Tax season is almost upon us, and with it comes a time crunch. Isn’t it time you looked at overhauling the way you do business? Michelle Weinstein and sales strategist Denise Mandeau look at why tax season is the best time to increase your fees. Denise and Michelle examine 3 top reasons why an overhaul is the best thing for your business. They also lay out a solid plan for dealing with clients. So sit back and learn the best way to increase your value and your revenue.
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It’s Tax Season! 3 Reasons Why Now Is The Time To Overhaul Your Firm With Denise Mandeau
We have a very special guest, my partner in crime, Denise Mandeau. We are talking about the three reasons why tax season is the best time to overhaul your firm and increase your fees either in the beginning, middle or towards the end of tax season. It doesn’t matter. You can make these changes now. Let’s dive into this episode. For those of you that are fed up with your approach and ready to learn a new way, make sure to stay until the end so you can know our special offer. Welcome, Denise, to the show. Why don’t you introduce yourself real quick?
I’m Denise Mandeau from New Jersey. I am Michelle’s partner in crime when it comes to working with all of our Abundant Accountants. I have been an entrepreneur since I was twenty and a financial advisor for many years. I have been doing enrollment conversations and helping people sell more. I’ve sold over $18 million in revenue in helping other people in the last few years. It’s pretty fun.
That’s not too shabby. Denise and I will ruffle a few feathers. You might have read an email for me on this topic in the past that we’re going to talk about that email in this episode. Denise, what do you think the number one reason is why tax season, be it in the beginning, middle or even closing to an end is the best time to change the old habits to overhaul your firm and increase the fees that you have been putting on the back burner for so long? Someone reading might be terrified completely like, “Michelle, there’s no way I can’t afford to lose any clients. I need them all but yet, I’m sick of grinding 14 to 18 hours a day,” which you might be doing now as you’re reading, sipping your late-night coffee to stay awake.
The Best Time To Sit With Your Clients
We’ve talked about this many times with our students. Over the years that we’ve had, this has been a conversation that we’ve had with so many. The number one reason why now is the best time is that you’re meeting with your clients. Some of them were this is the only time you meet with them during the year. This is the very best time to sit down and get to know them and find out their real problems so you can charge your real value, not what you think they can afford and increase your revenue and stop being a commodity.
Not only that. This is the best time because you get to see everyone. That means you can practice a new conversation that you have not had before and get the repetitions in. Some of you might have listened to the episode we did with Chris Voss and he always talks about your reps. In order to change some old habits, we have to change them by doing something new. However, the something new, we need a lot of repetitions in order to get our reps in and try to do something different, implement it and see the success and change.
I know a lot of you are extremely frustrated. You lose motivation. At the end of tax season, if you don’t make a change now, in the next couple of weeks or months then you start to resent your client. You resent the work that you’re doing because some of you might realize that you’re not much differently priced than some of those franchise firms. I won’t mention any names here but you know what we’re talking about because Denise and I have worked with over 100 accounting firm owners over the last few years. We’ve heard it from every single person.
Before we dive into another reason why, I want to share that Kevin, one of our students, sent me his stats about what he did to increase his fees during tax season. This is the result of what happened. He has about 258 people whom he does 1040 Individual Returns, plus all his business clients as well. He increased his fees. These are the results that I want to share with you that his clients said to him because he was shocked. He was thinking that he was going to lose half his clients. He hasn’t lost anybody yet, by the way.
He was terrified and could not sleep. He even said, “I was anxious about sending the email with my new fees. I sat on it for about three days before sending it out. I thought I was going to lose half or more of my clients. Was that worth the risk?” That is what his thoughts were before sending the letter. He only had one negative response from 258 people.
Let me share some of the great responses so you can see how Kevin is clearly appreciated by his clients. His clients told him, “You are more than worth it. You do amazing work and we feel so fortunate to be one of your customers.” They said, “Thanks for the heads up. It’s understandable that you need to increase the fee. It’s worth it for the excellent service that you provide but you still owe me a beer.” That’s a good one.
“I’m staying with you. I’m not going anywhere. You are worth every penny. I hope all is well. You are the man. No way am I going anywhere else. You are worth every penny and minute spent. Your knowledge, expertise, kindness keeps me secure and confident that you are doing the absolute best for me. Thank you for what you do. I appreciate you.” That’s a nice one. Another one is inflation. “I’m staying with you, Kevin. Hope things are well.” People know what’s going on in the world. “You are noted. Thank you for your efforts. We look forward to working with you again this tax season.” He got one negative response but here’s the thing.
