Category: Selling Tax Services

The Easiest Way to Double Your Tax Firm Revenue

You probably already know that your client list is the single most valuable thing in your business.

That list represents people that already know, like, and trust you. You have a relationship with them, and they hold you in high esteem (hopefully!). They view you as a trusted advisor, and should generally take any advice that you give them positively.

You can leverage this relationship to double your revenue. Here’s how…

The vast majority of tax professionals are not running what I refer to as a boutique tax practice, which is the type of practice I prefer to operate. What I mean by boutique is a tax practice that offers a singular service to a singular clientele. For example, I built my first private practice by offering state and IRS Collections representation to family-owned trucking companies in five western states with an average of 5 to 10 trucks. I didn’t offer seasonal tax preparation, ongoing bookkeeping service, payroll, etc. Highly focused, highly niched. Boutique.

Obviously, most Tax Marketing Tips readers aren’t operating that way (there are distinct pros and cons to that business model). In general, tax practitioners offer more than just tax prep services. I don’t know specifically what other services you offer, but I’m sure they exist. Here’s the critical question: How many of your clients take advantage of ALL your services?

The answer should be, “…as many as possible!”

So the easiest…simplest…fastest…cheapest way to drastically increase revenue is this: Make more offers.

Your clients love you. They appreciate you. They trust you.

Your tax prep only clients need and trust your tax planning advice. Your tax resolution clients need and want your tax prep, payroll, and accounting services. If your client’s income exceeds that 400% of federal poverty line threshold, they need and want your guidance about navigating the murky waters of health insurance. Your credit-challenged tax clients might need help with improving their credit scores. Clients in their 30’s and 40’s that haven’t saved much, if anything, for retirement definitely need some budgeting and financial planning help. Your clients that rent might need assistance financially preparing for home ownership, and whom better to broker their loan than the person that already knows their finances quite well?

Whatever the makeup of your current clientele, they are guaranteed to be clients of other services. As their trusted tax advisor, why not broaden the scope of what you offer them? Perhaps you’ll need to obtain additional licenses and establish business relationships, but in the long run it’s worth it. If you already offer multiple services, you must consistently make offers to your existing clients to sell those services.

Not just once a year when they come in for tax prep, but every single month in your client newsletter (you DO have a monthly client newsletter, right???). Every week in your regular email updates to clients. Every few weeks mail your clients special offers on specific services. Once a month hold seminars on special topics, and invite your clients. Bring in other experts that you also know, like, and trust to sell other services to your clients (especially if you can legally collect a referral fee).

Let’s really think outside the box… I usually recommend using a book primarily as a lead magnet and lead generation piece, but how about writing a book specifically meant for sale to your clients? It doesn’t even have to be about tax or finance — maybe you’ve produced the world’s most incredible coffee table book of closeup pictures of tree bark and want to sell THAT to your clients. Or maybe you have another story to tell: You lost 100 pounds, found health through yoga, or love deep sea fishing. Become a weight loss coach and help your tax clients lose weight. Become a yoga instructor and turn your lobby into a yoga studio two mornings a week. Offer fishing trips to your clients.

In March 2018, I’ll be launching a “reboot” of my own tax practice. It will still be very boutique: I’ll be offering specialized tax resolution services (namely, lien withdrawals, subordinations, and discharges ONLY) to a tiny group of people (home buyers and sellers) marketed through a very focused channel (referrals from real estate agents). But I’m going to have an incredibly powerful backend upsell offer to those clients: Showing them how to catch up on retirement savings via the serial acquisition of rental properties.

The bottom line is that your existing clients are a veritable gold mine of additional profit. And chances are you’re already offering services they could use, but you need to make more offers of those services to your existing clients.

 

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If I was broke and homeless, here is what I would do to start over (again)

It was April 24, 2001, and I had just shut down a tax prep office with 15 preparers that completed a five-figure 1040 volume, and that hadn’t even existed five months earlier.

