Real Tax Business Success: Tax Marketing Lesson 6: The Message

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Giving taxpayers what they WANT is THE place to start when developing a marketing message! 

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Working On What 99% Of Tax Professionals Royally Screw Up—The Message


First of all, if you scan the yellow pages (or Google) in your category, I’ll make a bet with you: 90% of the ads—actually probably ALL of them look very similar. They all offer the same services, with the same feature.

What makes your tax business any different? (We’ll get into this more when we discuss USP’s) Well, here’s a good place to start…

Giving taxpayers what they WANT is THE place to start when developing a marketing message!

How do you make YOUR message stop your target market dead in their tracks? The only way to truly get their attention is to “give ’em what they want!”

Does your target market want a guarantee? If so, guaranteeing what? How many multiple guarantees backing up your tax services are they interested in? Sure, they may want a guarantee of accuracy, but many tax business owners do that. How will yours be different?

But don’t stop there. Do your clients want your location to be closer to where they live or work? (Plus all their friends, neighbors and business associates just like them that live and work in the same area.) Do they want a bigger waiting room or is “drop off” service a better option?

What about the kind of employee do you have representing you in your tax office? Does your targeted client want an experienced tax practitioner or just someone who takes one-on-one time with them and makes them feel important?

I can go on and on.


The point is your marketing message must be centered around giving your target market everything they REALLY want, not what YOU THINK they want and definitely not what you are just going to give them because “that’s what other tax businesses do.”


And as you can see, your message is NOT confined to just “what” kind of tax services you can offer your client. Marketing and developing a marketing message deals with everything from “how” you say your guarantee to “who” is doing the selling to “when” you’re actually going to follow up with your prospect (or existing client) again!

So the big question is, “How do I find out what my target client wants?”

And the million dollar answer is ASK ’EM! (And continue to ask them more and more each tax season.)

Many tax business owners have hundreds and hundreds of client records sitting in their filing cabinets. These clients came into the tax office the previous tax season and the tax business knows nothing more about them than the information on their tax return.

By the way, looking at someone’s tax return can tell you a lot about them. You know another way to find out more about them? Look at the phone number in the file and call them and ask them a few questions on what they would really want in the coming tax season. You will be amazed what you find.

Oh yes, if you’re too lazy to make 40 or 50 calls to get a sampling from your database of what your clients really want, make up 4 or 5 questions and put them on a one page survey sheet. You can get feedback from your clients about what they want while they are in your office having their taxes prepared this year.

You don’t get better information for promoting your business THIS year, but it’s a start in the right direction for next tax season.

By starting to properly promote your tax business this way, you won’t fight as many uphill battles as most tax businesses do. Your marketing becomes much easier and you’ll make more money if you’re giving taxpayers EVERYTHING THEY WANT IN A TAX BUSINESS!


Let’s Talk About a USP…


It’s a “Unique Selling Proposition”, and without it—you’re sunk.

What is a Unique Selling Proposition and how do I develop one or more for my tax business? Good question. Now let’s find the answer by answering this next question.

Why should your prospect choose you or your tax services versus any and every other option available to them?

In other words, what are the reasons a certain group of people would choose you compared to going down the street to the other five tax businesses? What makes your tax business different and unique? Why are you better? What do YOU do that is so special?

If you do NOT have a good answer to these questions and you can’t say it in a clear, concise manner, then you will have a real problem marketing your tax business effectively over the long haul!

Folks, this is where the rubber meets the road. This is where you lay it on the line. Your reputation, your money, your whole business hinges on a well developed USP!


It amazes me, for as many times as I talk about this subject, too many tax business owners I come in contact with DON’T have a good answer or answers to these questions! I’m telling you, spend a solid three or four days thinking through this one area of your business, developing a solid USP message to “hang your tax business on,” and it could make the difference in six figures of profit in the next few tax seasons alone for some tax business owners.

Some tax business owners I talk to say, “Well, I offer the same tax services all the other accountants in town do. How can I be unique or different?” Or they will tell me, “Well, I offer quality service. It’s the people in my office that make the difference.”

Now how many times do you hear EVERY business say in their advertising, “Our people make the difference!”

I hear that so much I want to get sick!

Don’t get me wrong, people DO make a difference in services business. But clients see that for themselves once they are ALREADY “in” your office. We are talking about selling propositions that make you so unique, someone who is NOT a client (or has not used your services before) would call or come by your office to inquire about your tax services.

Oh, and as far as “offering the same tax services as all the other accountants in town,” that may or may not be true. But just for the sake of argument, let’s say you DID offer the exact same tax services as everyone else.


Describing Your Services




A) Acme Tax Service offers low prices and a fast turn-around service!

B) Acme Tax Service GUARANTEES The Lowest Tax Preparation Price Compared To Those “National Brand Name Companies,” Plus We Offer Our Special And Unique Promise To You: Your Tax Return Prepared In 1 Day Or You Don’t Pay! (*call about details)

Now don’t you think example “B” might SELL your prospect into giving you (at least) a phone call? (I think so, too.) Example “A” could be offering the exact same tax services at the exact same price and getting 95% of the tax returns prepared in 1 Day, too. (All example “B” has to do is make up a simple flier in their office plus, answering a few of the same questions over the phone, explain 95% of the tax returns they prepare qualify for the 1 Day guarantee and to please bring all your information down to our office and we’ll be able to tell you ahead of time if your tax return qualifies.)

So with the “B” tax business’ two unique selling propositions, they will get MORE phone calls from their current advertising, which will result in MORE sales (and more income in their bank account).

Are you starting to see how important your USP message is to the overall profitability of your tax business?

You can have multiple USPs for multiple different target markets.

“Blue Collar” target market USPs:

  • Fastest Tax Refunds Allowed By The IRS …. Guaranteed
  • GUARANTEED Next Day Tax Preparation Services
  • Our Promise: “The tax return will be correct or we pay the penalties and interest on our mistake!”

“White Collar” target market USPs:

  • “Complete Peace Of Mind, IRS Protected” Accuracy Guarantee
  • “No-Client-Waits” Executive Tax Service Guarantee
  • “Special Procrastinator Discount Valid Until 6 p.m. April 14th”


The Take-Away


If you can have an answer to the USP question which is better than the other tax businesses in your town, you WILL get your share of phone calls this tax season!

And like I’ve said before (and I’ll say it again), getting the phone call is THE goal of your advertising and marketing promotions!

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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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