seeking won't happen on their own.

Keynote, Breakout, and Workshop Speaking

Please keep me in mind if you're involved in booking or recommending speakers for corporate sales or due diligence meetings, or national or chapter events for industry groups you're involved with. I can show you how to increase your meeting ROI by delivering tangible, value-added content that participants can take back to the office and put to work immediately.

Here's a quick sampling of the presentations I can deliver.

Leveraging Technology to Build Your Business

Looking to increase productivity and profits using technology you already own? Discover easy, practical ways to unlock the power of your PC and the Internet to save time and increase effectiveness. Learn how to: 1. permanently conquer information overload with a simple system for cataloging important information, 2. build a systematic, measurable, and repeatable roadmap to success, and, 3. put an hour of selling time back into every day by taming your email inbox. You'll come away from this session with easy-to-implement, inexpensive tactics you can take back to the office and put to work immediately!

Topics include:

  • Understanding your productivity gap… and how to close it

  • The 80/20 rule of information - how to keep what's critical at your fingertips

  • A simple approach to creating your team's process playbook

  • Developing a 30-day improvement game plan

  • Eliminating email overload -- managing your message flow (optional)
Making the Web Work for Advisors

Smarter use of the Internet can enhance virtually every aspect of your advisory practice. Yet many advisors see the Web only as a way of getting email, stock quotes, and sports scores. This session will open your eyes to the amazing business development power the Internet offers. Full of practical, ready-to-implement ideas, it is designed specifically to address challenges financial advisors face in growing and maintaining client relationships. (Please note: it is not about designing Web sites). Come learn what you need to know to leverage the Web to find, win, and keep clients faster and with less frustration.

Topics include:
  • How to become a subject matter expert on any audience in an hour or less

  • Five steps to implementing a low-cost, high-impact marketing communication strategy

  • Building custom leads lists on the fly and on a budget

  • Quick tips for speeding up your searches and going online to locate money in motion

  • Using alert services to track news on clients, competitors, and centers of influence
Achieving Breakthroughs Systematically - Strategies for Small Teams and Individual Producers

The right mix of people, planning, process, and technology can dramatically improve results. But figuring out what's needed and how to implement change isn't easy, especially when you work alone or lead a small team. In this session, you'll learn how to build effective marketing, prospecting, servicing, and other business management systems that leverage tools you already own. You'll also be introduced to a handpicked selection of inexpensive, readily-available software and low-overhead talent resources that will free you up to focus on what you do best… bringing in assets and helping clients achieve their financial goals.

Topics include:
  • How to identify your highest priority breakthrough opportunities

  • A three-step improvement process

  • Understanding technology's role in systemizing your business

  • Where and how to find reliable talent when outsourcing tasks
101 Ways to Get Closer to Clients - Communicating Effectively in the Digital Age

Too often advisors overlook the importance of regular contact in fostering and retaining loyal clients. This presentation lays out a how to build your communication competency by focusing on three key factors: getting to know your audience's needs, creating easy-to-use mechanisms for keeping in touch, and delivering relevant content regularly.

Topics include:
  • Assessing and improving your current communication effectiveness

  • The role of e-mail in effective client management

  • How the affluent utilize the Internet and ways you can capitalize on that activity

  • How to create lasting impressions through life event contact

  • Innovative ways to work the Web to stay in touch with people you're targeting
Email or call me at 202.364.6913 to explore how I'll assist you in getting more mileage from your event. I'd be happy to schedule a webinar with your and your colleagues to see and hear my material firsthand.

Got a tip you'd like to share? Or a topic you'd like to see covered in a future issue? Email me your ideas.

Until next time wishing you all the best,

Kip Gregory

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The Gregory Group:
Teaching Clients to Leverage Their Time, Talent, and Technology to Increase Productivity and Profit
202.364.6913

http://www.kipgregory.com

© 2006 Kip Gregory. All Rights Reserved. Reproducing or republishing this content either electronically or in print without prior permission is prohibited.