The quickest way to burn a referral source

Recently, I’ve been shopping around for a new mortgage broker to refinance a rental property.

My local real estate agent referred me to a couple different people in the area.

Since mortgage rates are at all time lows right now, the refi market is alive and thriving. Loan officers have more prospects coming in than they can keep up with.

But even though that’s the case, it’s no excuse to completely blow off an inquiry, let alone multiple phone calls and emails, from a prospect. At a minimum, a one-sentence email reply to say they’re swamped and will get back to me as soon as they can should be in order.

But no, zero response at all.

When I relayed this back to the real estate agent I work with, that agent contacted the loan officer, and was told that she would get back to me when she could, but just didn’t have time to even tell me that directly.

My real estate agent wasn’t pleased at that response, and will not be sending any further referrals to this particular loan officer.

Referral source: Burned.

That mortgage broker is going to regret doing that when the refi market slows down. Dumb move. Very, very dumb move.

The ironic part is that this is the second time I’ve experienced this in the last couple years, in different markets.

Perhaps even more ironic is the fact that the real estate agent I work with here is somebody I selected because they were the only person that bothered to return my phone calls back in 2015. Since then, she’s earned three commissions from my transactions. Three. Simply because she bothered to return my phone calls 5 years ago.

Your referral sources are the single most valuable source of new business that you have. They’re more valuable than your SEO. More valuable than your social media presence. More valuable than the perfect direct mail piece.

Burn your referral sources, and they’ll simply stop referring. Even if you’re slammed with work, have the common courtesy to get back to people to schedule a future appointment, or let them know that you’re slammed and will get back to them by a certain … Continue reading

The #1 tax resolution marketing strategy you need to be using

In June 2014, I returned to the United States, rented a car, and visited a total of 42 cities, from coast to coast.

On this “road show”, I presented a simple 2-hour ethics CE class to other enrolled agents in each city I visited. Many times, there were only 3-4 people in the room. All told, I connected with over 200 other EAs as a result of this endeavor.

Why on Earth would I embark on such a journey?

I had several reasons for doing this, but one of the biggest reasons was this: It was the fastest way to exponentially grow my network of tax resolution referral sources.

At first, I was reluctant to do this road show. Another speaker/author from the tax prep world had to talk me into it, as he wanted to host several big, full-day workshops with tax professionals around the country. We did eight of those full day workshops together.

But, I sure am glad that he talked me into it. Otherwise, I never would have done my ethics classes along that route. Never would have met those other EAs. Never would have received the client referrals from them later in 2014 and 2015 — client work that helped fund the launch of my tech startup and funded the purchase of the duplex that marked my return to real estate investing after going bankrupt and losing everything in the 2008 recession.

See, when I made the decision to come back to the United States in the summer of 2014, I did so with the intent of creating long-term wealth, rather than just generating income. Tax resolution is the perfect service to offer if you want to be a globe-trotting expat, and at the time I had a great life in Sydney, Australia. But, while I had a healthy income, I wasn’t generating true wealth.

Fortunately, tax resolution is also a great wealth-building tool. And while I had other lead generation tools — my book, a webinar for consumers that converted well enough, successful direct mail campaigns — the reality is that referrals are the single best source of new clients. Always has been, and always will be.

In particular, referrals from the half a million unenrolled preparers that can’t independently represent clients in front of IRS Collections or Appeals at all…. Referrals from the more than 600,000 CPAs that have zero desire to touch a Collections case… Referrals … Continue reading

Live Webinars – Week of May 25-29, 2020

Employee Retention Credit… IRS Statutes of Limitation… Cybersecurity… Content marketing — That’s what’s on tap this week. Let’s dive in!

Monday, May 25, 1pm PDT (4pm EDT)
Content Marketing Essentials For Tax Firms
Join yours truly for an exploration of this important business development topic. Whether online or offline, whether bookkeeping or tax resolution, whether truckers or doctors, content marketing is one of your most essential marketing activities. We’ll discuss the core components of your content marketing strategy, typical costs you’ll face for getting various things done, and look at some examples of content marketing being done by other tax and accounting professionals. Click here to register.

Tuesday, May 26, 11am PDT (2pm EDT)
IRS Statutes of Limitation: ASED, CSED, RSED
Dan Henn, CPA delivers an updated edition of his classic 1-hour CE/CPE class on statutes of limitation for assessment, collection, and refund. If you’re engaging in taxpayer representation, then understanding these three areas of statute are fundamental to properly representing your clients. Click here to register.

Wednesday, May 27, 10am PDT (1pm EDT)
Cybersecurity: The Current State & How To Protect Your Firm, Part II
The second in our two-part CPE series presented by cloud service provider Coaxis Hosting will focus on data security and regulatory compliance within your IT systems. Tax professionals are a frequent target of cybercriminals, due to the sensitive nature of the client data we store. We all have a legal and ethical responsibility to safeguard our client data, so this is a topic you should be learning as much about as you can right now. This class is free, and provides 1 hr of CPE for CPAs. Click here to register.

Thursday, May 28, 10am PDT (1pm EDT)
Exploring Payroll Tax Options with Chrisa Anderson, CPA
While most of the media attention has been given to the PPP loan program, the reality is that small businesses have other options to help them address their payroll costs during the current recession. On this fireside chat (no CPE), my guest Chrisa Anderson, CPA will join me to discuss these other options, including the Employee Retention Credit, that are available to your business clients. We will discuss the decision making process that goes into selecting the right option for your client, as well as how to use these payroll tax options as a marketing opportunity to help grow your practice. Click here to register.

Friday, May 29, 7am Continue reading