Follow up marketing to your prospect database

To put it bluntly, if you’re not actively marketing to your prospect database on a regular basis, then you wasted the money you spent to obtain those prospects in the first place.

One amazing fact has held true in the sales world for nearly a century: The majority of sales are closed after the 5th contact with a prospect. This fact holds true for any industry, and the number of contacts required to close a sale increases as the price point of the product or service increases.

What does this mean for your prospect database? It means that you should have an automated, pre-set follow up sequence that your prospects get entered into. This follow up sequence should last for an absolute minimum of three months, although 6 months to a year is ideal.

Who gets assigned to this follow up campaign? A legitimate prospect is anybody that has:

  1. personally met with you
  2. been given a telephone consultation
  3. requested information, such as a special report, from you
  4. visited your web site or called you

Basically, I consider a prospect to be anybody that has taken some action to express interest in tax services.

Has mentioned earlier, these prospects deserve special marketing attention. If they have requested information from you via the web, you should always at least request their email address and add them to email autoresponder sequence that reaches out to them at least weekly.

For prospects that you have given a consultation to and/or sent proposals to, you will obviously have their mailing address. In this case, you should be mailing something to them each and every week. Yes, direct mail each and every week for a pre-determined length of time. What you send them can be a variety of things:

  • monthly tax newsletter
  • webinar invitations
  • live financial seminar invitations
  • reports and information
  • quick tax savings tips

In addition, it’s a good idea to have an organized telephone follow up campaign. Especially after you do a consultation and give them a proposal, you should be following up with them every day for a week, and then at least weekly thereafter for a month, then at least monthly.

The sequence of emails, phone calls, direct mail offers, newsletters, seminars, and other activities that you engage in as follow up with your prospects should all be pre-planned, pre-prepared, and AUTOMATED. Your follow up activities should not be something you have to think about it. With … Continue reading

Marketing differently to leads vs prospects

It should make obvious sense that you market very differently to prospects than to leads, but many people question exactly how they should market to each.

If you have an active prospect that has received a consultation from you, met you face to face, or received a proposal from you, then this person needs to be treated very differently from somebody that you’ve never spoken to. I take it a step further, and believe that I should treat as an active prospect anybody that’s visited my web site, left me a voicemail, ordered a special report, or in any other way expressed interest in tax services.

This is our prospect database. I will often refer this to our “met” list, because in some way we’ve met or interacted with them on a personal level.

The other side of the coin involves people that have never spoken to you, never ordered information, and have never expressed interest in tax services. This is our “unmet” list. This list often represents a group of ideal prospects that we eventually want to put on our “met” list, generally based on demographic criteria.

For example, we may determine that our best prospect lives within a 75 mile radius of our office, owes the IRS at least $50,000, has already had the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty assessed, owns a home with positive equity, and has a six figure income. We can then obtain a list of these ideal prospects, and market to them consistently over time.

Note that the marketing we do to this “ideal prospect” list is often independent of our general lead generation marketing. This mean that in general we have no less than three marketing campaigns going on at any given time:

1). Marketing to prospects that we have spoken to or have or that have requested information from us.
2). A special, consistent marketing effort to our unmet, ideal prospects.
3). Our regular lead generation marketing.

Tomorrow, we’ll discuss how to market to the first group, often referred to as “follow up marketing”.… Continue reading

The lifetime value of your clients

Yesterday, we discussed the cost of acquiring a new client. The piece that makes it worthwhile to invest $200, $500, or even $1,200 to acquire a new client is the fact that this new client is going to spend significantly more than that with you over the years.

The amount that a client spends with you over the course of their business relationship with you is the Lifetime Customer Value (LCV) to you. LCV is a very important number for you to know for all of your clients. Let’s look at an LCV example.

Let’s say we send an 8-week sequence of jumbo, full color postcards to a group of 300 tax liens at a cost of $2,500. If we get a 2% response rate for a total of 6 responses over the course of the campaign, and 2 of those 6 purchase our services, we’re sitting pretty in terms of return on investment. Each of these clients cost $1,250 to acquire, which is definitely on the high end. Let’s track the LCV of these two new clients.

Client “A” needs several years of tax returns prepared, and an Installment Agreements needs negotiated. If the initial fee for this work is $2,500, then you’re already ahead of what it cost to acquire this client. In addition, this client requires ongoing annual tax return preparation at $500 per year, which is $10,000 over the course of two decades. So, the LCV of this client is $12,500, which is ten times what it cost to acquire the client. This is an excellent return on investment.

Client “B” is all caught up on their tax preparation, and there tax problem is fairly easily resolved. So the initial fee they pay you is only $1,000. Many practitioners would balk at this, since it cost $1,250 to acquire the client. However, Client “B” happens to be an active real estate investor, and purchases, on average, two rental properties per year. Every time they purchase a new rental, they buy an hour of your time to review the numbers on the transaction and offer your advice. In addition, they have a complicated annual 1040 with multiple schedule E’s. Their 1040 next year is easily going to be a $1,000 tax return, plus $500 per year in advisement, if not more. Over the course of the next twenty years, the LCV of this client is at least $30,000, or 24 … Continue reading