In yesterday’s article, I gave you the raw numbers that drive the marketing tactic of generating referrals from other tax professionals.
Today, I will answer the most frequently asked question about this particular marketing method: Why would other tax professionals be willing to refer me their clients? Won’t they feel threatened by my presence?
These are perfectly valid questions. However, from experience, I firmly believe that it’s an overblown concern, especially if you specifically position your relationship to be constructive rather than competitive.
First, the big picture. Any tax professional worth their salt should understand and embrace two core ethics principles that directly relate to this conversation:
- As long as the client is paying you and playing ball, we need to do what’s best for them.
- No tax pro should practice beyond the scope of their own competence.
I think these are two basic things we can all agree on. So with that said, any professional colleague in the broader financial services industry should be expected to refer out their own clients to other competent service providers for services they cannot provide if the client genuinely needs those services. Honestly, it almost feels like I shouldn’t have to spell this out, but there it is.
So for this reason, and this reason alone, the vast majority of those 670,000 tax preparers I mentioned yesterday are willing to refer work to YOU that is beyond their expertise (including willingness to acquire expertise).
Second thing: Since the concern over poaching clients can and does come up, you can and should proactively position your relationship with your new referral partner to address this concern up front.
For example, if you are working tax resolution referrals from an attorney, simply Kovel yourself under the law firm and work the case.
Another example: If you are a tax resolution-only practice, and you don’t even do tax prep or bookkeeping (which is how I operated, and many of our members do likewise), then overtly state this to your future referral partner during the initial conversation. Tell them that they get to do all the tax prep and bookkeeping — they’re still engaged with the client, and you’re kinda working together on the case.
Final example: Let them collect the resolution fee, and pay you your cut. Now I do have to say that this isn’t something I would ever do, because I’m too much of a control freak … Continue reading