Charles Faig, Prudential Securities, Short Hills, N.J.

When a new manager took over the Prudential Securities branch in Short Hills, N.J., Charles Faig's business began to soar.

"This is not a knock on the old manager because he was very good to me," Faig says. "But when you change from a 60-year-old manager looking to put in another year to a 45-year-old manager with a lot of positive energy, you have a chance to do what I did."

Faig doubled his production in two years, going from 600,000 dollars to 1.2 million dollars.

Joe Kehoe was just the champion Faig needed. "He's rare among managers," Faig says. "He has a 'we can do that' attitude. He says, 'Build your business anyway you want, and I'll support you with as much money and staff as I can.'"

It's the nonproductive distractions that hold brokers back. "So Joe keeps the day-to-day baloney to a minimum by building a support staff and infrastructure to keep the problems away from us brokers," Faig says. "There's a huge volume of people we deal with on a daily basis, and you have to have the support of a manager who says, 'I'll take care of that. Don't give it a second thought. Go about your day.'"

When Faig wanted to do a seminar or mailing, it was no problem. When he wanted to build business by flying 10 clients to a golf tournament, Kehoe found the money.

"If it makes sense, Joe's behind me," Faig says.

While Faig's business grew, his fear of losing clients intensified. If he and his assistant, Trina Mitsch, overlooked their current customers, they could bolt--especially given the good market.

So Faig and Mitsch put in more hours than they ever had before and began pampering their book like never before.

"After several years, sometimes you get away from [pampering clients]," he says. "Sometimes, they get lost in the shuffle of getting busier. ... We decided we wanted to be the people who were always there when they needed somebody, that we were the people calling them back when they had a question.

"We vowed to not lose anyone and, in fact, gain others [through referrals]," Faig adds. "It worked out."