It was my last day on active duty in the U.S. Navy, and I was heading back home to Oregon. I only made it to Colorado, but that’s a totally different story.

As I left Norfolk, VA that day, I was obviously thinking about my future. Given my nuclear training, I assumed that the legacy of my Navy experience would be a career in nuclear power. The strange task of building a tax prep office from scratch to service the largest concentration of military personnel in the world was something I viewed as nothing more than the grunt work I had to do because I was on the short end of my enlistment.

I never thought it would become my career.

And that’s one of the great things about life: You just never know where it’s going to take you.

If I had had a crystal ball at the time, I would have treated that tax season differently. I would have actually learned how to prepare a return, rather than just treating it as an IT problem, among other things. It could have been a tremendous learning experience, if I had allowed it to be, and it would have put me several years ahead in life.

As I started civilian life, tax or accounting never even crossed my mind. And later in 2001, I chose a woman over a nuclear power job in New York. Then I somehow ended up in real estate. Then I ended up divorced, bankrupt, and homeless.

So seven years after my first tax season, I ended up having my second, entirely out of necessity. I consider it somewhat humorous that this period of my life was bookended with tax work. Some people might even say that my return to the tax field was inevitable.

In retrospect, I sometimes wish that I had gone into tax or accounting straight out of the gate when I left the Navy. But at the time, I didn’t respect it as an occupation, and I didn’t understand the value of the skill set.

But now I do. And I hope that you do, too.

Tax preparation is a skill. Tax resolution is a skill. Marketing is a skill. Your skill set is your livelihood, and that livelihood gives you a lifestyle.

A commercial fisherman knows the right bait to use, how to find the best fishing spots, and the best time of year to fish. Those are his skills, and those skills produce a livelihood and a lifestyle.

Living in a car is also a skill, one that I happen to possess. It’s also a lifestyle, one that I know all too well.

The bank can take the house, and the bankruptcy court can take everything else. But your skills belong to you for life.

Short of major health problems, major cataclysmic disaster, or war, the only thing you ever need to get back on your feet when you’re down are your skills.

And let’s face it, the IRS ain’t going nowhere, and business owners are always going to need to know their numbers. Our profession has been around since the dawn of civilization, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Your skills are your Golden Ticket.

If my life suddenly became a real-life episode of Naked & Afraid, I know that I can rely on my skills to get me back on my feet.

I’ll skip the water, fire, food, shelter, and clothing portion of this recovery operation. Let’s also assume that I manage to trek back to civilization, and that I’m in the United States. All games need a set of starting conditions, so these will be mine. Yes, I’ll be using a game analogy, because I have come to view economic life as an artificial game not unlike Monopoly, because, well it is a game, and it’s completely artificial. But that also is a story for another post.

So our game is Economics, and we use money to keep score. In our game, we have various ways to obtain money, and then we use money to obtain other goods and services. Some of these goods, which would be free if we didn’t play Economics, are necessary just to survive. Others just make life much more comfortable.

To get started, I would do whatever was necessary to obtain a tiny amount of money. Seed money is necessary to start the whole process. Playing Economics doesn’t work at all without some startup money. I would walk into every business I could find, offering to do whatever grunt work they needed done, for whatever they were willing to pay me.

Whether this work was pulling weeds, patching the roof, changing oil, reconciling accounts, doing outbound telemarketing, or representing them in an examination, I would do it. That first bit of seed cash is necessary to play Economics.

I will point out that many homeless people are capable of reaching this stage, but simply don’t. Those with mental or physical disabilities may not be able to do it on their own, but I see many homeless people that could definitely reach this stage.

With a little bit of seed money, I would work on making myself more presentable. It’s … Continue reading

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So what happens to the pudding?

Last night, while rocking out to Pink Floyd’s iconic “Another Brick In The Wall”, one lyric in particular lodged itself in that part of my brain that never stops thinking about sales and marketing:

“If you don’t eat yer meat, you can’t have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?”

