Real Tax Business Success: Tax Marketing Lesson 36 – Fear of Loss

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Closing the Deal—In An Ad: The Fear Of Loss

How To Make A “Killer” Marketing Message

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Negative Emotions

More than selling the benefits of your tax service, NEGATIVE emotions work even better.

As you are developing and using certain proven “closing” techniques, always have the client’s “fear of loss” thoughts running around in the back of YOUR head. As you write any of your promotions, you should never have the potential targeted prospect’s thoughts too far away from yours.

As we talked about already, you want to do everything in your power to get the client to commit to you and your tax service as early in the tax season as humanly possible. Setting up a variety of “early bird specials” is always a good idea.

(* Side Note: Early Bird Specials I’ve tried in the past with deadline dates on February 1st or before never seemed to pan out too well. My guess has something to do with w-2s (and other tax related documents) not getting to my potential markets in a timely manner. Even with new software programs and companies getting all their tax related documents out earlier and earlier, to be on the safe side, have dates in the middle of February be the earliest “special offer” datelines for your clients.)


Expiration dates or “deadline” dates are a must in all your ads! If you don’t have one of these dates tied to your offer, you’re NOT using people’s natural “fear of loss by delay” to your advantage.

Is the “fear of loss” that powerful? In some people it really is a motivating factor. But these deadlines or expiration dates do more than just motivate out of fear of not getting something other people are going to get, leaving them out.

It has to do with your prospect putting your offer aside and “dealing with it later.” That is dangerous! The more your target market does that with your offers in your sales material, the more sales you’ll lose.

You know the deal. You and I do the same thing. We read an ad and think to ourselves we’d sure like to buy this or that. We put the newspaper down or we say we’ll come back to the magazine later and “whoops,” the sale is gone forever.

It’s not like we intentionally put the ad aside. We really were interested in buying whatever it was. But the “busy” life goes on and the ad is either forgotten about, or if we do come back to it, we don’t have the same “buying” emotions we did the first time around.

(This happens all across America every day. If there was some way you could measure it, I’d be willing to bet you there are billions of lost orders going on every day.)


Using the “PS”

As you close the deal in your letters, or ads, it’s ALWAYS a good idea to end with a signature line from YOU the business owner. And when you do so, you can take advantage of the SECOND most-read item of any letter…the “PS”.

Many times the P.S. is not considered as the powerful selling tool it really is. How do I know that? Because many tax business owners never use a P.S. in their sales letters and if they do it’s not used to “sell” anything. (The answer to “when should you use a P.S?” is EVERY TIME.)

Did you know studies show next to the headline, the P.S. has the second highest readership of everything in your sales letter. That’s right, 2nd! Pretty good for being at the end of a sales letter.

What’s the reason? I’m not sure, but here’s my guess. The prospect either reads your letter from cover to cover or he reads the headline and tries to decide if going any further is worth his time. I think he turns to the end to try and find out the “punch line” and BOOM there’s your P.S.!

Now here’s your next big chance (maybe your last) to get the prospect into your sales letter.

You can either write “a waste of a P.S.” and say something cute, or you can really make it a solid sales part of your overall letter with a message that’ll get the reader to go back to the beginning of the copy and start reading.

OK, how do you use a P.S.? In my experience you can go two or three different routes. First, you can summarize your main offer all over again in your P.S. It works, especially for those “jumpers” that go to the end of your letter so impatiently.

Second, you can emphasize THE most important benefit to the reader. Obviously this kind of P.S. would help get that prospect back into the “body” of your letter.

And third, you can do what I do the most and that’s write multiple P.S.’s! I’ve found that two can be better than one and three can be more effective than two. I’ll summarize the whole offer with one, include the MOST POWERFUL BENEFIT in the second P.S., and in the final P.S. I’ll emphasize one of the prospect’s main fears and/or remind them about a deadline date etc. (to keep the “fear of loss” in the front of their mind as they consider my offer.)

To make your P.S.’s stand out even more, try these little “tricks of the trade”:

  • vary the type style and/or point size
  • use all caps if one of your P.S.’s is short
  • add a color to one of them
  • hand writethe last P.S.
  • “block screen” the background of a P.S.
  • in your handwriting, scribble up the side of the letter (like you ran out of room)
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Chauncey Hutter Jr.

Tax Marketing Expert

Chauncey Hutter, Jr, is a best-selling author and leading marketing consultant and success coach to the tax industry. Mr. Hutter grew his father’s $50,000 per year tax preparation business to a multi-million dollar empire with 24 locations, 400+ employees and over 27,000 tax clients all coming from his marketing campaigns.

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