9 months into the year we all look back and wonder where it went. October 1 signifies the start of The Mad Dash. In many firms and companies also known as Q4. This is the money quarter.
When I do sales training with companies and look over their yearly revenues you would simply be amazed at the spike (hopefully) in business that is directly related to Q4. Typically though, it is the highest revenue, but lowest margin quarter. It’s what gives management grey hair, and gives the producers a time line to clear out bad opportunities, close good ones, secure revenue, and end with the bonus that you had worked for.
With the shorter timeline, how do you optimize that time to get the most out of your business and maximize your bonus?
The good news is that you have 9 months of data to go off of.
- Determine what has worked and what hasn’t from your business plan for 2011. The stuff that hasn’t, stop doing, and put your time and resources into the stuff that has.
- Recalibrate billing vs. collection. When I talk with attorneys about their “book” I always hear a billed hour number. If there is a gulf between those two items you are working for free and with such little time to optimize your bonus it’s time to collect and spend time toward things that optimize your plan.
- Clean out your pipeline. Those institutional opportunities that you started the year with and saw stalled into summer, clear them out if you are still working on them. If they haven’t seen the value in securing your services by now, let someone else waste their time on them.
- Talk with your clients. It’s been a tough time for everybody. Learn things about them that you didn’t before. Be more than a bill they get. Help where you can. Ask for referrals. Be an investment for them, not a cost. If you are a cost, Q4 is when they will start figuring out if they can get your service cheaper next year It costs 85% more to develop a new client than to keep an existing client. Just spoke with an attorney who had a 1.1 million dollar book and lost a client of 23 years that made up about 700k of that. Think you are irreplaceable..?
- Meet with other practice area leaders. Is there work for their clients that you could be handling or vice versa? This is low hanging fruit. Depending on your comp plan this could be the difference between a good bonus and a great bonus.
Feel free to contact me at: Andrew@Wilcox-legal.com, 850-893-8984