How People Fit into Your Tax Planning Business (3 P’s Series)
July 14, 2022 •TaxPlanIQ Support team
Ok, let’s do a little exercise. Think of the phrase “sales rep.”
What kind of feelings, emotions, and involuntary responses came from thinking about being sold something—or for many accounting firm owners—having to sell.
If you feel anywhere from uncomfortable to “ewww, gross” about it, you’re not alone. The aversion to sales is why many accountants sell services. You say, “We offer bookkeeping, tax, FP&A and it costs XYZ. Here’s what we’d charge you, based on your needs.”
But here’s the thing; there’s an incalculable difference between telling people what they’re getting and how those services will actually benefit them. Selling on the benefit (or value) is how we understand the term “value pricing” which we’ve talked about a lot.
This article isn’t dealing with value pricing, but it is dealing with another “P,” which is people. People are part of the 3Ps of tax planning (pricing, product, people).
Spoiler: Don’t worry, you don’t have to be salesy, sleazy, or remotely disingenuous to accomplish the people portion of your tax planning business.
There are Two Types of People in this World Firm
Ok, so everyone is unique, but there are two general types of people for your firm—which are clients (both potential and current clients) and your team.
Your team is vital to selling value-priced services and increasing the ROI for clients and happy clients are equally important to improve margins in your business.
Two Steps to Succeed at People (Both Clients and Team)
Why complicate things, when simplicity is so much better? You have clients (potential and current) and you have the team at your firm. Here are the two things you must have to succeed at the people portion of planning (tax planning, that is).
1. The Person/People You Need
Introvertedness is a quality that’s attributed to accounting and financial professionals, but there’s a lot of debate about it. That said, take any person and they either lean introverted or extroverted.
And that’s ok!
However, you do need to have someone who loves interacting with clients as much as they do serving them. It doesn’t have to be everyone, and doesn’t even have to be you (the firm owner).
Here’s an example: You have 3 total accountants (including yourself) and about 30 existing outsourced accounting clients (for example purposes). Your plan is to offer tax planning services to all current clients.
You could divide up 10 clients apiece and see who sells the most tax plans.
Find that person who loves communicating with clients and understands they are likely overpaying on their taxes.
- Enjoys the hustle of getting docs, access, and answers out of clients
- Has an empathetic demeanor when it comes to showing the value of your tax services
- Genuinely enjoys people
If this person reaches out to your current roster, offering tax planning, they’ll likely book a few more estimates. Wouldn’t the firm be “down a person” if they’re the one doing all of the communication?
No, but that brings us to the second leg of people—process.
2. The Process (Hint: why it’s not salesly)
To properly build out the people portion of the 3 P’s, you need another “P” which is the process your team and clients follow.
Let’s keep going with our example. The account manager accountant (the one handling most client interactions), let’s call her “Jane.” And we’ll also assume she’s preparing the tax plans in TaxPlanIQ.
Jane’s primary role is to offer an estimate to the existing clients. Those customers who raise their hand may or may not need a consultation (if you know their income, business structure, etc., it may not be necessary to get on a call, but maybe send an email for unknown details).
So if most of the clients don’t need a call, the other two accountants (you included, unless you’re Jane) handle the bulk of the tax planning. Once the plan is complete, Jane logs into TaxPlanIQ, sees the ROI report, looks everything over and prepares for a call to present findings.
Jane does this until all of the clients who wanted an estimate have had one, and hopefully they all said “yes,” right?
The other two accountants don’t wait for this process to finish, they begin implementing the tax strategies for those who accepted the deal earliest. Jane continues her “client facing” roles by checking in on client tasks, to follow up and make sure everyone has what they need.
Then, once all the clients’ tax plan needs are set, Jane fully dives into the grind.
People are the Key to the 3 P’s
Without the right people, doing the right things, it’s not likely worth the price and there isn’t much of a product. Those you work with and those you serve are vital to the success of your business.
And if you’re interested in a free trial of TaxPlanIQ, to really give your people the help they need, you can find out more right here.