Tax Resolution Fee Models & Closing Tax Resolution Sales

Today is your last chance to get Martin Bissett’s new pricing course and still get the bonus I’m throwing in with it.

Martin’s course will still be available after today, but you only have until 11:59pm PST tonight to send me your email receipt and receive the 2-hour bonus training I’m providing on tax resolution fee models and closing tax resolution sales.

In this bonus training, you’ll learn the answers to some of the most common questions I receive about tax resolution fees, such as:

  • How much do you charge for a Streamline vs Regular Installment Agreement?
  • Do you include tax prep fees in your representation quote?
  • How much should I charge a client that………?
  • What’s the best fee to charge for lien withdrawal?

Due to federal anti-trust laws relating to fee collusion and price fixing, I cannot and will not tell you exactly what you should charge a client for any particular scenario (nobody else should be doing that either, by the way!). That would be a major no-no.

But in this recording, I do discuss the pros and cons of various fee structures for taxpayer representation, and national fee averages for various types of services.

In addition to fees, questions regarding exactly what to say to close a sale comprise another high percentage of questions I’m asked by tax pros. Common examples:

  • How do you conduct the consultation?
  • How do you transition from “consultation” to closing?
  • When do you quote the fee?
  • These are tax debtors! How do you actually get paid?
  • What “key words” or “magic phrases” can I use to close sales?

Let’s face it: The vast majority of CPAs, Enrolled Agents, and tax attorneys are NOT natural born salespeople. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Fortunately, just like accounting and taxpayer representation, sales is a skill that can be learned. I was a science geek in high school, a nuclear power electrician in the Navy, and got my B.S. in nuclear power. Not marketing or business, but atom smashing. That’s about as far from preparation for a life in sales and marketing as I think one can get in this country.

As you well know, the big national tax resolution firms employ slick, high pressure salesmen. Many of the “closers” I knew back in the day in Denver were former timeshare sales reps, and you know how high pressure they can be!

I’ve never been that guy, … Continue reading

The long overdue conversation with your existing clients

In yesterday’s post, I encouraged you to finally raise your fees.

Yes, even on existing clients that purchase recurring compliance services from you.

Clearly, this can be a difficult subject to bring up with those existing clients. And due to the pandemic, it may feel even more awkward to discuss such things.

But, as I mentioned yesterday, if you haven’t raised fees in a long time, it’s even more critical that you do so ASAP, because the purchasing power of your old fee structure is being eroded by inflation. This alone is reason enough to rip off the Band-Aid® and raise your fees to where they should be immediately.

This is something that Martin Bissett goes into detail on in his new pricing course. In this course, you’ll learn:

  • How to communicate your fees clearly, with confidence
  • How to ensure consistency in pricing across your entire firm (so that nobody lowballs to win work)
  • How to check that all priced work is profitable for your firm
  • A clear process for identifying, pricing and quoting all additional work upfront (without any awkward conversations with clients)
  • The Problem with Pricing in a Pandemic
  • Should Your Firm Rely on Technology to Set Your Pricing?
  • How to Overcome Price Objection
  • The Only Three Prices You’ll Ever Need

…and, of course, how to raise fees for existing clients (or, “re-price” them, as Martin says in his polite, professional way).

To get access to Martin Bissett’s new pricing course, it’s only going to run you $99, and if you order this week, I’ll send you a special bonus: Access to my 2-hour tax resolution training video on tax resolution fee models and a structured approach to closing tax resolution sales.

To get this special bonus, simply forward me a copy of your email receipt from Martin by 11:59pm Pacific time on Friday, January 29, 2021. This is a firm deadline, so don’t delay.

Click Here For More Info

To beating inflation,
~Jassen Bowman… Continue reading

You Have My Permission to Raise Your Fees in 2021

A CPA that purchased Martin Bissett’s pricing course this morning sent me an email stating that his now-former partner hadn’t raised his fees in 15 years.

Fifteen years.

Wow!

And now that his partner has retired, this CPA now has the super-fun task of balancing fee increases with client retention concerns.

I was going to reply to him personally, but this really is a message that ALL accountants need to hear. So here we go…

First, inflation over the last fifteen years has been 37% in total, per CPI data. That means that a dollar today has over one third less purchasing power than it did in 2005. Understand that everybody’s cost of living goes up  The price of all goods and services go up. Heck, Federal Reserve monetary policy is intentionally focused on averaging 2% inflation per year. The past 15 years has averaged 1.98% per year, so they’re hitting their goal. To maintain your own standard of living, you need to raise your prices by at least the rate of inflation.

Second, it’s been my experience that fears of losing clients when you start raising fees are generally overblown. If this CPA were to raise fees by 37%, the fear might be that NONE of them would stay — but that’s just not likely. It’s obviously impossible to provide an estimate of retention without much further data, but in my experience, raising fees by small percentages each year usually results in almost zero client loss. Even raising fees by low double-digit percentages in a single year, such as 10-15 percent, will only result in the loss of couple percent of clients. These numbers are based on recurring compliance services, such tax prep and bookkeeping.

Will a 37% immediate fee increase cause more consternation amongst clients? Yes, of course. How many will leave? Impossible to predict, but I’ve personally never seen a situation where a large fee increase resulted in a client loss of more than one-half of the equivalent fee increase percentage. Meaning, if one were to raise tax prep or bookkeeping fees 30%, I would expect the client loss to be less than 15%. That’s a very gross rule of thumb, so don’t base your life on it, but in most markets it’s applicable for recurring compliance services.

Third, when it comes to less-routine, non-recurring services, such as work that you do on a project basis… That previous rule of thumb goes … Continue reading