Whenever I speak with private clients (especially leading up to and during tax season), a regular topic of conversation is the importance of having CLEAR goals in mind for every client interaction with you or your office.
You see, while I was directing the marketing for the big tax firm, besides negotiating with ad reps, writing marketing copy and creating direct-mail and online campaigns — I spent a significant amount of time working with our “front line” staff on ensuring that EVERY interaction with prospects and clients was leading to a sale, or a retention. Making them happy, fulfilling their requests … but also being SMART about how to actually *lead* the conversations, and not just react.
You probably have an inherent sense that every phone call coming into your office is precious. After all, much of your marketing is designed to do that–create that phone call. So, it’s important that you have a PLAN leverage those conversations for this tax season…
Converting Inbound Phone Calls To Tax Clients
These are proven strategies to ensure that your receptionists or Client Service Representatives (or you, which I don’t really recommend) extract maximum value from every inbound phone call…and you gather more clients!
Feel free to make a copy of this, and post it by the phone to get MAXIMUM value!
1) The main goal is to get the client to the office.
When questions are specific, you answer them by saying, “Come on in, we will be happy to look at your information and let you know the exact answer. Our principal [YOU] is an expert.”
Every time you answer the phone all of your responses should be inviting to the client to come in, so be sure to do this without making the client feel like you are putting them off.
2) Ask a closing question.
This is the essential step which most people do not address when they answer the phone. These questions can be anything from: “Would you like to come in to see [YOU or your staff] tonight or tomorrow morning?” or “Do you know where we are located?” or “Can I set aside a check-in form for you?”. What matters most is that this question gets asked.
3) Attitude is everything.
When we sound hurried and short on the phone, the client assumes this is how they will be treated when they come in. If you are stressed, take a deep breath before you answer the phone so you can treat your clients as nicely as possible.
They deserve respect. Every question should be answered to the best of your knowledge along with the most enthusiastic invitation that leaves the client wanting to find out about the excitement happening in your office.
4) Use the client’s name to create a sense of social obligation.
It is commonly said that the most beautiful sound in the human language is the sound of our own name. Take a quick second to ask the name of the person on the phone and use it.
5) Use YOUR name.
Tell them who you are and let the client know that you are personally looking forward to seeing them when they can come in.
6) Create a sense of urgency for the client to come in to the office.
Tell them as soon as their tax information has been received to come into the office and allow [YOU] to take care of the rest.
Share this article with your staff and watch your phone conversions (and sales) go through the roof. Test me on this, and you will see how right I am.