Wikipedia defines a “calendar” as a system for organizing days for social, religious, commercial, or government purposes. That’s a pretty dry, bland definition. So let me tart it up by saying a “calendar” is the best way to get clients in your door for lucrative year-end planning engagements. Already sounds a lot better, doesn’t it?
Today is November 12. It’s the 316th day of the year, which isn’t especially significant. But there are just 49 days left in the year. And that really is important for us.
Turning prospects into clients can be hard. (If it were easy, you wouldn’t need us!) One of the best tools for turning prospects into clients, or just getting existing clients to act, is a deadline.
Now, everyone is accustomed to the usual filing deadlines of April 15 and October 15. But there are plenty more deadlines we can use, if we just know how to use them.
For example, self-employed clients generally send money to the IRS every quarter. If you’re talking to a Schedule C business owner in May, you may have missed their tax filing for the year. But there’s an estimated tax due next month. What smart business owner wouldn’t want a free tax appraisal to see if they can send less money, or maybe even skip that payment?
Incorporated business owners who pay themselves a salary may not pay big quarterly estimates. But they have a tax-planning deadline with every paycheck. Find out when that prospect’s next paycheck is due, and you know how fast you can help them file a new W4 to pay less starting right then.
But the mother of all tax-planning deadlines is coming up fast. (49 days, to be exact.) You see, most tax planning strategies are just like Cinderella’s carriage. At midnight, December 31, they turn into pumpkins. No more qualified plans. No more CHICs.
That deadline is your golden ticket to creating a sense of urgency to get your client to act.
We’ve talked before about the “magic question” to use to start conversations with prospective clients: “When was the last time your tax pro came to you and said ‘here’s an idea I think can save you money?’” It’s a great question because you already know the answer: nine out of ten times, it’s “never.” It’s a great way to drive an immediate wedge between your listener and their current accountant, and open the door to you delivering a value they aren’t currently getting.
Now you can turn it into an even more powerful one-two punch. Ask the magic question. See if it puts your listener in pain. Then follow up with “there are just 49 days left in 2015 to do something about it.”
People get busy as the holidays approach. You may already be planning your holiday menus. But people also get stressed as the holidays approach. Christmas is expensive. Holiday vacations are expensive. Prospects would love to hear about ways to save money that can be reallocated towards those year-end expenses – especially if it means reallocating tax dollars!
So here’s your year-end tax-marketing plan, in a single sentence. “Every day, remind someone new that time is running out to save in 2015.” It’s really as simple as that. And if you actually do it, you’ll earn enough to buy yourself a nice holiday present!