By Andy Frye
There are many different ways to boost your income as a tax professional. One of the first things to keep in mind is that your attitude and the way you see yourself is key. You don’t want to just look at yourself as a tax preparer. Instead, you want to view yourself as a resource person to your clients. Some of the more effective and common ones will be covered in this article. Below is a checklist that you can print out and use anytime.
- Specialize – it’s no secret that specialists in any profession get paid more. If you haven’t found your niche, then it’s time that you do so. A couple of promising tax niches are self-employed individuals and small to mid-sized businesses. But there are other niches that may be better suited to you. Keep in mind that even though you may specialize in a particular area, that doesn’t mean you won’t get referrals to do other types of clients.
- Name capture – have a name and email capture on your website’s home page. This gives your prospects the opportunity to keep in touch with you through your e-newsletter or company email list. Be sure to make it worth their time to receive and read your emails. If possible make your email content short, concise, but packed with practical value that they can take away right then and there. These are already prospects that have shown an interest. Some of them may be your current clients. In any case, you have the opportunity to stay on the minds of your prospects and to periodically offer them your products and services.
- Blog – you need to have a blog up to draw people to your business. Your blog should contain a variety of categories that appeal to your prospective market. If you’re targeting small to mid-size businesses then your subject matter would include relevant tax tips, as well as general business building tips. The key to an effective blog is having valuable content to offer to readers for free. This helps establish credibility and trust in the eyes of your prospects. Keep your blog fresh and updated on a regular basis. If you’re running a tax office and your prospects are low to middle income members of the local community, then your blog would not just have tax tips. You also would want to include general interest topics, such as budgeting, saving money, weight loss, fitness, Christmas shopping, etc. The key is to create a buzz around you and your services.
- Boost your listening skills – please don’t be tempted to skip over this part. When it comes to listening, many of us need a lot of work to improve. Very often, misunderstandings that were due to poor listening skills have caused entire businesses to go under. Alternatively, excellent listeners have been able to listen out for new sales opportunities to boost their value to the client and to boost income. Think about your listening skills and work to improve them. When you’re having a conversation with your client, do you think about what you’re going to say next while they are speaking to you? For example, technical professionals, such as Engineers often tune out what managers and other non-technical people are saying. Do you find yourself often interrupting others before they have had a chance to finish speaking? Technical professionals will often value facts over feelings. As a result, they’ll tune out or interrupt in order to try to set the other person straight. There is no awareness of the fact that the other speaker has the need to fully express themselves, regardless of who is right or wrong. This is important in dealing with your clients.
- Shift your marketing into extra high gear – take a close look at your marketing funnel. What’s working and what’s not working. Don’t be afraid to regroup and sort out things. You want identify the core success factors for your business. How are referrals? Is there an incentive in place for happy clients to refer others to you? Next, you’ll want to exploit any weaknesses on the part of your competitors. Look at their business operations and how the changing tax codes are affecting them. Find the weakest link. They are most likely in the same situation as you are. Therefore, you’re going to find some weaknesses to take advantage of. You can also focus on profitable accounts. Sometimes a client could cost you more than they bring. Take a look at your current clients. Which ones are the most profitable? Which ones are the most joy to work with? Is there a middle ground? Find a hook with your key accounts. Review their expectations, needs and wants. Then move on to find a good hook for your tax services and Profit Enhancement services you provide that can help their business grow.
Fool-Proof Marketing. 15 Winning Methods for Selling Any Product or Service in Any Economy. Robert Bly
Selling Your Services. Proven Strategies for Getting Clients to Hire You (or Your Firm).
Pronto Tax Site
Andy is a third generation tax business entrepreneur and Enrolled Agent (E.A.) licensed to represent taxpayers with the IRS. Andy has personally prepared more than 10,000 tax returns and is the founder of Pronto Tax School, Inc., an online education platform that educates and empowers taxpayers and tax professionals nationwide.