Want to find business tax clients to grow a tax firm? I know a lot of people are grinding it out today for extensions, but you could take a few seconds of a reprieve. I had a pretty interesting post from one of my clients that I saw, which was really eye opening. In the history of me having this company, and for those guys that don’t know me, we basically help people that are accountants, CPAs, EAs, tax preparers…basically figure out different ways to provide more value to clients, how to reprice existing engagements, add higher level services, get appointments with the right type of persona and client that might work well with you. So, in all the history of doing this, most of what we did was we would teach people how to do a consultation with a potential client, talk to them on the phone, meet them in person and have a conversation.
We changed all that a couple of weeks ago, probably about two months ago. About two months ago we switched. So, whenever you do a consultation with a potential client, it’s a little bit different than what we used to do in the past. I’m going to give you guys what we used in the past. If any of you guys want to get this tax planning sales script, it’s a 90-page sales script. You can see it’s pretty amazing quality. You’re going to get this in a G doc format and in a PDF format with four hours of training. So, it’s free if you go there, right? You can do that. This is what we’ve always done, hey, here’s a consultation with a potential client.
You go through and you do that presentation. One of the challenges with that there’s so much interpretation and you have to remember so many things. You’re sitting across from a client and in that moment, they’re asking you questions. You’re supposed to be asking them questions, are you sticking to the script? Even if you know the script, even if you have the script, you’re getting thrown off. So we kind of came up with this innovation that we released about two months ago where instead of doing just a call or a presentation and sticking to a script, we started doing presentations. Whenever you basically sit down with a potential client, you sit down with that client and if it’s a remote call and a lot of times it is a remote call, you do a Zoom, you get on a Zoom call and you actually share your screen and you go through and we have a 130 slide deck presentation, and we made a couple of different ones but we did one for tax planning and basically it goes through, it’s amazing. It’s how you’ll grow a tax firm.
It teaches the client about tax planning, tax preparation. It goes through a couple of examples of how somebody with literally no revenue on their business might need a tax plan. What would be the reason for that? How somebody that thought they had a great accountant they’ve been working with for years that was in their family, but turns out they weren’t so great because they were over paying the taxes. It talks about an example of some specific strategies you might do with somebody and go through a number of these different stories, and it shows you how to pitch, price and present going through deductions, legal entity structure, retirement insurance loopholes. It’s whole presentation, right? It helps you find business tax clients. But that’s not the point of today’s presentation.
When you do this presentation it works a lot better. You can get the client to see more value. They understand more about what they’re buying, they’re willing to pay a higher price, pay more upfront, all these other things. So, my clients went out and did it and crushed it, right? But here’s the crazy part. One of my clients went out and he did this presentation and then one said, “Oh, you know, this is great Eric, this is great, but I need to go and I need to talk to two other people.” You guys have seen this, right? How many of you guys that are watching this right now have had somebody say, “Well Christian, well you know, a couple of references” right?
And he typed a couple of references. Now we’ve got all sorts of things to say when someone says, “I need to talk to a couple of references” and I’m happy to go through some of that today if you guys want, but that’s not the reason I’m doing this today. So, Eric ended up letting the woman go and do a couple of references. The problem when you’re doing tax planning with letting somebody go out to somebody else and talk to them, is that most accountants aren’t doing tax planning. So when you do tax planning, typically you will charge $2,500 to $9,800 and it could be tens of thousands of dollars when you add in implementation, all these other things. But typically on that very first engagement, we’re just getting the plan. The plan is just education. Educating the client on here’s what you can do to save money on taxes.
We’re not actually implementing it for them when I’m doing the tax preparation charge $2,590.. What’s funny is when you go through and you do that, then they go and they say they want to talk to somebody else, they’re going to go to somebody else that’s probably going to charge $650 bucks because they’re just going to be doing tax preparation. So that’s exactly what happened. Eric has this woman, she’s like, “I need to talk to other people.” He gets a little down, and she goes to talk to two other people. She comes back a couple of days later and I want to read this right because it’s just so good. It’s just so good. I just find it to be so indicative of really that struggle that most people are in, it has nothing to even do with tax planning and tax preparation, bookkeeping, accounting, CFO.
