Are your summary letters 95% done BEFORE you meet with your clients?

You meet with clients, you take notes, and then you send a summary letter or email to your clients. Maybe you spend 30 minutes, or more, typing up that letter in its entirety. 30 minutes at the end of every meeting. With every client.

These letters can become a huge bottleneck in your practice. You may not be excited about doing it. Typing up a summary doesn’t utilize your best skills. It doesn’t help you procure your next client. It doesn’t even earn you any money.

But it works; you’ve always done it that way. It’s comfortable. And, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, right?

Maybe not. Sometimes you need to change, or even break, working systems to make your entire practice more efficient, and more enjoyable to you.

Consider using a pre-formatted summary letter. Pre-formatted letters give you direction and focus for your client meetings. Previous meeting summary letters can be sent to your client before the next meeting to remind you both of important action items, and to track your progress with that client. Using a pre-formatted letter saves you time, and makes you appear more responsive to your clients, which gives them a better feeling about your practice.

Look over a few of your previous summary letters. Note what information they all have in common. Note which paragraphs, sentences, and even catch-phrases you commonly use. Use those commonalities to create a “shell” letter. Work with the grammar nerd in your office to create boilerplate text. Work with the design or organization guru in your office to organize the boilerplate information. Create blank spaces for information that must be customized for each client, such as action items, recommendations, OST, PMT, or brokerage (what are these things?).

Before each client meeting, you can assign the task of filling out those blanks to a part-time or college employee. After each meeting, you make any updates or changes, and mail it to your client.

By creating a template summary letter, you can have 85% of the information complete before your next meeting. By assigning the task of filling in current information to an employee, your summary letter becomes 95% complete. The 30 minutes you used to spend writing a letter from scratch can be dropped down to less than five. What was once a bottleneck has now become streamlined and efficient.

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