Before you go thinking I’ve totally lost my marbles, allow me to explain.

In the movie version of The Wall, the lyric pertains to the schoolmaster yelling at children that they must finish their meal before they can have dessert (“pudding” is a general British slang term meaning any dessert).

Most parents in the United States probably apply the same rule to their own children. My upbringing was no different: No dessert before dinner.

This frames a really nice analogy for how we have to view the growth of our tax practices: Marketing activities must precede getting new clients.

I’m going to take this weird analogy a step further. If you sit down for a nice dinner at a restaurant, your meal normally progresses in this order: Appetizer, salad, entree, dessert.

Our new client acquisition activities essentially follow this same pattern. Appetizers are the visitors to our web sites, the names on our tax lien mailing lists, the folks listening to our radio spots. When these individuals raise their hand to request information from us, they become a lead, which is our salad. Once they then progress to actually speaking with us — an actual consultation — they become a prospect, and we get to eat our meat. Once they engage your services and pay you money, we get our dessert — a delicious new client.

This entire chain of events, commonly referred to as a sales funnel, is the sequence you must lead all clients down. Some clients will advance down your sales funnel much faster than others, and some will never make it to dessert. Some folks will never make it to the salad or entree. Heck, some people will walk into the restaurant, look at the decor or the menu, and turn around and leave without even sitting down for our appetizer.

Just as a restaurant needs to engage in marketing activities to even get people to step foot in the door, we must also always be doing marketing activities to get web visitors…phone calls…inquiries. In fact, lead generation is one of your most important jobs as a practice owner.

Also, just as their are multiple appetizers on the menu, so must you be engaged in multiple lead generation methods. Businesses that rely exclusively on ONE lead generation method are eventually doomed to failure. Sure, things might go well for a while, but things happen. Case in point: When the FTC expanded the scope of the Telemarketing Sales Rule and implemented special rules for debt relief companies, it killed many, many companies overnight. In fact, it was almost the death of many big tax resolution companies, but a temporary ruling exempting tax debt from the new rules (still in effect last time I checked) saved their skin.

So back to the original question posed in the title: What happens to the pudding? Meaning, what happens to the pudding if you don’t eat your meat, and thus get your pudding?

Well, the pudding gets eaten by somebody else, or thrown out entirely. It’s a travesty to not get your pudding. If you’re not engaging in the marketing activities necessary to get new clients, then you are abdicating those clients to your competition. Worse yet, there are people that desperately need your help in one way or another, that simply won’t ever receive it, because you never offered them an appetizer.

You can’t have any pudding if you don’t start the whole process at it’s natural beginning. Get to work on those appetizers, because that’s where the meal starts.

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Getting past “maybe” with your tax prospects

Yesterday, I shared two sales closing tips that will help you sell more tax services. Today I’ve got one more for you.

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Did you miss Tuesday’s webinar with Nate Hagerty, “Dominate Your Local Online Market“? I twisted Nate’s arm a bit, and he agreed to make a replay of the webinar available for a couple days, but he’s taking it down on Friday. Watch the webinar replay now.

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One of the worst possible things to hear during a meeting with a prospect is the dreaded phrase, “I need to think about it.”

When a prospect gives you a maybe, it’s not really a maybe. In all actuality, it’s a “no”. In all my years in various sales professions, I’ve never once had a prospect change from a “maybe” to a “yes” completely of their own accord.

Converting your “maybes” into a “yes” is the easiest way to increase your revenue. The prospect is sitting right there across from you or on the phone. You’ve already spent the marketing dollars and time to get them to this point. It makes no sense to make a weak effort to convert them from a prospect into a client.

Remember also what we discussed yesterday: Your attitude about the value you provide your clients has a huge impact on your ability to close sales. The same thing applies to your ability to convert a maybe into a yes. If you have any doubt about the value of your professional services, then you’re far more likely to accept a “maybe”.

