The first (business) day of theNew Year can seem daunting. It's also the opportunity for a newstart. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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Many agents and advisors dread the start of the New Year – 'back to zero again.'

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If you do lots of transactional business, you might feel likethat guy in Greek mythology who had to push a big rock up the hillall the time, Sisyphus.  Where do I start?  Whatdo I do? These 10 tips are commonsense ideas to get yougoing.

1.  Rejoice.

Today, you are not behind. Like at the racetrack, allthe horses are at the same starting gate. The biggest producer inthe firm and you are starting alongside each other. Put anotherway, if every day starts out as a blank canvas, today the entireyear is a blank canvas.

2.  Start scheduling reviews.

You have clients.  They own stuff.  Some iswith you.  You might be “their insurance guy.” They do other business too.  Unfortunately, they don't seeyou in that other context.  However, you don't know ifthey like the person or firm providing that otherservice.  Sit down with each client.  Reviewtheir relationship.  Ask how those assets held away aredoing.  Have they had a review over there yet?

3.  Ask for more money.

Reviews are the logical time to make this suggestion, but it canbe a simple phone call too.  The arrival of the New Yearis a time for reflection.  What am I going to change goingforward?  Prospects and clients think this waytoo.   Call people with an idea.  Smilewhen you speak.  It comes across on the phone. Present an idea.  Ask for a specific amount ofmoney.  See what happens.

4.  Pull out your dead leads file.

OK, maybe they are inactive prospects.  You tried andgave up on them sometime last year.  Pull out a piece ofpaper and start thinking: “What can I do to get back on theirradar?  Call with an idea?  Start a dripmarketing campaign?  Send your newsletter, asking if theywould like to continue getting them?  These folks wantedsomething once, otherwise they wouldn't be leads.  Didthey get their problem solved?

5.  Call up your lost sheep.

You lost some clients during the year.  They decided tobuy online.  They found a cheaper provider.  Theyleft for a competitor.  Often people are given anidealized version of what life will be like if they move. Reality sets in.  Call them up.  Acknowledge theyhad their reasons for moving.  Did everything work out asthey hoped?  Let them know they were an importantclient.  You wanted to be sure they were OK. This might be the first step that brings them back. “Actually, it didn't work out…” (A New York advisor came up withthis one!)

6.  Clean off your desk.

Then move onto the area around your desk.  Throw outold stuff you don't need.  Clear the entire desksurface.  Use a cleaner.  Clean your computerscreen too.  It's a great way to start the NewYear.  It looks professional when clients and prospectsvisit.  It helps clear your mind too.

7.  Change your pictures.

Changing your surroundings gives things a fresh look. Replace the picture of your children with an updated one. Maybe put a big family picture on your wall.  Clients andprospects like talking about family.  As a West Coastadvisor explained, when you talk about your time at the firm, thenumber of years you've been married and the age of your children,it communicates stability.  Clients want that.

8. Develop a serious LinkedIn strategy.

Pledge to commit some time each day (before or after hours) toposting, commenting and building your network.  You've gota tool that can help build name recognition, maybe position you asa subject matter expert.  The cost is probably minimal,except for your time.

9.  Find a new place for lunch.

Maybe you eat at your desk.  Why?  Will youmeet any people who want to do business? Unlikely.  Find an eatery that attracts the type of peoplewho could become clients.  It can be as simple as a coffeeshop, diner or luncheonette.  Go daily.  Makesmall talk with the people around you.

10.  Get ready to bid on business.

Companies send out Requests for Proposals (RFPs) when decidingto stay with or change service providers.  You've triedgetting their business before.  Can you learn when theystart this process?  Build a list.  Setreminders.  Get yourself into consideration.

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The first day of the New Year can seem daunting.  It'salso the opportunity for a new start.

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Bryce Sanders is president of PerceptiveBusiness Solutions Inc.  He provides HNW clientacquisition training for the financial services industry. His book, “Captivating the Wealthy Investor” can be found onAmazon.

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Bryce Sanders

Bryce Sanders, president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc., has provided training for the financial services industry on high-net-worth client acquisition since 2001. He trains financial professionals on how to identify prospects within the wealthiest 2%-5% of their market, where to meet and socialize with them, how to talk with wealthy people and develop personal relationships, and how to transform wealthy friends into clients. Bryce spent 14 years with a major financial services firm as a successful financial advisor, two years as a district sales manager and four years as a home office manager. He developed personal relationships within the HNW community through his past involvement as a Trustee of the James A. Michener Art Museum, Board of Associates for the Bucks County Chapter of the Fox Chase Cancer Center, Board of Trustees for Stevens Institute of Technology and as a church lector. Bryce has been published in American City Business Journals, Barrons, InsuranceNewsNet, BenefitsPro, The Register, MDRT Round the Table, MDRT Blog, accountingweb.com, Advisorpedia and Horsesmouth.com. In Canada, his articles have appeared in Wealth Professional. He is the author of the book “Captivating the Wealthy Investor.”