I usually touch base with you on Fridays, but I’m flying to NYC tomorrow morning for a long weekend with my wife. First time away from the (now four!) kids for any extended period of time. We’re going for the launch party for my great friend’s book, A Walk Across The Sun, which is going to be huge — if you like great thriller fiction, you’ll LOVE it. It’s endorsed by a chap named John Grisham, and it’s the first time he’s ever endorsed a work.
Today I want to encourage you to make some offers these next couple weeks.
Many tax professionals shy away from making offers to their existing contacts, assuming that the IRS deadline is “offer” enough. This is terribly short-sighted for a couple reasons, AND you can use this important marketing tool to incent a variety of actions, besides simply choosing you for tax preparation this year.
Here’s why it’s short-sighted to NOT make offers to existing contacts:
1) Your (smart) competition will be doing so. And I’m not just talking about your friendly CPA down the street — I’m referring to Intuit, Block and other huge competitors — all of whom understand that direct-response offers move the needle for prospects to get up off their tush and actually take action. With them.
2) You miss out on all the low-hanging fruit available to you in your list. There are “lurkers” who read your emails, follow your social media activity — or, if you do none of these things, let’s just say that they are “warm” to you, know who you are … but for all of these fine folks, momentum is a killer. I can tell you from personal experience that making the switch to a new tax professional is a big pain — but a nice offer gives me (and your prospect) a reason to respond.
Most tax professionals also resist making offers because they are under-priced. They carry this poverty mindset into their marketing, and don’t see how they can squeeze any margin from work for which they are already underpaid. If that’s you: raise the darn prices! I have beaten that drum a lot, but I’m pretty sure I’ll have to keep on beating…
Now, here are a few things which you may not have considered making an offer around (by the way, we create these offers regularly for users of our print newsletter and email marketing services):
- Bringing client paperwork in early, by a specific deadline
- Referring X number of other clients (3-5 is a good range)
- Adding an additional service (upsells)
- Audit Protection
- Reviewing past returns from other preparers or software
- Posting about you to Facebook or Twitter
You see, there are a whole host of things which you can incent your client or contact to do on your behalf. It’s not just about using your tax prep services.
Break out of the box! Oh, and now is really the time to start doing this … but don’t neglect it when the bullets are really flying come February and March. Keeping it going then just pours gasoline on the already-existent fire!
Talk again soon — I hope this calm before the storm is a productive time for you.
Write some offers.