QUESTION: What is your best recommendation for planning your day? I am a $625,000 biller and mostly work contingency searches. Could you please share specific techniques, start of the day to the end, “do’s and don’ts”, and the best time for client development. Also, would it be helpful if I also worked on a Saturday or a Sunday? If yes, what kind of recruiting activities would you recommend? My goal is to book $1 million so I am not shy about putting in the hours. – George, Memphis, TN
ANSWER: When I ran my recruiting business, I would take the weekends off. I think you need space away from this business. Everything and every mentor I have studied, productivity habits, and all these books and things I have read, if you grind those gears 7 days a week – you can do it for sprints, do not get me wrong – but to say you are going to do that for the next 52 weeks, work weekends so you can get to $1 million, I would say, if you can bill $600,000 on contingency on your own, all due respect, you are being incredibly cheap with yourself by not hiring a couple of people to do sourcing for you. Hiring a researcher or sourcer will take you to $1.2 at a cost of maybe $150,000 in salary and commission.
Another way to dramatically increase your fees is to get retainers. You said you are working on contingency. That tells me that more than half the openings probably are not getting filled. What if you liberated 30% of your time, knowing that you were going to make the placements? As somebody who bills that much, you probably have a very strong reputation with companies and would be able to pull it off. It is not that hard when you follow the right process.
Honestly, the best time for client development is probably not Monday morning or Friday afternoon. I mixed it up to mix up my day a little bit, honestly. I did some business development in the afternoon after lunch, and I had some great responses. I did it in the morning, and I have not had anyone come to me, and I oversaw 22 people in my office where they said the sweet spot is here. I think you want to do it so you can be productive.
A specific productivity technique I swear by is to work in blocks of time. I would do sprints of marketing or recruiting from anywhere from 30 minutes to no more than 90 minutes. In the next 30 minutes, all I am going to do is work on this list. For the next 45 minutes, all I am going to do is work on this list. Then give yourself 10 or 15-minutes breaks. Those are probably some of the best productivity techniques I can give you.
Reading between the lines, you are screaming – I do not want to hire somebody. I would challenge you on this thinking. Leverage is wonderful because that is going to liberate your weekends, increase your income, and allow you to work on more stuff.