Cultivating long term relationships with your tax prospects

So you’ve been offering special reports and other educational items to your target audience, and you have built a prospect list of folks that have ordered your information. Once you have built a list of prospective clients, what exactly do you do with that list?

First of all, don’t be disillusioned into thinking that you are going to convert every prospect you communicate with regularly into a paying client. And yes, you need to be communicating with them regularly. It is through this long term communication that people come know, like, and trust you. And never forget that people do business with people that they know, like and trust.

Don’t forget that the same holds true for your existing clients as well. It is important to have regular contact with them, year round, in order to reaffirm that they’ve made a good decision in working with you, and to reestablish yourself as an expert. There are four distinct things you can use your list for in order to cultivate new and repeat business and referrals from your internal list.

The first thing you should be doing is publishing a monthly newsletter. This works much better if you physically mail it, and here’s why: It’s because people discount e-mail. So if you actually take the time to go print out an 8 ½ x 11 two-sided newsletter once a month, you can upload your newsletter to the U.S. postal service, and also upload your mailing list to the postal service. They’ll do all the printing and mailing for you, and it’s dirt cheap. But you should mail it out because it’s going to give more value. People are going to notice it. Even if they throw it away, you’ve now gotten the “hits” on your name and your information. If, within the next couple days, somebody says they need an accountant, they’re calling you.

The second thing you should be doing is sending them regular emails with updates, promotional offers, seasonal reminders, and important announcements. Keep them up to date with what’s going on with tax and accounting changes that may impact them, and also let them know when you’re going on vacation, and to contact you before that to get their needs taken care of. This will encourage them to come in and speak with you.

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The third thing you want to be doing is making yourself available to your prospects on social networking sites on the Internet. People actually do want to get to know you as a person. People want to know what their professional advisors are like outside of the office. They want to feel like they know you more so than you’re just an accountant. So give them access to you.

Create a Twitter account and share with them when you do certain fun things or vacations you take or restaurants you go to or sporting events, share whatever your hobbies are. Then people will know, like and trust you and be more likely to do business with you by becoming involved in those things. You can use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, all the different social media websites in order to do that.

The fourth thing you should be doing with your internal client and prospect lists is to create new content, such as blog articles, educational videos, and special reports, and make these available to your prospects. Have a blog set up that people can read, and syndicate an RSS feed through Feedburner for people to subscribe to and follow. Mail and email occasional reports and videos to your list. The bottom line is to proactively make sure that you are constantly in contact with your prospect list. Tax Marketing Premium membership provides you with some special tools to help you accomplish this.

How many contacts should you make with folks on your list? My suggestion is to contact them monthly, at a minimum. However, I will tell you that 30 to 70 “touches” per year is not too many. The key is to take action and do it.