I just returned from presenting at the SRI in the Rockies 2009 pre-conference event hosted for members of the First Affirmative Financial Network. I presented two breakout sessions for the group, one on using CRM systems to enhance relationship continuity with clients and one on increasing adviser productivity.
One of the tools I recommend in my productivity presentation is a service from Dropbox. Dropbox is a utility that synchronizes all files stored in the Dropbox folder on a computer with any of your other computers where the software is installed. It also has a web interface to browse, view, and download the files stored in the folder. The first 2GB of data stored on Dropbox is free; additional storage is available for a nominal fee.
When I checked in a few minutes before presenting my productivity session, I had a problem. The staff couldn’t find my slide materials on the presentation laptop. I did bring my laptop to the event, but it was in my hotel room at the opposite end of the facility, requiring a round-trip of at least 10 minutes.*
Instead, I pointed the laptop’s browser to the Dropbox website and logged in to my account. I selected my presentations folder and downloaded the latest version of my presentation, as Dropbox is always keeping my files synchronized across my computers.
In less than a minute, I went from crisis mode to crisis averted, and started the presentation right on time. It’s one thing to say how useful Dropbox can be to advisers, but providing real-world examples really drives the concept home.
*Yes, I could have carried a USB thumb drive with my slides, but thumb drives get lost and it takes extra time to make sure files on the drive are up to date.