We all want better clients.
And by “better”, I mean better quality…better mix of service usage…better timeliness…better paying.
In order to make room in your practice for better clients — without expanding your overhead — you have to trim the fat.
Remember those cheapskate clients I wrote about last week?
Once you fire the worst of the lot, you can fill their spots with better clients, and life will be better. I personally think that the cheapskate customers should be the absolute first to go, because they cause the most irritation. They’re the ones you lay in bed at night fuming over, so they need to go, and go now.
If they complain about your fees, fire them.
If they call or email you incessantly asking for free advice, fire them.
If they are actively blocking your efforts to resolve their IRS debt, then fire them.
Here’s an even bigger Practice Pro Tip (PPT, hmm, I should make that a thing): When you fire crappy clients, announce it to your leads, prospects, and clients.
You already know that you should have a CRM system of some sort, and you already know that you should be frequently communicating (at least bi-weekly, bare minimum) with your unconverted leads, best prospects, and paying clients. This is all part of your client engagement process, and long-term lead and prospect follow up processes.
But what you may not have ever given thought to is that, along with your client success stories, you also need to write about your bad client stories. Write emails, newsletter articles, film YouTube videos, etc. discussing those bad actors. Don’t name names, obviously, but use those firings. Here’s what this does:
1). By providing concrete illustration of the kind of clients you don’t want, you will help to filter out those leads and prospects that might ultimately engage in similar behavior. They will unsubscribe from your emails, unfollow you on social media, etc.
2). You will be signaling to your unconverted leads that you have time for new clients. You can make specific, targeted offers for folks to schedule consults now that you have all this free time available to help people that really want to resolve their tax problems.
Here’s some inside baseball: Between the “Name Your Own Price” promotion on the 60-day videos and the ensuing emails I sent regarding the “cheapskate” issue, a whopping 8% of my email list for Tax Marketing HQ unsubscribed.
8%. That’s a lot.
But I’m 100% OK with losing that 8%, because they are obviously not a good fit for me to work with anyway. You should have the same attitude.
Now, for the shameless, obligatory plug: For more detail on setting up your long-term lead and prospect follow up processes mentioned above, check out pages 122 and 128-135 of Tax Resolution Systems, my checklist manual for taxpayer representatives.
Last week, when I mentioned the checklist manual, Tax Resolution Academy® member Lauren Shaw, Esq. replied and mentioned that the checklist manual wasn’t the be all, end all, and I will publicly congratulate her for pointing that out. The Systems manual is intended as either a starting point, or a reference manual for pulling together many other concepts. Just like with any field of practice, there is no one single source of information, and it would be impossible for me to put everything you need for running your practice into a single volume. But I’ve done my best to create an affordable, accessible, as-comprehensive-as-it-needs-to-be guide to running a more efficient and profitable IRS Collections representation practice.