It just has to do with the difference between people that are really trying to help clients at a high level, that are really trying to do something special, and people that are just going through the motions, right? Just going through the motions. So, I’m going to read this post. Eric says, “I just got off the phone with a new tax planning client. She paid me a huge compliment about the tax planning presentation. This is her first year using a professional for her taxes. She called two other CPAs after talking to me, so she got off the phone. She went and talked to two other CPAs and she just assumed that their presentation would be like mine, but they weren’t.”
Then here’s the key part, they just said, “It’s not a big deal. We’re just preparing your taxes.” These people had prices that were 70-80% lower than his, and he says they didn’t do a diagnosis. They didn’t give her stories, they didn’t break down the value. They didn’t give her estimated savings of working on a tax plan. He said, “so grateful for the community, helping me stand out from the rest.” It was just an awesome post. I talked to so many people and most people that are out there that have a CPA firm, have an accounting firm doing tax preparation, are an enrolled agent or an unlicensed preparer, or whatever the spectrum of where you’re at is, the people that are out there, they don’t have any bad intentions, right?
Like these guys that told the woman “You’re expecting a presentation. I mean, it’s $650, just preparing your taxes.” But the problem is that it is sort of a big deal. Most of them, have no malintent. I’m sure these two CPA firms, or these were CPA firms, I’m sure they have no bad intentions. I think they just are unaware of what they’re doing. They’re sort of walking around through life, going through the same motions of what they were taught at their last firm, and then they started their own firm. They’re just going through and sort of pecking away, in Drake or ProConnect or whatever. They just peck away at this thing and they don’t really know what they’re doing. They’re not ready to grow a tax firm.
They don’t really know what services they’re providing, what the true value of what they’re offering is. There’s two categories, right? You’ve got some people you’re not actually saving money on taxes, and there’s like this huge crisis of confidence. You’re not saving people money on taxes, but they kind of think you are. They would almost go brag to their friends like, “I got the best tax guy. Like he’s amazing. Let me tell you, he is so good. He charged $650 bucks, so cheap.” Meanwhile you’re sitting back there like, “I’m not actually spending any time on tax planning. I’m just preparing the return. If they find out that I haven’t actually helped them save money on taxes, they’re going to hate me.”
So you could be in that category of somebody who you’re not really saving people money on taxes.You might sort of justify in your mind, because you’re like, “Well, I’m meeting with them at the end of the year so I am saving them money on taxes in accordance with what they did.” But you’re not helping them restructure things proactively. If we were to go back to them right now and say, “Hey look, you’re filing, when you look at your 2018 year, if we would have gone on January 1st and restructured you from a tax perspective, we could have saved you like $40,000 but now it’s after the year end. I can’t do that. But I can make sure to prepare your return. I’m going to save you money just to make sure your return is properly prepared.”
That’s different. So many of you guys are in that first category where you’re like, “Okay, I am kind of saving them because I’m properly preparing the return and somebody else can mess it up. All those unlicensed preparers.” Somebody else can mess it up or they can do it themselves. So you’re justifying it because you’re saying “I’m helping them do that.” But the problem is, that’s not what they think they’re getting. You know that this is the big problem in the culture. The small business culture is that most small business owners are out there bragging about you and they’re telling their friends and their family how great you are and how much you save them money on taxes, when we know that most of the time, the vast majority of the time, that’s not true.
Just preparing the return….there’s this mismatch and the crazy part about the whole thing is it’s like this massive hallucination in the culture, right? Because the accountants aren’t lying. They’re not saying that they’re doing something that they’re not doing, they’re just unaware that it could be better. They don’t realize, “I could do it ahead of time. I could do it at the beginning of the year. I talked to a guy the other day and he’d been in business since 1990, he said, “You know, my clients aren’t gonna pay that much. There’s no way they pay $7,500 for a tax plan. There’s no way they would pay $2,000.” And I asked him—this guy, been in business since the nineties and I asked him, I said, “So my existing client here, if she were to sit down with one of your clients, here’s how the conversation would go…”.
