3 ways to grow from your existing client base

5 weeks left in tax season.

My question to you -- are you harvesting all that you could be from your EXISTING clients?

Here's what I mean by that...

1) Retention.

For those of you who have been keeping in front of your clients and prospects, this should be a strong point for you right now.

However, if your numbers aren't where you'd like them to be, March is the perfect time to hire a college intern or friendly part-timer to crank through your client list and give your clients a friendly courtesy call.

I keep pounding this drum simply because it's a missed step for too many tax practices. Don't just "assume" they're coming back. You know what happens when you assume ...

2) Referrals.

Yes, it's great when this happens organically -- but you can also make the organic movement be a little "homegrown", if you will. A few ideas for you on that front:

* For clients whose taxes you've completed -- include 5 gift certificates in their finished paperwork when they complete it, as a gift they can offer to their friends. Once we get later on in the month, pivot to making these gift certificates be for a "return review" consultation (about which I will write to you more in the future).

* When you meet with your clients for the purposes of going through their information, make the ask. This is another chance to use incentives (like the gift certificate) -- and you can take it a step further by creating mini affiliates out of your clients, and by customizing each gift certificate with your client's name, and rewarding each referral from that specific client with a concrete reward.

Even if for some reason you don't feel able to be so up-front about this practice, you can simply keep track of your star referrers and send them an unrelated "thank you" for each one. Often your clients are further fueled to provide even more referrals, simply because you thanked them.

3) Dollars Per Return.

Are you offering "upsells" with each tax return? Whether it's ...

* An audit protection retainer agreement

* A set appointment at the point of preparation for a future (paid) tax planning consultation

* Pre-paying for next year's tax work (at a reduced rate -- and if their form situation changes, you can simply apply their prepayment to the larger bill)

* Mining the return for financial planning or other cross-sold services

... or any of a suite of additional services, you must keep in mind that your GREATEST financial asset is your relationship with your existing client.

Even if your new client numbers aren't where you want them to be, you can vastly increase the profitability of your practice by focusing on the above 3 components of your existing client list.

God bless you -- and your firm. Keep cranking!

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