To reach the top of your marketplace (yay, even to be in GROWTH mode in this economy), you need to be doing the exact opposite of what your competitors are doing.
Yes, I know that is a very bold statement. But, I’m here to tell you today, if you do what everyone else in your area is doing in the tax industry, you will never rise above the crowd and get the success you’ve imagined for yourself.
A local friend of mine, here in Kansas City, is talking about opening a home inspecting business soon. He has spent several months preparing a manual on “how to successfully operate a home inspecting business” and notably, he was very proud to tell me about it. When I asked about the marketing, he said, “Well, in this business no one actually promotes themselves … it’s all word of mouth among realtors.”
My immediate response was, “If EVERYONE does not promote themselves in this industry, then putting together an extensive, online (and offline) lead-generation + relationship-building campaign — and doing the opposite of everyone else is the first thing you should be doing with your time … not writing an operations manual!”
My friend was a bit taken aback by my ‘odd’ advice. A week later when we had lunch together, he took me back to that conversation and pressed me for more. (This was such an crazy concept to him … doing the opposite of everyone else to reach real success … and the fact that I was so passionate about it, he wanted more and more advice and how to apply.)
I told him only 2% of the people in any industry are really doing well. I mean, those that are achieving success that’s out of this world good. They are at the top of their marketplace. I told him, if you want to be the ‘top dog’ in your area, you cannot do what the crowd does (or the industry norm) and expect to get hugely successful results.
If You Are Doing What Everyone Else In Your Market Area Is Doing, You And Your Tax Business Are Dying A Slow And Painful Death …
Let me give two quick examples to illustrate my point.
1) As we enter the summer, the “tax business owner crowd” has put the tax season behind them and doesn’t want to think about it. The 2% high achievers (tax business owners who have set goals or are already working their strategic plan or are already experiencing great success) are analyzing what they did well, what they did not do well, and in what key areas they will focus their time in the off season.
2) The tax professional norm is to go to their regional IRS show, hear about some proposed regulatory or tax law changes (and get a tax write off for the trip). The 2% club of tax biz go-getters come to these same IRS events and find 2 or 3 other tax business owners doing some really smart marketing or sales techniques which are dramatically increasing net profit (that has nothing to do with taxes or the agenda at the IRS event).
Now that is truly opposite behavior. If you find yourself doing the same ol’ thing you’ve always done, and it seems to be pretty close to what everyone else in the tax business does where you live, maybe you should think very seriously about trying a NEW approach this offseason.
Like Zig Ziglar always says, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.