The guy said, you told me that you have a client that does $7M a year in sales and you’re charging them, how much would you say to charge him? Said $800 a month. So, he charged me to do his accounting and he’s doing $7M a year in sales, law firm, guys making a lot of money. And I said, “if one of my people goes and sits down with that guy, they’re going to say this. “Hey Mr. $7M law firm owner. We’re going to go through some questions today. Deductions, legal entity structure, retirement insurance loopholes all of the time. We’re going to go through all this. Hey, Mr. law firm, how many years have you been making this much money? How many years have you been making this level of income? And they’re going to say, well, 10- 12 years. And you’re going to say, “How many years have you had your current accountant?” 20 years.
“Well look, I can tell you right now that you know that we just had a conversation today. I didn’t even look at your returns. But based on where you’re at right now, looking at deductions, legal entity structure, retirement insurance loopholes, tax cuts and jobs act updates, niche specific strategies, advanced strategies, just based on our call today, I haven’t even looked at your returns. I would estimate, you’re on track to overpay by X amount in 2019. And it could be more than that if we were to decide to work together.” Let’s say it’s $18,000. It’s actually more than that. I would estimate, I didn’t talk to the client myself, but $7M sales law firm. Very profitable. He’s not attracted for $18,000 it’s probably way more than that, but, he’s going to say how long were you with your accountant?
10-12 years. And you’ve been making, or how long have you had this amount of money? I made this amount of money, 10-12 years. Even with that accountant, 20 years. So take that $18,000 in that client’s and go back every single year for the last 10-12 years that he’s overpaid. It’s probably more than that. Probably 30-40k, doesn’t even matter. The point is that the guy is not a bad guy. He’s not a bad accountant, he’s a CPA, he’s not a bad CPA. He just doesn’t know what he’s doing. And it was a real shame because he was actually planning on retiring in a year and there’s a real crisis in his mind because he has to think back on his career and ask himself questions. Right? Like did I really help my clients? Did I really get them results?
Did I really make a difference for them or should I have done better? Should I have done better? And that is really an important question and it’s a difficult question to answer that he’s going to have to answer for himself. Somebody says that that link was broken. That is true. Sorry, I had a little space there. And so the question is, is he going to think back to his history and is he going to say he helped his clients over the years? Or is he going to look back on history and say, “Oh my gosh, I didn’t do as well as I should have. I need to change things now.” The big problem is for him, he’s charging $800 a month for somebody doing $7M a year in sales.
He’s just simply not charging enough to be able to actually help these people. He’s not. You know, that’s the big problem with this situation. It’s not that people have bad intentions, it’s not that they have bad intentions at all, it’s that they don’t know how to, number one, get a handle on what value they can provide for their client. So, if you don’t believe you’re providing value, you feel super insecure asking for money, right? So you don’t know how to provide value yourself. It’s just a tax return, right? It’s just a tax return, so you don’t know how, and some of you guys are actually creating value and you’re just not charging for it. But I’m specifically dealing with people that are not helping the clients, and I’ll get to the others in a second.
So you are not aware of how to provide value to clients or maybe you are, but you’re not, how could I possibly spend that much time doing it? I don’t know those things. This guy’s been in business since 1990 and he doesn’t know how to do this. Only thing he knew about was doing a latest selection, which he was charging $200 for anyway. So you don’t know how to provide value yourself and because you don’t know how to provide value yourself, what are you going to ask for money for? You’re not providing any value. So, you feel deeply insecure about increasing your prices and if you do, you might do a 5-10% bump on the year as we’re getting into January for next tax season. Inflation or whatever, but you’re not going to double your fees across the board.
