Making Your Appointments Pay More

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I’m writing from sunny Hilton Head Island, my family and I taking a much-deserved rest from all of our world traveling … to travel some more! (editor — probably should work on the logic there!)
And for my daughters, who have never seen the ocean, it’s been an incredible week of “firsts”. I wish we had captured the look on my five year-old’s face when she saw the “big water”.
Summertime is “planning season” for tax professionals — both for your clients but also, of course, for YOU, in preparation for tax season.
And this can be a great revenue-surge for you, if you approach it properly.
You see, back when I was doing more intensive, 1-on-1 coaching with clients, I had a tax pro client who had set up two different tax planning consultations one day, and neither of them showed up for their appointed time. It was a few thousand dollars of missed revenue (based on the projected billings which would have come out of the sessions).
You can imagine how my client felt when those appointments were no-shows. And they never did end up showing up, either–those relationships fizzled, and MY client never got a clear sense as to why.
Don’t you hate cancellations? They  mean no consistency, no predictability and ultimately may mean no business.
We made some tweaks to my client’s process, and this issue went away. (And, incidentally, it’s these sort of issues which prompted me to start this particular company in the first place–to just go ahead and DO for our clients what needs to get done. Building relationships, automatic follow-up and “setting the table” so that your clients see YOU as an authority whose time is NOT to be trifled with!)
Indeed–there are a few ways to increase the perceived value of your time, eliminate these kinds of cancellations–and make your sessions even more attractive in the first place. They all have to do with how you position these meetings from the beginning…
1. Convert your free initial consultations into a meeting that has a name, a value and a purpose. For example, instead of a “Free Consultation”, give your upfront meetings a name–like a $750 “Business Wealth Audit” or a $500 “Family Tax Analysis Session”. And, of course, you can waive those fees as an incentive.
You’ll also be surprised how many folks appreciate the clarity and specificity of your “front door”…and will fork over money to meet with you. Which makes it much easier to…
2. Take a credit card to reserve time with you. Does that scare you? It does for many, but every single professional I know that has tried it has never gone back. When done right, you’ll never do it any other way.
When your initial meetings already carry a perceived value, of course, it’s much easier to justify this step. Oh, and even better: you take control of your time again. And clients are much more prone to actually execute on what you advise.
3.  Create a pre-set “follow up” sequence that is run whenever someone makes an appointment. I’ve written in the past about a stunning pre-meeting package and that’s a really nice first step. But a pre-planned series of emails and phone calls to your prospect — all designed to get them prepared for the meeting (and to show up!) will even further melt away price resistance, cancellations and even ensure that you get what you need from them FASTER–which speeds up your processes and directly increases your bottom line (cutting down staff labor costs, etc.).
And to really boost your results, set up a POST-meeting follow-up sequence to gather testimonials, ask for referrals and ensure you’re not missing any other revenue opportunities with different services.
Look, your time is valuable. It’s time your clients and prospects knew that too. And when they do, not only might you add some nice meeting fees to your revenue, but you’ll find that your cancellations disappear.

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