Taking Action Is The Hidden “Secret” To Success

The cliches regarding business success are as plentiful as the failed businesses that failed to follow them. “Successful people do the things that unsuccessful people are unwilling to do”. “Success loves speed (of action).” These and a thousand more popular business sayings are used as opening chapter quotes in countless books about success and achievement.

The problem is that they are all true. No matter what, building a successful tax practice requires DOING, not just planning, thinking, and hoping. In general, sitting on your ass accomplishes nothing.

In every business I’ve ever been in, lack of action is the single biggest failure point I come across.

A perfect example, ironically, is the infrequency and irregularity of these exact article updates. In order to provide you, my reader, with the best resources, tools, and maintain “top of mind awareness” about my products and services, I really should be writing to you at least once a week, if not every day. This would help me in a number of ways, including search engine rankings for the web site, keeping you abreast of the latest marketing developments, and building goodwill with you as a regular reader. But, more often than not, I end up going a month or four without writing. In short, shame on me.

But you don’t need to fall victim to the same trap. Each and every day, each and every week, there are specific things you should be doing to build your tax practice. Basically, just do them. The cumulative daily actions you take, most of which take very little time, add up over the course of a year.

The most critical action items you should take, of course, involve marketing. And I’m not just saying that because I sell leads and marketing materials, or because writing about marketing is my favorite thing. No, it really is true.

Just as writing to you daily (or at least weekly) should be my most important task (because for me, that is my marketing), the same applies to you. Are you sending out weekly mailings? Do you have a weekly email newsletter you CONSISTENTLY send out?

Author and sales trainer Steve Schiffman has written over a dozen books on the subject of cold calling and sales, and I’ve read them all (his stuff is worth reading). He has two consistent ideas that he repeats over and over again, and which have quite frankly formed the basis of … Continue reading

Transferring Telephone Sales Calls To Closers

Some tax resolution organizations will choose to use a sales model in which a team of 3 or 4 telemarketers are making the initial contact with tax debtors, and then transferring the calls of people that are actually interested to a sales closer or the licensed person on staff. This is a highly efficient sales model that ensures that the closer or licensed person is only talking to interested people and doing actual consultations, making better use of their time. The telemarketers in this case can be minimum wage employees with some sort of bonus/commission structure for sales made, or even just straight hourly.

Transfers to the closer or licensed professional can be handled one of two ways. The first way is to transfer the call LIVE, which is often more effective. The other option is to have the telemarketer set telephone consultation appointments for the closer. The latter method is often preferential for very small firms and solo practitioners. In the case of a solo practitioner operating only in their local area, these appointments can be physical, in-office appointments to discuss the tax problem, and the telemarketer must screen the prospect using a set of questions developed for that purpose, to ensure that the licensed professional can actually help them and their time is being used most efficiently.

Live Transfers

The transfer from Opener to Closer needs to be done smoothly and professionally! Once you have the call you should have an intro. For yourself that goes something like this…

“Hi (prospect) , this is (your name), I’m one of [FIRM’s] [senior consultants, attorneys, CPA’s, Enrolled Agents], and the reason (opener) transferred you to me is to take the conversation farther to see if we can be of service for you on the (tax issue) problems. OK? Now, as (opener) explained, [FIRM] specializes in resolving government tax lien problems for companies all across the country. Actually, we have clients in every state in America. Also, as you probably know we get the tax lien info from public record sources. Anyway, (opener’s) notes state that you owe the (IRS / State) approximately ($ amount) in back taxes: does that sound right?”

[Remember, you always want to be asking questions that either get you YES answers, or that ENGAGE the prospect in CONVERSATION.]

After receiving a YES answer, or engaging in conversation about the correct tax debt amount, continue with the script:

“What I need to … Continue reading

Understanding the IRS Trust Fund Recovery Penalty

One of the most common points of confusion among business owners in regard to their tax debt has to do with the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty. I’d like to explain what “trust fund” taxes are, where they come from, how the IRS holds somebody personally responsible for them, and, most importantly, what you can do about them.

What Are “Trust Fund” Taxes?

“Trust fund” taxes are any tax that is collected by you, on behalf of somebody else. There are many different trust fund taxes, but the two most common are sales taxes and income withholding taxes.

Most states are very aggressive about collecting sales taxes (North Carolina will physically arrest you for not paying them). Technically speaking, sales taxes are owed by the person making the purchase. However, because they are collected at the point of sale, they are a trust fund tax. This is because the person paying them (e.g., your customer) is “trusting” you to hold that tax money and pay it on their behalf. When you receive sales tax money from your customers, you are supposed to hold it in a separate “trust” account, and then hand it over to the tax man when it is due (usually monthly, in most states/counties).

Income withholding taxes are also “entrusted” to you by your employees. Specifically, these are income taxes you withhold from paychecks, and the employee’s half of Social Security and Medicare that you take out of their paycheck.

Even though the employee never sees the money that’s taken out of their paycheck, they expect it to exist, somewhere. That somewhere is a trust account (generally your payroll account) where you save that money up and then pay it to the government every two weeks or monthly.

Payroll taxes are the one of the biggest enforcement concern to the IRS. Part of running a business and having employees is exercising ordinary business care and prudence. This is fancy lingo enshrined within the tax code that basically means the IRS expects you to exercise common sense in regards to running your business. Part of this common sense is to understand that your employees cost you more than just the paycheck you actually write them, and if your business doesn’t have the revenue to support those extra costs of having employees, then you shouldn’t have the employee.

So, to recap, trust fund taxes are taxes that are owed by other people, such as … Continue reading