So, when you look at it, number one, if you don’t have to provide value yourself, then you don’t feel comfortable asking for more money. Then, because you don’t have those two, there’s no real need to go on the journey to discover how to get the client to see that value, because there is no value and you wouldn’t know how to charge more. It’s just a whole mess. So, what a lot of people don’t understand about charging more money or charging a different price, or going to another level in terms of the value you’re providing or the value that you’re extracting from a client relationship. It starts off with you actually providing more value. You can’t if you’re charging $650 for a business return, you’re not going to be able to charge $10,000 for tax planning just for doing the same thing.
That’s not going to happen right now. You may have to do a couple of more hours of work and that may result in $10,000 of planning, which is very profitable compared to just preparing the return. But you do have to do something else. You have to get the client a better result. So, that’s for those of you guys that aren’t actually providing value. If someone says it’s just a tax return, I already know right out of the gate, they’re not providing value to the client. They’re not doing proactive tax planning. They don’t understand that. And by the way, tax planning is just one of many components to grow a tax firm. You could turn a $650 business return into a client that pays $40,000 a year if it’s the right client. If you know what to do, not every single return, that $650 could be $40,000 a year. Still want to find business tax clients?
I’ve seen people do this every single week in our community. They take a $650 business return, turn it into a $35,000 client just bam, bam, bam all the time. So, now there’s another category out there of you guys where you actually are providing value, right? So you’re charging, let’s say $650 for a business return, but you are doing tax planning. You’re answering questions throughout the year, you’re helping them with home office, you’re helping them implement the Augusta strategy, you’re helping them change legal entity structure. You’re helping them with retirement and the coordination with the financial advisor. You’re helping them consider some more complex strategies, some advanced strategies. You’re going through all this stuff, right? You’re just answering these questions all year and you are helping them save money on taxes.
Actually they’re pretty properly structured. So, when you have that going on and they’re pretty properly structured, you feel insecure because you’re like, “Well, I haven’t charged for this forever and I’m still charging $650 and I’m losing money. Most of you guys, you’re not actually, very few people are out there actually losing money. But what you’re doing is you’re just sacrificing your time and your family, right? You’re not enjoying what you do and you’re just like slaving it away on the weekends or maybe you’re freaking out on a day like today. Right? If you would actually hire staff and put bodies on these engagements and have them do the work, you would lose money, but you just massively sacrifice your own time, right?
So, you massively sacrifice your own time, your own stress levels, all these things, and that’s how you end up making ends meet. So, you got to renegotiate the relationship with these clients. If you’re already providing this value and you know how to provide value because you’re doing it, and what you don’t know how to do is ask for more, what you don’t know how to do is to get the client to see that value separate from what you’ve currently done. Now, like I said, we’ve switched to this whole deck process, which is where we do the sales deck. That’s where my client had the woman who went to two competitors and they said it’s just a tax return. It’s just a tax return. For those that you know aren’t working with us, if you go to the link it was wrong, but I fixed it right now.
This is a 90-page sales script on how to do a tax plan. From right now to the end of the year, there are people on this live stream right now, people on this live stream right now that will do a hundred thousand dollars in cash sales between now and the end of this year doing tax planning for their existing clients. Not even brand new prospects. So, is that going to be you? By the way, this is free. So it ain’t going to cost you anything. Go there right now, but even if you decide not to work with me, it’s not about me. It’s not about you. It’s about, look at your book of business. Look at the business returns. How many business returns do you have? How many Schedule Cs do you have? How many standalone 1040s do you have? Okay, let’s look at those, how many monthly accounting clients do you have that are not currently on the tax side? Let’s look at all those. Let’s take the top 30% based on their income and let’s do a check in before the end of the year.
Reach out to them, message them. Make sure things are all squared away on the tax side. When you meet with them, just read this. If you just go through it piece by piece, step by step, question by question and just read it. And if you don’t want to charge, fine, don’t charge. You don’t want to charge, don’t charge. But at least you get to help them go through and implement a couple of strategies to save money on taxes. Do it for free. Wouldn’t it be better?
The problem is what you don’t understand right now is what’s standing between you and what you want is going out and having these meetings with these people, be them, existing clients, potential clients, friends, family, network, acquaintances. I’m gonna let you guys in on a little secret. You want to know the secret? I don’t want to do it either. I’m an accountant just like you guys watching this today.