When a prospect says “I’ll think about it” or “maybe”, what they’re really saying is that they don’t feel that the value you’re delivering them is worth the fee you quoted.

In other words, you can think of their “maybe” or wanting to sleep on it as really a request to expand on the value you’re bringing them. To get them to a yes, they need to understand the full value of what you’ll be doing for them.

Oftentimes, this simply involves re-explaining what you’re going to do for them. When talking to a tax resolution prospect, I actually walk them through a 3 to 5 minute explanation of the process, and what benefit they’re going to receive from each step of the process. When you explain the benefits that people are going to derive from your service, it’s easier for them to recognize the value in it. Never forget that people buy benefits, not features.

In your conversation with your prospect, you should have picked up their dominant buying motives. In other words, they’ll express to you the pain they are experiencing, and precisely why they want it to away. It could be the shear frustration of trying to do their own tax return, or the fear of losing their entire livelihood to an IRS seizure. You need to equate the services you’re providing with the pain that they are trying to avoid.

Since we’re dealing with numbers, it’s also possible to create value correlations to savings. For example, when you’re going to save a client X dollars, and your fee is Y dollars, but X is greater than Y, then in reality your services are free. Being able to explain in real dollars that your services actually become free because of the financial savings that comes from hiring you makes a pretty compelling case for your value.

In the preceding three paragraphs, I’ve covered three different ways of reframing your value proposition to your client. When explaining your value proposition, use the sales tie-downs that I wrote about yesterday to get agreement from your prospect. When they understand your value, you believe your own value, and they agree with that value, then you’re on the way to converting many of your “maybes” into paying clients, which is win-win for everybody.

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Two simple tips for closing more tax sales

When you’re sitting face to face with a prospective client, there comes a moment when you have to actually ask the prospect for their business. In old school sales lingo, this moment is referred to as closing the sale.

This is an important moment for you. This is the moment when you either obtain revenue, or you don’t. More importantly, however, this is the moment when your prospect is either going to have their problem solved, or not.

See what I did there?

This is a simple, yet powerful, mental shift that all tax professionals need to make. The prospect wouldn’t be sitting across from you (or be on the phone with you) if they didn’t have a problem that needed to be solved. Remember, the vast majority of buying decisions are more or less emotional decisions, and we humans are usually trying to accomplish one of two things: Avoid pain or obtain pleasure.

For us, we tend to work from the avoid pain side of the equation. Anything having to do with taxes or the IRS is viewed as a major source of pain within our society, and we should feel grateful for that, because it’s what keeps us in business.

So in a sales closing situation, you must have the attitude that you’re helping the taxpayer to reduce pain in their life. You are there to provide a valuable service that they can’t provide for themselves, because it’s not their area of expertise. That’s why they’re talking to you, because you are the expert. That makes you very valuable to your prospects and clients.

Making this attitude shift is powerful because it helps to overcome any shyness you may have about quoting your fee and asking for money. Ultimately, that’s the closing moment for us: Asking somebody for money. And since we don’t eat if we don’t get paid, this is a pretty big deal.

So that’s sales closing tip #1 for today: Know that you’re solving a problem for somebody, making their life easier, and that you are worth your fee.

That attitude shift is something you might have to work on. If not, awesome! If so, it doesn’t hurt to do daily affirmations in which you remind yourself that you are a problem solver, you’re helping people, and you’re worth every dime they pay you (actually, you’re worth far more — see my article the other about raising fees).

For tip #2, let’s move outside of our own heads, and into how we actually talk to our prospects. In any sales situation, the end goal is to obtain agreement.

What do I mean by this? You want your prospect to say yes to things. You want them to agree with you.

You want them to fully understand the problem that they’re in, and how you’re going to help, right?

You want your prospect to be comfortable working with you, and know that they are getting amazing value for their money, don’t you?

After engaging your services, you should make every effort to deliver the best possible service to your client, shouldn’t you?

