Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

Every advisor wants to beat their annual sales and growth goals. But in my 30-plus years in the financial services industry most scramble to reach their goals instead of enjoying the end-of-year holiday season. I have employed a “five seasons” approach to the calendar with sales teams over the past couple of decades with great success. Using this approach will allow you to master your calendar and the spirit of each unique season, instead of allowing the calendar to master you.

Here are the five seasons, named according to their inherent rhythm and how they fit together:

The lead season (January 1st – April 15th), How you start sets the tone for the rest of the year. The first few months are often driven by thoughts of taxes and tax-related activities (retirement plan contributions, asset location and asset allocation adjustments). This is a great time of year to make significant progress on driving new business and growth activity. Nearly everyone is in a similar “get things done” mindset in an effort to make early progress on their goals. Don’t waste this season – maximize the number of new business meetings and focus on growth drivers (doing more with existing clients, client referrals, and top-tier COI referral sources).

Effort Season (April 16th – Memorial Day). Close out the first half strong! While Memorial Day is not technically the middle of the calendar year, it is the end of the second season. This six-week stretch is when you close as many of the open opportunities as you can. Memorial Day weekend serves as the official beginning of summer for everyone, thoughts turn to kids getting out of school and vacation plans. The opportunities that are not completed before Memorial Day can languish in the lazy days of summer, so make the most of your time while people are still in business mode!

Strategy Season (Memorial Day – Labor Day). The lazy days of summer! Not quite, but the pace of business in this period is noticeably slower for almost everyone in this season. Take advantage of this time to focus on things like product development, refreshing the website, process changes, and CRM upgrades. With the pace of business being less hurried in this part of the calendar, it is a great time to get these bigger projects completed with a minimum of client/new business impact.