Since this is my first month writing the Coach’s Corner column I thought it would be a good idea to tell you a little about myself. Before I do, I’d like to thank Kelly Shaw who has been writing this column for over two years. I read his article monthly and always found it time well spent, utilizing many of his ideas in my own practice. So thanks Kelly, for the contribution you made and for all the knowledge you have provided for us over the years.

I am a Southern Californian guy who, of course, grew up surfing and still do. I graduated from California State University of Long Beach with a BS in Business Management and received my MBA from Pepperdine University. After completing the MBA program I changed career paths from hospital administration to financial services in 1987. I began my new career on the securities side of the business with a Series 6 and 63.1 also received my life license at the same time.

About seven years ago, I was developing my annual marketing plan and decided I really wanted to super-charge my business. I thought seminars would be a good thing to do. I had never done a public seminar before, but how hard could it be? I gathered information and went to every seminar I could. Some of these seminars were given by attorneys, accountants, financial advisors and even doctors. Every time I went to a new seminar I looked at the process they went through, the topics they presented and how they presented them.

After a few months of real-world education I was ready to begin my own series of seminars. At first the seminars produced marginal success. I was constantly trying new things and studying the results until I finally got it. This process took about eight months and a lot of money but I began setting appointments with 75 percent to 85 percent of the families attending the seminar. It seemed I had the key to success, yet was not converting as many of the prospects to clients I thought we should. By analyzing the appointment process, I developed a system to convert a very high percentage of the prospects to clients. Finally, a truly successful seminar and appointment process that worked every time without exception.

As I write this article I’m working on a new referral program. I’ve tried many different programs and none have really worked for me, so I am creating my own. So far I’ve had three client focus group meetings and have received just shy of 100 referrals. I’m pleased with the results but not satisfied. I know that my clients want to refer me just as your clients want to refer to you; they just don’t know how. Once I perfect this new process I expect to have received another 200 referrals by year’s end.

I have a lot to share with you and am really looking forward to providing real world strategies that actually work and will help you build your business.

Oops — I think that I just completed my first Coach’s Corner column without giving any specific information you can use, but I promise that each month there will be useful information and strategies you can easily implement in your practice.

Don’t miss Craig Randall at Senior Market Advisor Expo, Aug. 20-22. Visit www.seniormarketexpo.com for details.