In the next few lessons, we’ll be going over what most Tax Professionals “miss” when they communicate with prospects, clients and (even) staff. Implementing these often-overlooked secrets were fundamental to our tax business success…
You Must Get Specific
If you want USPs that are extremely effective -- if you know what your clients want and you are trying to develop an irresistible offer(s) that will make the phone ring off the hook -- then no matter what you do, SAY IT (write it or show it) USING MEANINGFUL SPECIFICS not the same ol’ vague generalities everyone else is doing.
(This is one of the easiest ways to stand out from the crowd because most ads in the tax industry I see talk in very “vague and general” language.)
When tax business owners promote this way their words and phrases actually have “little meaning” because they could be talking to anyone, seemingly about anything.
Here’s a sampling of phrases I see in tax business owners’ ads:
-prompt and quality service
OK. What would I do different? How about ...
-Lowest Price Guarantee: “We’re cheaper than H & R Block or we’ll prepare FREE!”
(not that I would actually recommend this approach!)
-“You’re satisfied with our tax service or I’ll give you ALL your money back, plus a $50 bill for your time and trouble -- GUARANTEED!”
-1 Day Tax Service and a guarantee the return is correct…“Or you don’t pay me a dime!”
Now there are three examples how you can beat the pants off your competition if they STILL insist on promoting vague and general phrases in their advertising.
When you are deciding on what kind of MEANINGFUL SPECIFICS are best for your business, remember these three techniques:
First, make sure you know what your MAIN competition is offering and promoting. Then, as you put your ads together, make sure your message clearly differentiates you from them AS A BETTER OPTION for your target market!
Second, BE GUTSY AND GIVE YOUR CLIENTS A WAY OF HOLDING YOU ACCOUNTABLE TO A HIGHER STANDARD OF SERVICE AND QUALITY! Guarantees with specific “timetables” usually scare off regular tax practitioners not interested in taking their tax business to the next level. Once you “lay it on the line” in your promotions, you WILL make it a priority with your staff to follow through with the HIGHER standard of quality and service.
And third, be bold. MAKE A BOLD PROMISE! When a tax business owner says something like ...
“I Promise Your Complete Satisfaction With My Tax Service Or I’ll Give You ALL Your Money Back, Plus A Clean, Crisp $50 Bill For Your Time And Trouble -- I GUARANTEE It!”
Believe me -- that as a headline (with your picture off to the side) of a sales letter will get some attention. You are making a SPECIFIC promise that is bold and gutsy. Your clients will like that!
Premiums and Bonuses Work VERY Well For Tax Businesses!
Giving people somethin’ for nothin’ will never go out of style. Everyone likes getting FREE stuff!
Even when someone sees an ad that says “free something” and the thought runs through their head, “Nothing is free, or there is NO free lunch,” many times that person will STILL see what is being offered for free!
Even the biggest skeptic deep down wants (and hopes) to get something for nothing. That is why they keep reading the ad!
For a number of years Domino’s Pizza ran a national ad campaign called, Somethin’ For Nothin’! Their pitch: Buy our pizza and we’ll give you FREE drinks and an extra order of buffalo wings for nothin’!
(Hey, if you are about to order a pizza and Domino’s is offering a couple of extra “freebies” and the other pizza business in town isn’t, wouldn’t you at least call Dominos and see what the “whole deal” really is before committing to one company or the other?)
Most people would. You see, Domino’s Pizza is banking on the belief that they will get their share of phone calls because of this promotion. For a long time, it was their main Unique Selling Proposition.
Do you remember the USP that built the Domino’s empire from one small pizza joint on a college campus to a billion dollar, world-wide company? Can you say: “Fresh, Hot Pizza Delivered In 30 Minutes Or Less -- GUARANTEED!” You talk about transforming an industry, they set the standard for everyone else!
Back to this whole “something for nothing” promotional strategy.
Don’t just think this only applies to a “lower end” client and your “high end” clients would never go for a promotion like this. (Boy, that couldn’t be further from the truth.)
I can’t tell you how many times my father’s “high end” clients (for his personal bookkeeping & tax service he had for over 40 years) would see our other commercial electronic filing and tax business advertising $10 off tax preparation fees.
Well, they see my dad’s name on those ads and bring a little coupon in to get $10 off their $850 tax preparation fees! (So he billed them $840 for that year’s tax return. No, I’m not kidding!)
Everyone likes to get a “deal,” no matter how much money they have. The same is even MORE true when it comes to “rich folks” getting SOMETHING FOR NOTHING.
(A few years ago the state lottery winner came from our home town. Three weeks went by without anyone claiming the winning ticket. Finally an elderly woman showed up with the “lucky numbers” and she claimed her money. Why had she waited so long? Turns out she was a little embarrassed to let people know she was “playing lotto.” She just happened to be one of the most wealthy individuals in the area. Her family’s estimated net worth was in the hundreds of millions. So you see, even multi-millionaires like getting “something for nothing!”)
So as a tax business owner, what can you offer in your promotions to take advantage of this “something for nothing” strategy?
Well, you can offer gifts and other “add-on” services that don’t cost you anything . (FREE electronic filing and $25 worth of FREE Gifts for each paid tax return).
Something else we offered in certain promotions was a FREE state return prepared if we do the federal. ($35 value) It’s hardly extra work for us to prepare a state return once we’ve completed the federal. (Push two extra buttons on the keyboard.) And to some people this was a better “value” than other free things we offer.
There’s nothing wrong with giving your clients their choice a some free stuff, just don’t make it complicated. If doing a FREE state return hits your target market’s “hot buttons” better than something else, DO IT!
(Just make sure whatever FREE promotion you do offer, it increases your overall volume at the same time.)
Keep using your “something for nothing” promotions even when you get tired of seeing them. As long as your clients like them and your RESULTS equal increased overall profits, don’t cut off that gravy train! (It’ll probably never stop working.)