John: I have a sales question for you. So you know I’m pretty good at closing deals but I’m very slow because I give the prospect a lot of free information before I sign them up because I just don’t get for myself, and I think my problem is I keep comparing consumers to how I would be the consumer which is wrong because there’s very different kinds of consumers and prospects. But I don’t get how I can get someone to buy transcript analysis when we don’t even know potentially what their problem is. So I have this fear on this side of my head where I’m selling them something that maybe they don’t really need because maybe they don’t really have a problem. But on the other hand I feel like if we get some people to sign up for transcript analysis then they’re more invested, so then it’s easier to get them to sign on for other services that they might actually need. But my question is should we try to sell transcript analysis upfront more often because right now I’m just providing it for free and then only trying to get them to do a deal once we see what their problem is.
The secret to building credibility with your prospects is what I call ACE: Authority, Credibility and Expert Status.
One way to stand out as an authority is by writing a book. Watch today’s video to learn more about becoming an authority.
I want to give a big shout out to one of our Mastermind members, Jeffrey Schneider, who just came out with his book called Now What? I Got a Tax Notice from the IRS, Help. And he hands this book out to prospects, he has it on his website that they can request a free copy. Having a book automatically positions you as an expert, as an author. Author means authoritarian, you know what you’re talking about. So this is one of the best ways to get authority, credibility and expert status. Get your books out.
How to Destroy Client Objections Over Prices and Fees — I Don’t Like to ‘Handle’ Objections; I Like to Obliterate Them!
It’s important to understand that people can always afford you; it’s just a matter of priorities. Sometimes our prospects don’t comprehend the seriousness of their problems with the IRS, and we have a moral obligation to help them prioritize solving the problem. Sometimes it takes a frank conversation.
Follow This Simple Formula: ACOC (Acknowledge, Compare, Options, Close)
When a prospective client brings up objections such as “I can’t afford that,” “That’s way too expensive,” or “If I had that kind of money, I would just pay the IRS,” the first thing you want to do is acknowledge the prospect by saying, “I understand.” Then, proceed with, “Listen, I get it, this is a serious investment, but what I’ve proposed here is a solution to a serious problem that will change your life.
Compare your lifesaving offer to a life-and-death situation:
So, if the price tag is your primary concern … let’s be clear with one another. A lot of people who say they can’t afford it or who can’t find the money are not being truthful. They’re well-intentioned, but being less than truthful nonetheless. So, if you’re saying you would hire me if only you could afford it, you need to listen very closely. We can get started today for $x,xxx (30 percent of total case value), which of course is nothing to sneeze at. However, let’s say if instead of retaining me for $x,xxx, you found out you needed to have a lifesaving medical procedure tomorrow, and the price of that operation was $x,xxx (the same amount of the retainer you are requesting). Would you say, “Oh, I can’t afford that; I’ll just suffer and let it get worse until I’m too far gone?” Of course not.
Now, discuss the potential options your prospect must decide on:
So, let’s get rid of the myth of whether or not you can or can’t afford it. Here’s the real question: Are you willing to do what it takes to make this investment or not? As you sit here today, you have three options: The first option is to do nothing. Doing nothing just doesn’t leave you with the problem, it makes the problem worse the longer you do nothing. So that’s not it. The second option is you can do something else with the money … but why? You know and I know that what I’ve laid out in front of you as our plan of resolution is the thing to do to protect you and your family and to permanently resolve this matter once and for all. And that’s option number three — just do the right thing.
Here’s where you “close.”
Yes, the money may be tight. Yes, this may be a stretch. Yes, you’re going to have to go out of your comfort zone a bit, but have you considered the alternative? That’s why you need to stop being less than truthful to me, and more importantly, to yourself. Just do what needs to be done right now so we can quit messing around and get down to business. I can get on the phone with IRS today and get you protected from their aggressive collection tactics.”
These simple steps will ensure that your close rate will soar when dealing with objections to prices and fees.
When you’re marketing for tax resolution clients you need to know the difference between a warm list versus a cold list.
A warm list is: People who already know you, their info is already in your CRM system, and that includes your clients, prospects/leads, and referral sources.
A cold list is: People who have never heard of you before and who don’t know you.
When you’re targeting a cold list to market to you need to keep a few things in mind. Watch this week’s video where I give you the step-by-step winning formula that will get a cold list of people to contact you.