I’m sure you get the idea. 🙂 In sales parlance, these are called tie-downs. The purpose of a tie-down is to put your prospect into an “agreement” frame of mind.

When we’re doing anything complex with a client, such as tax planning, tax debt resolution, audit defense, etc., there are a lot of moving parts. During the initial consultation, we’re going to be asking them a LOT of questions — quite personal, probing questions, in fact. Getting people comfortable, and in an agreement mode, is helpful for putting them at ease, making the interaction flow smoother, and helping the prospect put the pain of this problem behind them (by hiring YOU).

Here are some additional examples of sales tie-downs:

Does that make sense?
Are you following me so far?
That sounds reasonable, right?
Aren’t they?
Isn’t it?
Right?
Shouldn’t you?

Start inserting tie-downs into your consultation, at appropriate points, for all your services. Don’t force them, of course, but insert them naturally where it makes sense to do so. What you’ll discover is that you hear a lot more “yes” answers from prospects, the interaction is more comfortable for both of you, and it really makes closing the sale a lot easier and less stressful for you.

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A simple way to improve your sales skills

Today I have a quick homework assignment for you.

You already know that your sales skills as a tax professional are just as important as your marketing skills, and both of these are actually more important than your tax, legal, or accounting skills.

One of the choke-points for many people when it comes to building their client base has to do with simply asking for the order. Most service professionals have an issue with this. I’m not quite sure where it comes from, but there seems to be something in our society that teaches us that it’s not OK to ask other people for stuff, especially when it comes to money.

Unfortunately, if you’re not willing to ask people for money, you’re going to starve. That’s just how it works when you’re running a business.

Now, I realize that many Tax Marketing Tips readers may be well beyond this issue, and have no problems when it comes to closing. But for those that still have any hangup whatsoever about asking for the order, I have a simple exercise to help you develop the habit of asking other people to do what you want them to do.

Here’s your homework: For the next five days, ask at least three strangers per day to give you something.

It can be something big or something small, it really doesn’t matter. What’s important is to wire your brain to understand that it’s perfectly OK to ask strangers for something.

Opportunities exist all around us to ask strangers for things. If you’re at the grocery store, ask somebody if they can reach something for you on a top or bottom shelf, even if you later don’t buy it. At checkout, ask the person behind you if they have a pen so you can write your check.

If you are a customer in a service situation, ask for something extra, that may require a little effort from the service person. Checking into a hotel? Ask for extra pillows or towels. Eating out at a restaurant? Ask your server for a side garnish or sauce – something unusual that may not ordinarily go with what you ordered.

If you’re single, this gets really fun. Asking three people per day for their number not only helps your sales skills, but you just might meet the love of your life (hey, you never know!).

Overhear two people talking about their taxes? It’s a fairly common topic of conversation between people this year. Approach and say, “I couldn’t help but overhear you discussing ________ on your tax return. I happen to be a tax professional, is there any way I could help?” Then ask them for an appointment, either to prepare their return, or to give them a “second look” at their returns from this year and last year.

Situations exist all around us, every day, in which we can practice our sales skills. Not only does this help us when it comes time to ask people to write us a check, but it also increases our sphere of influence. You never know which random person you talk to, about anything, has a $75,000 tax debt and is ready to pay somebody $3500 to address it for them.

Three people per day, for five straight days. Leave a comment here on the blog to let me know how you did, and what you learned from it.

Happy Easter!

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Close more tax resolution sales today

The past few weeks I’ve touched on quite a few aspects of what you should do to close more sales, particularly within the tax resolution space.

It’s such a big topic, with so many details and intricacies that I can’t possibly cover in this newsletter, that I decided to create a new course covering the topic in depth. If you have in-depth questions about the tax resolution sales process, then this course is for you.

This course will walk you through the complete tax resolution sales cycle, beginning when a new prospect contacts you from your lead generation marketing. You will gain a better understanding of the consultation stage, learn how to simply and effectively close sales, and how to increase sales closing rates over time via effective post-consultation followup.

