The summer is coming to an end, and so are long weekends, rooftop happy hours, and casual attire. Why can’t we live in a year-round summer mindset?

For many, this time of year is an inflection point, and a time to strategize on finishing the year off strong. Before Q4 starts, plan for what you will do to finish the year off as you originally planned. Where do you stand against your projected goals? What opportunities are still on the table that are quick wins for you?

Review the recommendations below and plan for 5 actions to take today.

  1. Visit your client at his office. Request a tour of the facility, building, etc. Stop taking your clients to lunch, drinks, games. When you visit them in their space, you meet new contacts, further relationships within the company. What do your clients need? What do they question? What do they really want to get off their plate?
  2. Offer value to your client without charging for your time. Deliver a Lunch and Learn to employees. If your expertise is employment law, offer hiring and HR managers a discussion on what not to do in the interview process. What can you offer them that will help them, and strengthen your relationship with your client?
  3. Introduce your client to someone who will benefit her personally or professionally. What do you know about your client? Are they looking to sit on a non-profit board? Consider your own network, and who is looking for new people to serve. Make the introduction. Offer value.
  4. Ask for the business. You’ve been working with a client for over a year. You have a great relationship where you understand her needs, respond quickly, and know what she values. This is the time to ask how else you can help her. How else can your firm help your client? Who else in the industry and community should you know (and she can introduce you to)?
  5. Improve your value proposition. How do you stand out from your colleagues? Don’t state the obvious that you are responsive and ethical. (I should hope at the very least you are!) This is something you need to tailor to each client and prospect. What are their needs and how will you meet those needs? What are your unique strengths? Where is your expertise? Make it relevant, specific, and unique.

Considering the recommendations above, what are 5 actions you can take? Some idea joggers to get you started:

  • Contact [Client] to schedule a tour of his facility
  • Schedule a Lunch and Learn with [Client] on [topic]
  • Make a mutually beneficial introduction to [Client]
  • Ask for a referral from [Client] for additional work (What else are you struggling with?), or an introduction to someone else in the industry (Who else is struggling with this issue?)
  • Practice your value proposition with a colleague. Ask her to repeat it to get a sense of how you are being heard.

Don’t wait until the start of the fourth quarter (October 1!) to start planning on finishing the year strong. Start now.

What have you done in the past to finish the year off strong? What has worked well for you in the past? What will you duplicate this year?