A few weeks ago a friend of mine came to me with a terrible problem, and one that most Australian’s wish they had.
Now I can’t give out his real name for privacy, so let’s call him Dan for now.
Dan called me early in the morning on a Tuesday about 3 weeks ago, with an excitedly worried tone in his voice.
He said that he had just won a large contract that starts at the end of the month.
I asked how much it was worth, and could tell he was having trouble containing himself. With the sound of fear in his voice, he sheepishly replied “Mate it’s for 700,000 dollars”, I could hear he had reservations.
I said “That’s fantastic! But why do you sound as though there is something missing?” to which he replied “Well, I have a challenge that maybe you can solve… I need to hire more staff, and I have few large bills coming in within the next 3 weeks, and I don’t know where I am going to get the money. The contract starts in 5 weeks, but I need to come up with an extra $27,000 before then, and I just don’t know where I’m going to get it.”
I thought about this for a moment… Paused, then asked “Do you bill your clients in advance?”, Dan replied that he didn’t and that he didn’t think that they would go for it.
I explained to him that it’s perfect timing for him to have this growth problem, because it’s the end of tax time. In June in Australia it’s the end of the financial year, and it’s the month when businesses think about their finances the most.
Here’s what you need to do,” I said with certainty. “Go back to all your existing clients and ask them if they would like an end of financial year discount,” He said; “Are you crazy!”, I continued “Also ask them if they would like to minimise their tax by paying for 6 months of your services in advance before the end of the financial year”.
His tone instantly changed to one of a more curious nature now “Hmm, do you think they will really go for it?” he asked. “What have you got to lose?” I replied with an air of optimism and then hung up the phone.
The next week my friend sent me a message on skype to say that 2 clients had already agreed to the offer which was worth $12,000. I told him that was awesome and to keep asking. So he did. This morning I spoke to him on the phone and he told me that, with this one technique, he managed to bring in just over $31,000 in the last 3 weeks.
Now this won’t work for everyone, nor do I advise it.
The moral of the story is to think laterally and always look for the Win Win, because right now you could be doing things differently that would yield a better result for everyone.