The needs-analysis based, consultative selling system taught in this course removes all sales pressure from the interaction, both for yourself and your prospective client. You will not only give more consultations, but close more of them, and each consultation will be more effective for both yourself and your prospect.

In addition, you’re going to get an “outside the industry” perspective on sales techniques. While our services don’t really require any of the “old school” sales techniques that are taught by the most well known sales trainers, I think it’s important for you to understand them and have them available to you. When you are wearing your sales hat, it is better to be prepared and have all available tools at your disposal, should you ever need them.

To recap, here is what you will you receive in this comprehensive tax resolutions sales course:

  1. Nearly two hours of video sales training that walks you step-by-step through each phase of the sales cycle, from initial prospects to collecting payment.
  2. Access to the 1-hour audio presentation titled “Timeless Face To Face Sales Strategies”, which gives you insights into the sales process from outside the tax universe.

This complete package is available now for only $295. Whether you need a comprehensive closer training program for your firm, or are a solo practitioner wanting to learn how to close the deal, then this course is for you. Simply click the checkout button below.


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The natural way to close sales

In my last article, I discussed one of the things that causes the most stress for tax professionals: sales resistance. In this article, we’ll discuss closing, and how closing really isn’t stressful at all if handled properly.

As mentioned the other day, most of the job of “selling” ourselves is done via our educational marketing. Remember, if they’ll meet with us, they’ll hire us. As long as you maintain this frame of mind, sales really isn’t stressful at all.

The end goal of a prospect meeting or consultation is, of course, to have the client hire us. While most sales people have to use various sales “tactics” in order to close their sales, there really are no tactics, tricks, or techniques required for us to close a sale.

Why is this?

After reaching an understanding of our prospect’s problem, we do what we do best and lay out the steps to solving that problem. Once our prospect understands what we’re going to do for them to fix their tax problem, the next logical step is to get implement that solution.

The segue between offering a solution and “closing” is so simple for us that sales people in other industries should be jealous. In order to implement a tax resolution process, we absolutely must have a signed Power of Attorney. This fact is generally mentioned somewhere along the line in our presentation of the tax solution steps, so our prospect knows that it’s coming.

All that we need to say is, “In order to get started with researching what the IRS has on file, we need to have a signed Power of Attorney on file…” After they have signed a Power of Attorney, they have a pen in hand and are now mentally in the mode of expecting to sign things. This makes a signed engagement letter easy to come by next, which is naturally followed by obtaining a check or signed payment form.

This natural progression from one necessary element to the next is definitely unique to our industry. Having been in other sales professions in the past, I can tell you that it really is a different closing situation when selling other products, such as newspaper advertising or well drilling (both of which are things I’ve sold in the past).

Next week, we will be releasing our next training course. This sales training course will cover the complete tax resolution sales cycle from initial appointment to closing. Be on the lookout for this early next week.

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If they’ll meet with you, they’ll hire you

The component of new client acquisition that stresses out most tax practitioners more than anything else is the sales component. I believe that the sales component is actually the easiest part.

Even though a consultative nature tends to be well ingrained in most tax and accounting professionals because of our academic training, putting on a “salesperson” hat makes most professionals cringe.

I’d like to share two realities of sales as a tax professional, however. Both of these realities completely take away the two biggest stressors of the sales component.

Unlike many other sales professions (yes, we’re in a sales profession — this is a fact that every practitioner simply has to accept), there really isn’t a whole lot of sales resistance once we’re actually face to face with a prospect. In fact, most other sales professionals would be envious of the position we’re in.

By the very nature of what we do, our closing ratio is unusually high. While many sales professionals in numerous industries (such as advertising media, household goods, industrial equipment, etc.) are excited to close 1 in 20 prospects, such a closing rate would be abysmal for us. While 100% isn’t to be expected, high double digit percentage is.

