Filling your tax season appointment calendar

Tax season is right around the corner, which means that right now is the time to be doing two things to ensure you have a great tax season:

1. Get in touch with all your past clients to schedule their appointments for 2012.

2. Advertise to get new clients in.

Simple postcards or letters to your past clients should be going out now to remind them to schedule an appointment to get their 2011 tax return prepared.

For getting new clients, here are some suggestions for where to advertise:

1. Your local MoneyMailer or ValPak, which is a thick envelope of coupons delivered to houses in most cities.

2. Local special interest newspapers with an offer targeting that interest group. Examples from my local area include weekly Spanish language and senior citizen newspapers, a monthly outdoor/sports enthusiast magazine, a weekly business newspaper, and a weekly printed newsletter targeted to farmers and ranchers.

3. Send direct mail offers, either postcards or letters, to the residential postal delivery areas closest to your location.

4. Put up flyers with detachable coupons or phone number at supermarkets, flea markets, parks, malls, and anywhere else with free public flyer boards (I’ve seen entire tax practices built from this simplest of all marketing methods).

5. Put up small signs along roads and major intersections. Check with your local authorities to determine if this is legal and if you need a permit.

6. Deliver flyers or door hangars door-to-door in your target residential neighborhoods. Again, check local laws and permit requirements for this.

Any ones of the above 6 methods can fill up and entire tax season for a solo practitioner or small tax office. Used in combination, the results can be simply astonishing. On top of that, most of these methods are not all that expensive, and some are even free.

If you haven’t already, you can get copies of proven tax season ads, flyers, and mailers by purchasing them directly from our web site with our Tax Return Preparation Marketing System

Continue reading

Cultivating Long Term, Highly Profitable Client Relationships

Let’s talk about a very important business concept: Lifetime Customer Value (LCV).

What exactly is LCV? Quite simply, it’s the amount of money you can expect a single customer to spend with you over the entire life of their business relationship with you.

Quick tax return example: A customer with a simple 1040 return comes to you every year, and you charge them $200. If they come back year and year, and you never raise your rates (which you should, by the way!), then this customer is worth $2,000 over the course of a decade….$6,000 over the course of 30 years in tax practice.

Instead of looking at a customer in terms of a single transaction, LCV as a concept forces you to look at each of your clients as a long-term business ally. On a balance sheet, your client list should literally exist as the single most valuable asset in your entire tax practice.

Most tax practitioners I speak with think largely in terms of either their seasonal tax customer base, or their monthly accounting clients. Most tax professionals do absolutely nothing to foster long-term relationships with their clients, and simply view them as a tax return that walks through the door once a year.

There are a number of problems with this thought process.

First of all, if you view each client as “just a tax return”, then you are obviously caring more about yourself than your client, and this is just a bad business mentality. Legendary sales trainer (never forget, you *ARE* a salesman, no matter what the initials after your name say) Zig Ziglar is quoted as saying, “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” What Zig is saying here is that if you look out for your clients, they will reward you financially.

Second, if you only think about any particular client in terms of doing their tax return once a year, or doing their books once a month, or handling their payroll every two weeks, you are missing out on a MASSIVE opportunity to be of greater VALUE to your customers. You are in a position to offer money saving tax advice to your customers and prospects. If you aren’t doing this already, then why not? Do you do mid-year or quarterly reviews for your clients to discover new tax savings? Are your monthly accounting customers spending … Continue reading

Tax Marketing Success System

Discover How To Become The DOMINANT Tax Return Preparer In Your Area In 2012!

Regardless of whether you have an established tax practice or are just starting out, one simple fact stands out above all other things in your role as a tax professional:

If you can’t get clients, you’re going to starve.

It’s a very, very simple equation: If you prepare tax returns for a living, then you need people walking through your door with a tax return needing prepared in order to make a living!

Even if you have an established practice, you need to replace return volume that you are losing to tax software, IRS Free File, or even tax practitioners that ARE mastering the keys to attracting customers.

Fortunately, just like being a tax professional, becoming great at getting paying clients is nothing more than another learned skill that ANYBODY can master.

As a tax practitioner, you should take great pride in your education, in your tax knowledge, in your ability to recognize missed opportunities for tax savings, and in your ability to prepare an accurate tax return.

At the same time, however, you should take great pride in knowing how to make yourself available to the people that need your expertise. After all, that’s what we do, right? We help people. Therefore, you should feel GREAT about learning and doing marketing, because by learning and doing marketing, you are doing the things necessary for the people that NEED YOU to actually be able to FIND YOU.

When you understand both the theory and the practical mechanics of marketing, you can literally create a MACHINE that runs almost on auto-pilot, that brings you in a steady stream of new prospects. And when you understand “sales”, you know how to convert those prospects into clients — and the best part is that there is nothing required from the old fashioned notion of what “selling” is. In reality, as a service professional with your marketing done properly, people don’t need to be “sold”. Instead, the “sales” process becomes merely the initial consultation, and “closing” is simply the act of preparing their tax return and getting paid.

Marketing and sales are, in my mind, such interconnected processes that it’s hard for me to separate them. Some people view marketing as the process to get them to come to you, and sales as the process where they pay you. To me, sales is a natural … Continue reading