You gotta see what this guy is doing to get clients…

May 2013 Advanced Tutorial

Over the weekend, I discovered an Enrolled Agent that is simply rocking it with the simplest marketing plan on the planet.

In fact, it’s an even more simplified version of the simple plan that I’m always talking about for solo practitioners.

This EA asked not to be named, but he allowed me to share with you the details of how he’s building his practice. In short, he has the simplest marketing plan in the world, and it’s working very, very well for him.

He is a solo practitioner that does ONLY collections representation work. He doesn’t have a large practice, but more than adequately supports his family on three new clients each month.

His fee model is also simple: Hourly billing with a $2500 minimum retainer. Most of his cases exceed the initial retainer by at least $1,000.

Here’s his entire marketing plan:

  1. Every month, purchases 800-1000 tax liens for 941 debtors across the country, with debt amounts between $50,000 and $200,000.
  2. Runs the contact info from the lien through a separate data service to obtain the home address of the business owner, from which he will obtain at least 500 home addresses.
  3. Using the 500 best results, send a simple, one-page, no frills letter of introduction in a stamped, hand addressed envelope (his wife and two children help with the addressing).
  4. In the letter, he does nothing but mention how he found them, how he can help, and offers both a free consultation and invites them to sign up for his email newsletter.
  5. Every other week, he emails out a helpful piece of tax advice.

Between the mailings themselves and the email newsletter follow up, he generates $7500 per month in new retainers.

That’s it. That’s the entire secret sauce. Let’s look at his costs:

Liens: $200

Address lookup service: $160

Paper: $20

Toner: $60

Envelopes: $20

Stamps: $230

Email service: $50


Total: $740

That’s just $740 per month to generate $7500.

Of course, this doesn’t count the value of the time that goes into preparing the mailings. It’s basically a weekend project once a month for the entire family, he said.

The most amazing part of this, to me, is that he’s been doing this, month in and month out, for over 10 years. This is what he was doing when he first obtained his EA license, and it still works, so he keeps doing it.

Do note that he is using an interesting twist: He’s using an address append service in order to not just update the mailing address (tax lien debtors go out of business and move a lot) in order to minimize bounced mail, but also to send his letter to the home address of the business owner. He ends up buying more liens than he needs in order to have enough to hit his 500 minimum mailing size.

This is a brilliant twist, and it’s working very well for him. Notice that he also utilizes a long-term follow up system to communicate with leads that do no purchase immediately. Even in my own marketing system, it’s this simple long-term email follow up that is really critical to the overall success of the system.

This is a system that any practitioner can replicate. With an average 10x return on his money, this simple marketing system is basically an ATM that prints money. If he wanted to, he could expand this, and grow a much larger practice, but he doesn’t.

It should also be noted that he is mailing to the most recently filed liens available. That means that the mailings and telemarketing being done to those liens by other companies is helping to boost his own response rate, because he is much less aggressive in his approach, and thus stands out a little bit in comparison to other firms that are marketing to these same liens.

You can use this own approach in your practice. Contact a data service provider such as infoUSA, Tower Data, Melissa Data, or Accurate Append in order to obtain address updates via the National Change of Address (NCOA) system, or to get the home addresses of business owners. Then print, stamp, address, mail!

In the future, I’ll be sharing more stories like this from other tax professionals that are doing “outside the box” marketing, or have found unique twists to boost their response rates.

Comments on You gotta see what this guy is doing to get clients…

  1. Jeff says:

    great info Jassen!

  2. William says:

    Awesome! Do you have a copy of his initial letter? If not, do you have something similar in TMHQ?

  3. Jassen says:

    He would not provide me a copy of his letter, but the way he described it, it’s just a basic, generic letter of introduction — nothing special to it. First paragraph explains how he found them (lien), second paragraph explains how he can help, third paragraph offers a free consultation and, alternatively, the URL to his web site so they can sign up for free tax tips. That’s how he explained it to me — it doesn’t get any simpler than that. 🙂

  4. William says:

    Thanks for your quick response! I plan on implementing this strategy next month by becoming a PLATINUM Tax lien subscriber.

    I purchased your book, “How to Build A Million Dollar Tax Firm In 12 Months”. This book is the MOST detailed how to tax representation practice builder on the market.

    My goal is to obtain $25,000 in monthly billings, and I believe the information in your book will help me achieve this goal.

  5. Cathy says:

    This article really got me thinking! I have been missing out on a lot!

    Thank you so very much for these great articles, they are just great!

    I am off to purchase your books “How to Build A Million Dollar Tax Firm in 12 Months”.

  6. DennisBridges says:

    Greetings, Jassen, can’t wait to re-connect with you in Vegas. For William out there and for anybody else even remotely considering moving more heavily into this area of practice, Platinum is easily the way to go. After just 3 months, I’ve recovered Jassen’s fee at least 4 times over. I’ve been doing IRS work for over 10 years, and I wish I could could have met him on Day 1!

  7. Jassen says:

    You’re making me blush! 🙂

  8. Ben Rucker says:

    Mailing 500 per month and retaining 3 new clients is .6 percent closing ratio. Is this an above average percentage?

  9. Jassen says:

    Mailing only 500 pieces, and getting 3 new clients from it is REMARKABLE.

    Response rates on direct mail are usually referenced in the form of inquiries:mailings. Hitting 2% inquiries is the “gold standard” of direct mail when mailing to a cold list.

    Getting a 0.6% *purchase* rate on a high-fee service is exceptional. But it happens, and there are multiple people doing it.

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