How to Pitch Your Tax Planning Services to Business Owners

10 minute read

You’ve got what it takes to be a successful accountant; you have the right education, a good knowledge base, and wide range of experience. But how can you convince prospects you’re the right one for the job?

It’s simple: know how to sell your services.

Pitching your tax planning services to prospective clients can feel intimidating, but it shouldn’t. If you are confident in your skills (and have a good tax planning software to support you), your prospects will have confidence in you, as well. To make your sales pitch that much stronger, tailor your pitch to each business owner by meeting them where they are.

Talk to a New Business Owner About…

When pitching your services to a new or aspiring business owner, think back to what you needed help with when you were just getting started. What topics are likely to be on their minds as they get their businesses up and running?

Their business goals.

Before you started your business, you likely established your “why”. Your why might have been to create a living for yourself, to help others in need, or to finally escape the land of employment. Whatever your reason, you started your business with that goal in mind. The same is true for your clients. Talk to them about their why. This will build rapport, but it will also give you insight into their dreams and goals for their business.

What steps to take first.

The very first steps are always the hardest, and when you start a new business, there are so many first steps to take. If your client is in the idea phase, you can offer to connect them with a lawyer who can help them form a legal entity or introduce them to other business owners in your network. If your client is just starting up operations, you can explain how your bookkeeping services can help them streamline their business. And if your client is a bit further into their journey, you can offer your CFO services to complement the skills of their existing management team.

Whose advice to listen to.

When you first started your company, did you reach out for advice from other business owners? Did you research online? Did you seek advice from experts in your field? Your clients will need this same support. Although you can’t (and shouldn’t!) fill every need they have, you can help connect them with others that can. While you can provide bookkeeping, accounting, and tax advice, other professionals can provide legal services, marketing solutions, and industry insight.

Establishing good habits.

Your client’s business will run more smoothly when they can automate certain tasks. Tell them how a regular bookkeeping schedule will provide them with the data they need to make well-informed business decisions. You can offer to do this for your prospective client by discussing your bookkeeping and accounting services, but if they want to do those tasks internally, you can offer to come on as a consultant.

Avoiding silly mistakes.

Business owners will make mistakes – there’s no way around that. But you can help your clients avoid many of them. To do this, you need to stay one step ahead of your client. For example, if a prospect wants to hire you as their bookkeeper, ask them if they have a professional managing their tax filing needs. If a prospect wants you to do their taxes, dig deeper and ask about their tax exposure. New business owners don’t always know they have a need until it’s too late, so stay one step ahead of them.

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Talk to an Established Business Owner About…

When a prospect who has an established business approaches you, you will need to change your sales pitch. They will have different concerns than a newer business owner might. They might be thinking about…

Securing more financing.

When a business is looking to expand, they may need to raise capital. Banks and bonding agents will scrutinize your client’s financials. You can help them prepare for these inquiries by cleaning up month-end close processes, suggesting better controls, and pointing out where in their process cash flow is lagging.

Tax credits and incentives.

There are many Federal, state, and local incentive programs your clients may benefit from, and few business owners know where to find them. Before meeting with a prospect, become familiar with the incentive programs in their area and during your meeting discuss how you could help them qualify for those government programs.

Tax exposure.

Even if your client is happy with their current accountant, you may be able to play a role. Talk to them about potential tax exposures. Some accountants simply do the same thing year after year with their clients’ tax returns. Growing businesses should assess their tax exposure each year. You can suggest performing a nexus study to determine if they have exposures in new areas. If they do, you can help them come into compliance by sharing knowledge about amnesty and voluntary disclosure programs.

Tax planning.

Tax compliance is only one piece of the puzzle; tax planning is another. When a business is growing, its business decisions may have tax consequences. Opening a new branch, hiring a remote worker, securing new shipping channels, expanding into the online marketplace, and even offering a new product could change a business owner’s taxes. When meeting with prospects, talk to them about how your tax planning software can help with this. Our Corvee tax planning software prompts you to ask your clients about all aspects of their business and then shows how that information impacts their tax position.

Talk to a Retiring Business Owner About…

Departing business owners need tax planning services, as well. Not only do they have their business to think about, they have their personal taxes to consider. When pitching your tax planning services to a retiring business owner, you can talk to them about…

Succession planning for their business.

In an ideal world, succession planning will occur long before a business owner decides to leave, and that’s because some succession plans (like utilizing an employee stock ownership plan), can provide tax benefits throughout the life of the business, not just at its conclusion. But even establishing a succession plan a year or two before retirement can be helpful. A well-defined plan can help your clients feel satisfied with their legacy when they step away from the business they worked so hard to build.

Personal estate and gift tax planning.

If you meet with a wealthy client who is concerned about incurring taxes on their wealth, you can talk to them about how wealth transfers are taxed. Business interests can represent a large percentage of an individual’s estate, so they need to have a plan for transferring those business interests without incurring a large tax bill. Even though the estate tax exemption is over $11.7 million in 2021, it may not stay that way forever, and you can help a retiring business owner plan for tax law changes by establishing trusts and encouraging them to make annual gifts below the taxable limits.

Use the Tools at Your Disposal

Pitching to a prospective client is never completely free from stress, but a good tax planning software can help you seal the deal. Our Corvee tax planning software is quick and simple to use, and inputting even just a small amount of information into the software can generate a report that shows – in dollars – how valuable your tax planning services can be to your clients. If you want to hear more about our tax planning software and see the types of reports it’s able to create, contact us for a demo.

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