Number 1 is you need to market to them and send them at least 3 letters, 3 multi-step letters, and you send 1 letter let’s say on the first of the month, the second letter should go 15 days after that, and the third letter should go 30 days after that. So within 45-60 days they’ve received 3 letters from you. And let’s talk about the envelope. The envelope should look very personalized. It’s like you got to think about getting a letter from your grandma. The letter itself should be very personalized, very customized as if you’re talking to that individual person. And the letter itself needs to have some things contained in the letter. There needs to be an offer. I call it an irresistible offer and an example of that is a free consultation.
The second is you need to have a call to action. You need to tell the reader of the letter exactly what you want them to do and more than likely that’s to call you right now.
So those are the ingredients that you need to have when you’re mailing to a cold list. Let’s review. You need to do a 3-step multi-step letter campaign. Okay. It needs to be individualized, personalized, customized is if that person is getting a letter from a relative. And you need to have the copy and the message to include an irresistible offer and a call to action.
So those are the steps that you need to follow when you’re mailing to a cold list.
We’ll see you on the next video.
How do you take something that the IRS has said and turn that into a marketing opportunity?
Well, last week Nina Olson, who’s the National Taxpayer Advocate at IRS, came out and stated that the real audit rate in the United States is 6.2%, not 7/10 of 1%. Just to put that in perspective, 7/10 of 1% equates to just over a million audits, and 6.2% equates to nearly 7 million audits. So who’s right? Who’s wrong?
How do you turn that into a marketing opportunity? Here is what the IRS is doing. Their headcount has been decimated over the last 3 or 4 years. It’s down by 23%. So more and more, the IRS is relying on technology, and their computers are generating automatic notices. 70% of the time they’re incorrect. But here’s what the deal is, the IRS knows that there are much less protection rights for taxpayers when they send out these under reporting notices or these math error notices. There are no appeal rights with those. Not like in a real audit where you can appeal it. So your clients are getting all these notices to the tune of 7 or 8 million notices a year that the IRS doesn’t consider an audit. But to you and to your client, if they’re questioning an item on their return, that’s an audit.
So when you’re talking to your client about your Audit Protection Plan, it’s important to let them know that you’re handling all of these notices, not just audits. It’s very, very important. And the IRS is going to be sending more and more and more of these out as years go by, especially with the new Tax Reform Bill that was just signed and that’s effective in 2018. So take that information. Use it in handling objections. Use it as a marketing strategy that the IRS is sending out all these notices, which in fact is very, very true. You have to defend and resolve them. Your time is valuable. You’re either going to charge the client on an hourly basis or with one low annual fee in your Audit Protection Plan, which takes care of responding to all of these notices.
Until next time,
Should you be using Yelp to market your tax practice?
The answer to that is an unequivocal yes because they have a free version and an advertising paid version, very similar to what Facebook is. Facebook as you know, allows you to set up a Facebook account and also advertise. But Yelp itself was started in 2004 as a restaurant review site. People would check Yelp reviews if they were going to their favorite restaurant. So it started like 14 years ago. But since then, it has dramatically improved their platform and their search results. Right now there are 70 million people searching and going to Yelp and they’re looking at your tax business before they make a decision. So whether you have an exclusive tax resolution stand-alone practice, or you have a traditional CPA tax practice that does tax resolution, you should definitely be on Yelp.
And here’s how it works. You need to ask your clients, your customers to post reviews on Yelp. Because as you post more reviews on Yelp you will come up on the first page of search results. When someone is searching for your company, Google and Yahoo automatically put people’s Yelp profiles on the search results. So you want to get your clients to give you positive reviews on Yelp so that you can come up in the search results organically without paying to be on the first page of search results.
Also, I’m going to give you some tips to get started on Yelp. The first thing you want to do is go to Yelp and claim your business.
The second thing you want to do is add photos into your profile. And you want to add as much copy and text into your profile as possible. There’s a lot of real estate there where you can use a lot of direct response keywords and phrases for your tax resolution business. And the photos can be of your conference room, of your reception area, of your employees, of some Offer in Compromise acceptance letters, images of those would be great to use in Yelp.
Watch the video now to find out the third thing you should do to get started on Yelp.
Until next time,