There's Opportunity Everywhere...

"Good things happen when you pay attention." - John F Smith

I'm writing this to you from Toledo, OH where my wife's parents live. Her pops is struggling with brain cancer treatment, and we've come out here every month or so for a week to help them through the process. Yes, it ain't easy...but the time with them has been precious.

And this economy ain't easy for everyone either. But that doesn't mean new opportunities aren't sprouting up all over the place.

As you may have heard, Wal-Mart has had an influx of new customers over the course of the last few months, as this economy has been pushing more middle income (and even higher) folks to frequent the cost-conscious shops. Walmart has taken note, and they're working on KEEPING those customers through a variety of different tactics.

And as a sort of amateur "Wal-Mart-ologist" (one of the few really smart corporations out there--yes, I know some people hate it...but success don't lie), I take note of this behavior.

And so should you.

You see, for the smart tax business owner, this economy should be driving you MORE business, not less. And if that's not happening (or didn't happen during the season), then you should take a hard look at how you're presenting yourself to the marketplace. And it does NOT have to be about price (despite the Walmart example)...in fact, it *shouldn't* be about price.

It's about trust. You see, Walmart is increasing the communication of BENEFITS and value to their new customers and not simply just competing on price.

If you're marketing yourself as just another tax preparer or accountant, you're truly missing this conversation going on in the head of your clients and prospects. You're just more noise.

But start speaking to the benefits of forming a real relationship founded on trust and communication...and you'll reap the rewards of all the opportunities out there for you.

In fact, this gets to what I'll write about for this week's Profit For Life Strategy Note: how you communicate your message is critical for your business health.

[And early next week, look out for an email from me titled: "Ethiopian Adoption Celebration!" It'll give you a link to pictures of our new kiddos...plus a very sweet deal for you in celebration.]

Make Sure You've Got The RIGHT Message

The key to making your marketing sing, and create monster results is to have a "Unique Selling Proposition", and without it--you're sunk.

"What is a Unique Selling Proposition and how do I develop one or more for my tax business?"

Good question. Now let's find the answer by answering this next question.

Why should your prospect choose you or your tax services versus any and every other option available to them?

In other words, what are the reasons a certain group of people would choose you compared to going down the street to the other five tax businesses? What makes your tax business different and unique? Why are you better? What do YOU do that is so special?

If you do NOT have a good answer to these questions and you can't say it in a clear, concise manner, then you will have a real problem marketing your tax business effectively over the long haul!

This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where you lay it on the line. Your reputation, your money, your whole business hinges on a well developed USP!

It amazes me, for as many times as I talk about this subject, too many tax business owners I coach DON'T have a good answer or answers to these questions! I'm telling you, spend a solid three or four days thinking through this one area of your business, developing a solid USP message to "hang your tax business on," and it could make the difference in six figures of profit in the next few tax seasons alone for some tax business owners.

Some tax business owners I talk to say, "Well, I offer the same tax services all the other accountants in town do. How can I be unique or different?" Or they will tell me, "Well, I offer quality service. It's the people in my office that make the difference."

Now how many times do you hear EVERY business say in their advertising, "Our people make the difference!"

I hear that so much I want to get sick!

Don't get me wrong, people DO make a difference in services business. But clients see that for themselves once they are ALREADY "in" your office. We are talking about selling propositions that make you so unique, someone who is NOT a client (or has not used your services before) would call or come by your office to inquire about your tax services.

Oh, and as far as "offering the same tax services as all the other accountants in town," that may or may not be true. But just for the sake of argument, let's say you DID offer the exact same tax services as everyone else.

I'd be willing to bet you YOU COULD "DESCRIBE" YOUR SERVICES IN A UNIQUE WAY THAT WOULD DIFFERENTIATE YOU FROM YOUR COMPETITION.

Example:

A)    Acme Tax Service offers low prices and a fast turn around service!

B)     Acme Tax Service GUARANTEES The Lowest Tax Preparation Price Compared To Those "National Brand Name Companies," Plus We Offer Our Special And Unique Promise To You: Your Tax Return Prepared In 1 Day Or You Don't Pay! (*call about details)

Now don't you think example "B" might SELL your prospect into giving you (at least) a phone call? (I think so, too.)

Example "A" business could be offering the exact same tax services at the exact same price and getting 95% of the tax returns prepared in 1 Day, too.

All example "B" has to do is make up a simple flier in their office plus, answering a few of the same questions over the phone, explain 95% of the tax returns they prepare qualify for the 1 Day guarantee and to please bring all your information down to our office and we'll be able to tell you ahead of time if your tax return qualifies.

So with the "B" tax business' two unique selling propositions, they will get MORE phone calls from their current advertising, which will result in MORE sales (and more income in their bank account).

Are you starting to see how important your USP message is to the overall profitability of your tax business?

You can have multiple USPs for multiple different target markets.

"Blue Collar" target market USPs:

* 1 Day Refund Loan Checks

* GUARANTEED Next Day Tax Preparation Services

* Our Promise: "The tax return will be correct or we pay the penalties and interest

on our mistake!"

"White Collar" target market USPs:

* "Complete Peace Of Mind, IRS Protected" Accuracy Guarantee

* "No-Client-Waits" Executive Tax Service Guarantee

* "Special Procrastinator Discount Valid Until 6 p.m. April 14th"

If you can have an answer to the USP question which is better than the other tax businesses in your town, you WILL get your share of phone calls this tax season!

And like I've said before (and I'll say it again), getting the phone call or email is THE goal of your advertising and marketing promotions!

+++++++++++++

I'm truly dedicated to your success!

God bless you,

Nate Hagerty

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