Real Tax Business Success: Tax Marketing Lesson 31: Adding Emotional Zing

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Adding Emotional “Zing”—

Even a Tax Professional Can Do It!

How To Make A “Killer” Marketing Message

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Adding Emotion In Your Promotional Material

Very few tax business owners add emotion to their promotional material. Most tax practitioners take the pure “logic” approach to crafting their sales message.

Yes, logic backs up your sales argument with facts or reasons to do business with you. But emotional sales copy writing gets the prospect’s attention better, gets them involved and “into” your sales message and then hopefully makes them hot to buy or use your tax services instead of some other tax professional.

In fact, it’s pretty clear that people BUY from emotion, and then JUSTIFY with logic (after the fact).

I’ll tell you the truth right now. If you aren’t using EMOTIONAL sales copy to sell your tax services, you’re NOT really selling anything! (Don’t kid yourself.) 

Let me show you the difference between “vanilla, non emotional” copy and “emotional sales” copy:

“Use XYZ Tax Service, the experienced tax professional. We will help you fight the IRS, 

while making sure your tax return is correct and filed on time.” 


“If you use XYZ Tax Service, you’ll be able to sleep at night knowing your taxes are filed correctly, not leaving extra cash for Uncle Sam to suck out of your ‘unsuspecting’ pockets. You’ll rest easy knowing some ‘power hungry’ IRS agent isn’t going to show up on your doorstep demanding to see ALL of your tax records. And your mind will be free of worry knowing if you ever did get some kind of letter from the IRS, you’ve got a tax professional ‘on your side’ to handle it.” 


The difference is obvious. Emotional copy SELLS better, period!

Now the five major emotions you should be using to sell your tax services better are:

  • Fear
  • Guilt
  • Pride
  • Greed (Desire) and 
  • Love

Now, another word about using this stuff—it’s NOT “manipulative”…it’s where people (your clients) actually “live”. If you don’t speak to these realities, you’re not actually connecting with your prospects. We are much more emotions-driven than we realize!

Probably the one that I like to use the most because we are in the tax business is fear.

The fear emotion sells well in our industry because we have a built “fear factor” called the IRS! Almost everyone you talk to has (at least) heard some “awful” story how the IRS did something bad to an innocent taxpayer so there’s some level of fear of the IRS.

In many cases, people have the hair on the back of their neck stick up when you start talking about the IRS and auditing tax returns or IRS agents going through their personal finances.

(Whether this is justified or not, the perception is THE IRS IS THE BAD GUY, SO YOU BETTER FILE YOUR TAXES CORRECTLY AND ON TIME!)

We as tax business owners have to use this built in advantage we have in our industry!

You can “trigger” many emotions in other people by talking about the subject of taxes in an EMOTIONAL way. Everyone has certain “hot buttons” that cause them to “act” or take action in a way that brings them closer to buying or using a service.

By the way, having a “built in deadline” for people to use our services also helps the emotional copy to sell better.


Here’s How To Use “Fear of Pain (or Loss)”

Yes, “fear of pain” does sell the best. People tend to spend a lot of time, money and energy avoiding pain. The smart marketer understands this and is willing to “peel back a scab and rub salt in it” to motivate someone to action.

A savvy tax business owner who understands the emotional side of getting taxpayers to use their tax services knows using the “fear of pain” to his or her advantage (every place they can) will help increase the effectiveness of their marketing.

The bottom line: If you can whip up this insecurity and fear, you will sell more.

Now don’t get me wrong. You want to benefit sell, too! What I’m saying is you need to do BOTH with a little more of the weight leaning on the “fear of pain” side.

You see, once you make taxpayers feel miserable about their current tax situation, you can then liberate them by being the best solution to their tax problems (or POTENTIAL problems). That’s why you need to do both FEAR and BENEFIT selling, spending more time in the beginning scaring them to death and then selling them on you being the best solution to their possible problems. (Remember the “selling formula”: Problem, Agitate, Solution.)

What is PAINFUL (or at least feared as painful) to your target market?

How about an IRS agent walking into your business? 


“… the last thing you need is to make a simple mistake on your tax return that triggers an IRS ‘red flag’ and the next thing you know you’ve got some pesky IRS agent coming into your office on a Monday morning wanting to see your records.”


How about an IRS audit of your personal tax return? 


“… regular ol’ folks that keep paying more than they are supposed to in taxes, believing it will ‘shield’ them from ever getting one of those nasty IRS letters in the mail, are in denial. IRS audits are real and can be very painful, costly, time-consuming and even embarrassing!

So the main question going through your head right now should be, “What is my target market’s biggest fear or frustration as it relates to taxes?”

When you start getting a handle on what makes your target market “tick” and understanding what their main “hot buttons” are, I guarantee somewhere in the mix you’ll be able to point to some fear or “possibility of pain” they want to avoid as being a key factor in what actually motivates them to action.

It might be a phone call. It might be a person showing up at your office unannounced one day. But what got that prospect to USE you instead of someone else can be traced back to you helping them avoid the possibility of pain.

And as Barretta used to say. “You can take that one to the bank!”

Do me a favor. Keep some of the “logical” stuff you already have in your ads because you ultimately need both to complete the sales message. I’m just saying add more emotional copy (even on the heavy side) because that’s what helps make the phone ring!

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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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