When I was growing up here in Michigan, we spent a lot of time in the summer vacationing at our cottage.  We had glorious sand dunes that tilted right into Lake Michigan.  Instead of just running into the lake, we would climb half-way up the dunes … and then run headlong down the steep incline … the momentum throwing us farther out into the lake.

In our businesses, we tend to think of the fourth quarter of the year as our last shot at achieving our yearly goals.  We focus on driving hard to make the most of the time left to move the revenue needle forward as far as we can.  At times, a hint of desperation creeps into our interactions with potential clients and other times we push harder than we normally would feel comfortable doing.  I don’t know about you, but that’s not the way I want to support my new clients.

The 4th quarter is so much more than finishing strong for this year (although that in itself is a solid idea).  The fourth quarter is also the perfect time to gather momentum to launch you into a great first quarter of next year.  It’s the perfect time set yourself up for an amazing first quarter.

I can hear your brains pushing back.  “But Ruth, how can I have one focus … if I’m to split my attention between gaining a new client and just deepening the relationship with that potential new client?  How will I know when to offer my services or grow the relationship?”

Of course.  Great question.

But here’s the thing.  There IS one focus that will move you toward both your end of the year goals and your needed momentum for the coming year.

Ask yourself this question:  “What’s the next, BEST step for my potential client?”

Given their mindset, their pain point, their challenges, and their situation, what’s the BEST way to move them forward right now?

Think it through.  Should you talk about benefits, or handle an objection?  Should you ask for a decision, or help them get clarity about the solution they are looking for?

Look at your 4th quarter from the perspective of moving each client, each potential new client, each referral partner … just one step closer to their goal.

Find your sand dune and climb it.  You’ll rock your fourth quarter and launch your first quarter all at the same time.