I’m a CPA. I went and got a degree in university. I did not like doing sales and consultations, did not like doing it. I remember probably like 2013, 2014, I remember telling my wife, because I was making all sorts of excuses not to do sales, and I sat down, I told my wife, I said, “Babe, sales is so stupid. It’s like you have five appointments. You get one client, that’s a huge waste of time. It’s 80% of your time wasted. It’s stupid, right?” Stupid. Meanwhile, that was at a point in my life where we actually didn’t have a trash can because I did not want to spend $20 to get a trash can. So all week, we had a bag under the sink. A little one of those black sort of bags under the sink.
I did not want to buy a freaking trash can, right? I remember we didn’t have a couch. There’s that picture of what you guys have seen floating around online from me where I didn’t want to buy a couch. It’s $250 for the couch. I can’t even imagine only spending $250 for a couch. At that point in time there’s a picture of me sleeping on the ground because we didn’t have anywhere to lounge in our little one bedroom apartment. This whole time when I was living in this sort of squalor, compared to the life I have now, which is amazing, I think we have 35 full time team members. We did a little over $10 million in sales last year.
Well, to see what we ended up with this year, probably $13-15M. We’ll see how the year ends up somewhere in that range. When I look at that sort of change, when I was back there, no trash can, I was telling my wife that sales is stupid. So stupid big waste of time. But other than that, the reality of it is I was just making excuses because I was scared. I didn’t understand what to do. Nobody had ever trained me how to talk to somebody. I thought being good at sales really amounted to being like a good looking real estate agent. You know? I mean literally and I remember I met this woman who was sort of a good sales woman and she was telling me about prospects and leads and I was like, what does that mean?
I remember when she was saying “prospect”, all I could think about was just a gold miner, like prospecting for gold in Canada or something. Prospecting? I was like, what does that have to do with what I’m talking about? She was talking about leads, and I was like are we talking about the tips of pencils here? What is she talking about? Prospects and leads.
This was after I’d worked at a big four accounting firm. I was a CPA at this point. I had a master’s degree, I’d been to college. I did not know what a prospect was and I did not know what a lead was. That is how illiterate I was when it comes to basically running a small business and taking care of the revenue portion of that business.
When you look at your financial statements as an accountant, you’ve got a balance sheet, income statement. The top of the income statement. That’s something that flows through and creates the balance sheet. The top line on there’s revenue and all the little steps associated with revenue. I did not know what a prospect was or lead was. I didn’t know those words. I never heard them. Like what am I living in? Like living in a cage, living in a sort of a dungeon.
I think what really switched my mentality on it is that it’s not about you, it’s about the other person. So if you don’t want to have some of these appointments for your clients, that’s fine. They’re going to go another year over paying your taxes and there’s just another year there where somebody else might meet with them and actually give them one of these presentations.
It’s going to happen eventually, right? The whole market is sort of moving more in that direction where people understand that a little bit more. I know there’s so many people out there that are just trying to compete on those. The $400 or $200 I’ll get my price down, right? They’re competing on price. You know, for those of you guys that want to have your own business that don’t want to go big, like maybe some of you guys out there that want to have the next blow out, $100 tax return tax returns for free company, but most of you guys that are out there that are watching this, you, you want to have a business. You want to do $500,000 to a million, $2 million, $3 million a year in sales doing tax, accounting, financial services. You want to work with the bare minimum number of clients and serve them at the highest level, right?
You could have 25 of the right clients and do a million a year in sales. I had a woman the other day, she had 5,000 clients doing a million a year in sales. She wasn’t even making a hundred thousand dollars income between her salary and net profit on the business because she built it wrong. It’s all 1040s. That’s why I want to shoot this today. It is an opportunity to see inside of that person’s financial life, particularly if it’s a business owner, a schedule C or a business return. Not every single person is going to be a $40,000 client, but a lot of them are. A lot of them aren’t a lot more than you think and sometimes you say, “Well Andrew, now I’ve talked, my clients don’t need this, you know, blah, blah, blah.”