Basically, here’s how I sum up the “sales” side of being a tax professional: If they’ll meet with you, they’ll hire you.

With out marketing, we establish ourselves as an expert in our field, and position ourselves on the “right side of the desk” in the eyes of our prospects. By the time they actually come in for a consultation, they’re essentially already sold, otherwise they wouldn’t have met with us.

Again, not every person that meets with us is actually going to hire us on the spot. But, with proper long-term followup via a regular “touch” program, it’s possible to get pretty close to 100%. A 20% to 50% closing rate on the first appointment is not only achievable, but quite common.

I have had clients that hire me on the first meeting. For example, I did a first time consultation with a new prospect over the telephone this morning, and a few hours later I have a signed 2848 in hand and a check is in the mail. However, I have had other clients that I had to keep in touch with for more than a year before they ever hired me.

Most of the job of selling ourselves is done via our educational marketing, both before and after a consultation. The consultation isn’t really a sales interaction for us, so much as it is a closing interaction.

Coincidentally, “closing” is the second biggest stressor for most tax practitioners when it comes to sales, and we’ll address that tomorrow.

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Closing the sale and getting paid

Closing: The very word strikes fear into the mightiest of professional tax slayers.

The problem is that it doesn’t have to. If done properly, as part of your overall needs-based selling strategy, closing isn’t so much a distinct step of a sales process as it is a natural conclusion to the entire meeting.

I have met far too many tax resolution closers (unlicensed sales staff) that simply believe that the key to closing a sale is to pound the prospect into submission. While this technique does sell a couple hundred million dollars worth of client services each within the tax resolution industry, it is also the type of practice that garners unwanted attention from people such as the Federal Trade Commission and your state attorney general. Just ask Roni Deutch and Patrick Cox (of TaxMasters) if it was worth it.

The reality is that any client gained by coercion will forever resent you for it. Sales tactics like this are where BBB complaints, FTC investigations, lawsuits, and increased legislative regulation of our entire industry all stem from.

So what do you do instead?

Like I said, if you’ve done proper need analysis, layed out a solution with strong benefits to the prospect, the sale basically closes itself. Instead of needing to use a “tactic” or a “line” to close the sale, it simply becomes a very easy question: “Does everything we’ve discussed about the benefits of doing XYZ make sense? Well, great, let’s go ahead and get started on putting this IRS problem behind you.”

That’s it. That’s my entire “closing technique” (although I hate that phrase). It’s called “assuming the sale”. If your prospect doesn’t fully understand your solution, then they will ask questions. If they do fully understand your solution, then you can assume that they’ll do business with you.

I should state something that may seem obvious, but that many people actually miss: You should always be asking for the order. Always ask for your prospect’s business. If you don’t ask for their business, guess what? You’re going to starve. If you don’t ask, you won’t get the sale, and even worse, your prospect’s problem won’t get solved. And wouldn’t that be a travesty? Knowing somebody has a problem that you can help solve, but you don’t offer to?

The consultative, question-based process for closing the sale works like this. Ask your prospect:

“Do you see how bringing us on board would ___(solve their need)____?”
“Are you interested in ____(insert primary benefit)___?”
“When would you like to get started on ____(solving their problem)____?”

That’s it. That closing. Nothing fancy. No manipulative techniques. Nothing squirrely. Just restate the need, the problem, the solution, and offer them that solution. “Let’s get started on Monday.” “Let’s go over the paperwork to get started.” Those are the things you need to say. It really is that simple.

Again, if you’ve done a competent needs analysis, thoroughly understand the problem, and have formulated and articulated a solution to that problem, then you don’t need to use aggressive or manipulative closing techniques: Just assume the sale and take the order.

If you can absorb and apply everything in this weeks series on sales, then you’re going to be several steps ahead of 95% of everybody else in this industry. Combine the problem/solution/benefit model with effective lead generation strategies and proper marketing follow up with your prospects, then you’ve got yourself a business.

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