Following my recent lunch with a prospect, now client, I utilized a number of technology tools to make this process easy for him and less time consuming for myself. While I mention specific software packages that I use, there are many others that do the same thing.

Prior to the meeting, I had set up a Dropbox folder that contained my ADV and Privacy policy. Once he had given me the best email address to contact him, I shared the Dropbox folder with him, also letting him know that this would be the way we would transfer documents to each other.

Once I got back to my home office, I entered his details into my CRM and then went to my browser and to Adobe Echosign to send out a contract (I could have sent the contract straight from my CRM but I haven’t paid for that integration yet). I entered his details, the guidelines and budget of our hourly work, and sent him the contract.

With Echosign, it requires someone to click to add his or her signature and initials, and once it’s complete, I get notified to e-sign. Once I’ve e-signed, we both get copies emailed to us, and I can put it in his Dropbox folder for easy access. Last but not least, I gave him the link to my calendar (via TimeTrade) for our next appointment. Instead of going back and forth via email or phone, he can see when I’m available and choose a time that is most appropriate for him.

I acknowledge that not everyone will be a fan of using this much technology, and it may be a learning curve for some people. However, the type of people I’m looking to work with are not turned off by technology, and if they are, then we not the right fit.

Dave Grant, CFP, a Financial Planning columnist, is the founder of Cary, Ill.-based planning firm Finance for Teachers. He’s also the founder of Fee Only Consulting, which focuses on developing the skills of Gen Y planners. In addition, he’s the founder of NAPFA Genesis, a networking group for young, fee-only planners.

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