If I were to force you to go through and set up appointments with all your existing clients, between now and the end of the year, something would have changed. They would have opened up another business. Their spouse would have opened up a business, the business would have grown, they would have opened up another division. They would have gone in a different direction. They’d be looking at different priorities in their life. All of these things lead to some opportunity to restructure their business and their life to save them money on taxes, which then leads into many other services. What I love about the tax plan is I don’t really even care about tax planning that much. Tax planning is one tool. It’s one little tiny tool to provide value to a client, get them on your side to see the value that you create so you can then offer a ton of other value.
So the tax plan is the beginning. It’s not the thing, it’s just a tool to get a customer and to provide high value to a customer to then offer them many other things and really maximize the lifetime value of that client. Maximize the value you can create for them and capture a portion of that for yourself. So, as it’s October 15th I just want to shoot this quick video for those of you guys that are out there and whether you took somebody off of somebody else cause they said it was just a tax return or whether you’ve been telling people it’s just a tax return. I mean even the standalone 1040s, you don’t need to say that. You don’t need to say it’s just a tax return. You never know who that person might be and how to handle a standalone 1040 is a whole nother conversation.
So, I hope that this has been helpful for you guys. For those of you guys that want free tax planning sales script, I put the link above. It’s four hours of a video training, I mean we did a great job with this script. So you can see how well we did here. All of this in here is going through and answering all the questions. So are you a CPA? How do you know you can save me that much in taxes? Why doesn’t my current preparer know about this? How much time is it going to take you? Can I talk it over with my business partner? Talk it over with my spouse? All those questions.
And so even though we moved on to doing this deck presentation, this absolutely still works. It does not work as well. But it is incredibly better than 99% of accountants out there never going to be able to go through this. I’ll say one last thing before we wrap this up. I’m giving you this for free, right? One of the things that I’ve used in my life is whenever I read a book or I read, I read books and whenever I read one, I think, let me imagine that this book is like the answer to everything I need in my life. So, it is the ultimate source of truth and value given my current objectives. I’ve got these objectives in my life and this book is basically a playbook for how I should reorient my life to meet my objective. When I do that, I might get to the end of the book and say, “I don’t think it’s really that helpful.” But many times I’ll get to the end of the book and be like,”This this book was so helpful. I need to incorporate this component into my life.”
That’s what this is. Now, you might choose not to opt in for this, right? You might choose to opt in for it and never use it. You might choose to opt in for it and never log in. You might choose to opt in for it and watch the video trainings only once, but there are going to be a couple of people on here that opt in for this for free. You want free guys, a hundred percent free, right? That could cost you 84 hours of training, 90 pages of a script. You’re going to watch that and you’re going to watch it 25 times. You’re not going to watch it once, you can watch it 25 times, you are going to become incredible at sitting across from a business owner, defining the true value of what you do, understanding that yourself, understanding that that is worth a lot of money and you are going to be good at positioning that to the client and asking for a lot of money and commanding, not demanding, commanding that from them.
If you take it seriously and it’s just sitting there for free…most good things in in my life that I’ve come across, they’re hiding in plain view. It’s just that nobody’s paying attention. It’s sort of like, if you ever see a woman who’s got three kids, she goes into the mall, she just notices all the kids’ stuff, right? And then if you see another person and other women going to the mall and she’s a business owner, entrepreneur, she’s just looking at the business stuff. She’s not looking at the kid stuff.
So, if you’re not paying attention to the things that are going to make a difference for you, and I’m telling you right now, if you’re watching this and you’ve got a tax business, you’ve got an accounting business and you stuck on this call for this long, what in the heck are you doing? You need to get over here and get this thing. It’s not even for me. It’s for the clients. So, with that being said, guys, I’m going to go ahead and wrap this one up. I mean, honestly this is a pretty huge value to give away for free today, but I’m happy to answer any questions you guys have. A question in the chat or you want to message me one-on-one on LinkedIn, and I hope you guys have an awesome October 15th and we will talk again soon. Get ready to grow a tax firm!
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