John Williams, A.G. Edwards, Paducah, Ky.
Outside of his work, music and religion are John Williams' primary interests. So when he decided to make a concerted effort to double his production from 250,000 dollars, he aimed to tie the three together.
"It was a blinding flash of the obvious," Williams says.
He figured that if he became more deeply involved in his passions, he would meet more people and be more productive. He became president of the town's symphony orchestra and president of his church group.
"I call it 'playing in traffic,'" he says. "If you play in traffic, you're bound to get hit."
He got hit to the tune of more than 260,000 dollars--the amount of additional production he generated in a little more than one year.
Williams detests the idea of sounding like "a mercenary" because he says that's not his character. "The relationships I develop in this community are what dr ive my business," he says.
In fact, Williams already knew the value of close ties with clients. Before embarking on doubling his production, he reviewed his business and discovered that 80 percent of his book was comprised of people with whom he had a strong relationship--particularly the top 40 percent.
"The second 40 percent was directly related to the first 40 percent," he says. "From that I realized I had to take care of the first 40 percent in order to drive the second 40 percent."
Besides getting more involved in the symphony and at church, Williams reorganized his approach in contacting clients. No more e-mail. He sends only handwritten, personalized notes "so the client knows it came from me directly," he says.
"There's a big difference between a standard letter or e-mail and a personalized note or letter," Williams says. "It's obvious to me that people appreciate a personalized note more than anything."
He's also on a strict schedule with his client contact. Williams' book is broken into different segments based on the appropriate frequency of contact--monthly, quarterly, semiannually or annually.
"When I come in every morning, our technological system shows me the clients I need to address that day," Williams says. "Then I choose the way I want to communicate." He picks up a pen or the phone, never touching the keyboard.