Walter Cash, A.G. Edwards, Pine Bluff, Ark.

Walter Cash's frustration with his business had peaked. So he sought some advice. He contacted John Hagedorn, vice president and manager of continuing education at A.G. Edwards, for help.

"I had plateaued," Cash says. "I had to find a new way of being more productive."

So Hagedorn asked Cash to write down what he did on a daily basis. It turned out that Cash was wasting a lot of his time on unnecessary tasks.

"I was engaging in activities that didn't correlate to increased production," Cash says. He started off each day by charting stocks and reading research reports--"a pure waste of time," he says. "It's fun and interesting, but the place to do that was at home, not during work hours."

Hagedorn recommended that Cash delete that activity from his docket and set a new priority--to contact 30 clients each day with sales-related calls.

"He wanted me to turn the momentum I was already using in a different direction--orient it toward getting my production up," Cash says. "All it boiled down to was more client contact."

Cash also needed to sell additional products. "Walter had a wonderful client base but, in my perspective, he wasn't offering clients the full range of products," Hagedorn says. "I told Walter to identify what other needs his existing clients had.

"After making sure Walter was on top of his game, we had him inform clients that he had a broader range of full-service products," Hagedorn explains.

Clients heard about the firm's Spectrum program, a fee-based fund allocation program. "It's a more proactive approach," Cash says. And he showed them some defined portfolio unit investment trusts, like the five highest-yielding Dow stocks.

As a result, Cash's production doubled to 600,000 dollars from 300,000 dollars in 18 months.

"By broadening my product base, I found that many of my clients were happier," Cash says. They were looking for more options. Presenting alternatives gave "clients a sense that I'm more in touch with what's out there," he adds.

"I was always involved with my clients, but not as involved as I am now," Cash says.