Big Mistakes Tax Pros Make – Giving out your personal phone number…
Back when I first started my tax practice (two decades ago after working for other CPA firms for 16 years), I, like most tax pros, was looking to save a buck. One of those things I did was use my cell phone as the office phone number while I worked from home.
After two years, I decided to get an office phone and phone number. I used a VOIP phone service (Voice Over Internet Protocol). But I still kept giving my cell phone number out to clients as it appeared to give value.
Then in year three, I met a coach/mentor, that was also a CPA with a tax practice, who told me to stop giving out my cell phone number to clients. He then explained to me that there is no reason that anyone (outside my wife and family) that needs to reach me at any time of the day or night. There are absolutely NO financial emergencies that need me to answer a question at any time of the day.
It made sense to me, so from that day on, I changed my business cards, removed my cell phone number from the website and any other marketing materials. I have not given it out my cell phone number since.
Since then, I have not had one client or prospect ask me for my cell phone number or get upset that they cannot reach me at 7pm or 7am. Although in those early days, I did have a few clients call me at both of those times.
I love my clients, but that is my time. I take long walks with my wife and the dogs. I coach my daughter in her U12 girls soccer team, and I use this time to read or do projects around the house.
Obviously, it is your practice and you get to do what you want to, but I suggest you seriously think about no longer giving your cell phone number out. Get a FREE Google voice number and forward it to your cell phone. Learn to take back YOUR time. One other thought, if you still do use your cell phone for business and clients call you after hours, do NOT answer it after hours (although I can make the argument to not answer it ever). Otherwise, you are training them that if they call you at 7pm or 6am that you will answer and be available.
The big reason I tell you all of this is that if you do not take control and respect your time, your clients will not. Remember, time is the one thing that when spent, you CANNOT get it back, earn more or make more.
All the best,