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Tax Season Marketing Opportunities You May Have Overlooked

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Dec 28th 2017
Author The Million Dollar CPA Firm
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Tax season may strike some practitioners as something to successfully “get through” without compromising their minimal service standards (or their sanity). But the growth-oriented firms will be agile enough to take advantage of the season’s unique marketing opportunities.

Does that sound like the kind of savvy firm you want to be part of? Great. Read on.

Tax season is the time to leverage your relationships with existing clients in order to grow the practice. You’ll want to reach out to personal tax clients now.

Now is the perfect time to remind current clients of the benefits of your services. Don’t let them forget why they hired you, instead of the firm down the road. Without this subtle annual reminder, clients could easily be seduced away by the competition. Benjamin Franklin said that “a penny saved is a penny earned.” Likewise, a client kept continues to be a valuable brick in the foundation of a thriving practice.

So, in order to deliver the subtle reminder of how you benefit the client, feel free to swipe what I do in my firm, StraightTalkCPAs, for your own use. During the first week in January, we send out a package to our personal tax clients. In my office, we refer to it as the “tax pouch”, and it’s something our clients repeatedly rave about and deeply appreciate.

The tax pouch consists of a 10” x 12” envelope affixed with a 2” x 3” white label that reads as follows:

THE “TAX” POUCH

Use this envelope to collect your 2017 tax information.

Name of your company:___________________

Address:_________________

Phone Number: ____________________

Not only do clients thank us for providing this simple envelope, but it works to our advantage in a marketing capacity, too. In all likelihood, it sits on the client’s desk, and when friends or colleagues come to visit, it becomes a source of curiosity and subsequently, referrals to my firm.

Additionally, take this opportunity to promote your referral program to your existing clients, so they can send new clients your way. No one sells a CPA firm like a client with rave reviews.

For almost a decade, I’ve been implementing a referral program with outstanding results. The formula is simple, and I call it EAR – Earn, Ask, Reward.

Let’s Start With ‘Earn’

It goes without saying that your firm should deliver excellent service, but your office should also reflect that service standard in its efficiency. When clients step through your door, greet them warmly by name. Offer them coffee. Avoid keeping them waiting.

The most important thing to keep in mind is to serve your clients fast. Time is precious to everyone, and any delays in your service will read as inefficiency.

If you really want to “wow” your tax clients, offer them a choice of gifts when they come to collect their tax returns. In my office, we’ve given away cameras, leather purses, umbrellas, tool sets, a car vacuum, and so on.

In short, treat your clients like royalty when they walk through your door, and they will bring you more clients. In fact, you’ll have earned to right to ask for referrals, which is the second part of our formula.

‘Ask’

Your level of service and your expertise have earned you the right to ask for referrals. But when is the best time to do it?

In my experience, the best times to ask for referrals are as follows:

  • At the beginning of tax season, when people first start thinking about filing their tax returns
  • During a client’s visit
  • After a client’s tax returns have been prepared.

This Brings Us to ‘Reward’

Now that’s you’ve earned your client’s approval and asked and received referrals, the time has come to complete the process by rewarding your clients for bringing you new business. How? Reward with CASH! People absolutely love getting cold hard cash in the mail. In my office, we send $23 per each referral who is converted into a tax client. To encourage clients to refer even larger numbers of friends and family, we give them a bonus when they’ve referred a specific number of people. Recognition and rewards make people feel good and encourage the behavior that resulted in the reward.

$23 might seem like a large amount of money. However, calculate the value of the business these referred clients bring you. Add to that the money their referrals will bring in, as well as the money you save from other ways of prospecting. That $23 no longer looks so huge. The point? Recognize and reward behavior and actions that put money in your pocket.

Turn your 1040 customers into a growing base of loyal clients that come back year after year for tax preparation. Start now. Plan your referral program. Draft your letters and flyers. Capitalize on the upcoming tax season. Follow the EAR formula and watch the tax side of your CPA practice grow strong and steady.

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