QUESTION: I am starting fresh after a mediocre year. What would your first three steps be? – Larry, Milwaukee, WI 

ANSWER: There are many people who are in the same place as you, Larry. The best first step is to define a successful year. Imagine the year is coming to a close and ask yourself the following questions:

What has to be true for me to be really happy with my progress by the end of the year?  

What has to be true in the category of my revenue?  

What has to be true in my client type?  

What type of client am I working with?  

What does that client look like?  

What has changed about your role in your recruiting practice?  

What has to be true and how has your role evolved in the 12 months?  

And what does your free time need to look like this year?  

If you are building a recruiting firm, I would also ask: What does my team look like a year from now?  

Success is personal and professional. Look at all of the areas of your business including revenue, client type, role, and free time.

When going through this exercise it is important to remember that you do not have to know how any of this will happen. What I have learned from getting coached for over 25 years, is a lot of things that hold people back is they can say, I want this type of client and I want it to be on retained, but I do not know how to sell retainers or I have a limited belief that people do not pay retainers in my niche.   

When people do not know how to achieve a goal, basically it is still a goal, but they do not really work towards it because they stay stuck in how. They do not stay committed to it. When you commit to something, help shows up. You might see a YouTube video or a free webinar that webinar might lead to an inexpensive training program that teaches you how to sell retainers. An article or blog post shows up in your social media feed or inbox that sparks an idea or reminds you of resource. 

These seemingly coincidental experiences are actually an activation of the brain’s reticular activating system. The images need to be created first. Clarity of vision is always the first step, when starting out regardless if your year was mediocre or wildly successful.  

Once you have defined those areas, is what are the metrics to get there? Is it $300,000 as an individual desk? Is it a $1 million as a firm? Each revenue goal has very specific activities they need to accomplish.  

Very simply, on a $300,000 desk, if the interview to placement ratio was 8:1, and your average fee was $25,000, you need one placement per month ($25,000 x 12 is $300,000). If your interview to placement ratio is 8:1, which is close to normal, but still conservative, means you need to arrange two first-time interviews per week.  

The question becomes, what has to be true for you to arrange 2 interviews a week?  As long as you are arranging two first-time interviews each week, you will end up at the end of the year, plus or minus 3% – 5% of your goal.

We recently did a case study with a client that started tracking metrics 18 months ago. His result was the ability to predict income and revenue, with over a $1 million business within 3% using KPIs. So the second step is measure your numbers and hold yourself accountable on a weekly basis to the activities to hit that annual number.  

The third step is to execute to your metrics target. This execution is despite everything else that life throws at you. You continue to boldly execute when faced with having to close two deals while dealing with a sick kid. Using closing deals or a sick child are all the stories that you justify to yourself that keep you out of action. Closing deals is part of the business. There are people that bill a half a million, $600,000 a year, they have the same number of hours in a day to get it done. There is always going to be the odd event that takes you off, but you are able to rebound. 

The metrics that you set up for yourself take into account vacations, holidays, things like that. Two interviews a week with somebody with an average fee of $25,000 will be a $300,000 desk.  Again, old broad brush, there are going to be variations. On the upside of variations, on the downside, but within 15% to 20%, which I think is really good enough to get you started.

Step one is to create a clear vision. Step two is to define your metrics or KPIs. Step three is to execute your plan.   

P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways I can help you grow your recruitment business:

1. Grab a free copy of my Retainer Blueprint It’s the exact, step-by-step process of getting clients to give you money upfront.​

2. Join the Recruiter Think Tank and connect with firm owners who are scaling too It’s our Facebook community where smart recruiters learn to make more money and get more freedom.​​…

3. Join me at our next event 3x a year, I run a 3-day virtual intensive, sharing the 9 key areas that drive a 7-figure search firm. Click here to check out the dates of our upcoming event:​

4. Work with me and my team privately And if you ever want to get some 1:1 help, we can jump on the phone for a quick call, and brainstorm how to get you more leads, more placements, and more time.​

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash