Category: Selling Tax Services

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 Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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 feesContinue reading