As all of his appointments are pouring in, he started to dive in on the work like you are all doing now as you’re reading this. He said he has some thoughts that he should have raised his fees higher. That’s what he wrote, “I should have raised them higher. It’s a wake-up call to know that sometimes your clients value you more than you value yourself.”
I remember because we have these little sticky notes that we give out at live events. I can’t remember what it says word for word but it’s something along the lines of that. It’s like, “If you don’t value your time then someone else will put a value to your time for you.” I had to share the results of Kevin. I have emailed all of our other students who have done this exercise to get the results.
They sat on their emails, letters, organizers and other things. Some of them are doing it as the client contacts them. There is something that you can do at the moment now. I get it’s overwhelming daunting to think, “You want me to make a change during tax season? I’m already working 14 to 18 hours a day. How is that even possible? I don’t see a way to that.” I get it because a lot of other people didn’t see a way to that either. Denise, how about you share with us another reason, going back to the actual title of our topic, which is the Three Reasons Why Tax Season is the Best Time to Overhaul Your Firm?
We shared reason one. You’re going to get to see everybody now because this is the only time that you see a lot of these clients. The second reason is that you’re leaving a ton of money on the table, thousands of dollars and you’re sick of feeling underpaid and undervalued. Kevin got to see the other side of how appreciative his clients are of him. That would be another reason why. Denise, what do you think another one would be?
Opportunity To Make More Money And Work Less
Another reason is that you have the opportunity to make more money and work less now because the ones that don’t want to pay you your value don’t have to see them this tax season.
You could get rid of your PITA clients in honor of yourself and not wait around for them to contact you on the last day. It’s like, “Who knows if the deadline will be April 15th, 2022? They might extend it again. You never know,” but let’s say it’s April 14th. They’re like, “Denise, I have all my stuff and I have been out of town. I was sick. I had COVID, but I need this done by tomorrow.” What a great reason to say you’re full for the year and maybe one of the franchise firms can take care of you because you decided to come the day before and I no longer do that. This is an opportunity for you to make these shifts in your firm now. It is possible.Tax season is the very best time to sit down with clients, get to know them, and find out what their real problems are. Click To Tweet
It is also without the guilt of turning people away. We hear that all the time, “They need my help. I feel guilty.” If they needed your help so bad then they would have valued your time and brought you their things in a timely manner.
Our sticky notes say, “If you don’t value your time, put up some boundaries and expectations then no one else will.” If I were that person that contacted you on the 14th, here is the wording I would say. If you have a pen and paper, you might want to jot this down, “I can appreciate that you need your taxes done and I understand that the deadline to file is tomorrow. However, we’ve sent you an email that we’ve increased our fees. We sent you an organizer and you chose to wait until the day before. Unfortunately, we’ve made a bunch of changes at our firm and we can no longer help you. However, there are a few franchise firms out there that you can find in your local area and we wish you nothing but the best.”
How great would that feel to say to a client that you used to need desperately, want to help, bend over backward only for a couple of hundred dollars at the last minute and pull an all-nighter? I know there are some of you that pull all-nighters on April 14th. I’ve been told. You have coffee, a lot of liquids, other things, snacks and then on the 15th, you can barely breathe. It’s like someone walked all over you, your bones are shattered and you can barely get up. You don’t have to do that anymore.
We teach our students other ways to turn that into a massive opportunity, which you don’t find out until you come and sign up for class.
We want to make sure that you know this is possible. The point of this conversation is to share with you that it is possible.
Jerry Wallace saw a massive opportunity and we helped her design what to say and all that. She is already putting it into effect immediately and has already doubled the fee of what she wants to charge and the person was blown away. They didn’t even blink an eye.
She even told us in class, “You’re right. We could’ve done higher.” I’m like, “Yes.” I understand it takes some steps to gain the confidence in order to do that. If you’re sick and tired of the daily financial rollercoaster grinding the 14 hours to 18 hours, some guy told me sometimes 20. I was like, “Four hours of sleep? How do you even do good work for your clients with that little sleep?” I would be walking around with one eye open. I would need binoculars at that point to even see any numbers. If you want to end this vicious tax season cycle of pleasing clients, losing sleep, feeling exhausted, powerless, depleted and burnt out then it’s time to make a change now and not keep dilly-dallying and waiting until there’s a good time or when things free up.
What I’ve learned in this industry is there’s always a new deadline. The deadlines don’t go away. They might get shifted a little bit but it’s for you to think about what it is that you want to create in your firm this 2022. How do you want to make a change to shift the old patterns that you’ve been doing to try something new and get those repetitions to see success like Jerry or Kevin saw or the other people we’ve worked with?
I have not gotten Lynn and Jack’s results yet. Lynn promised me so I will include Lynn’s stats in her next email. She told us in class that she could have even increased her fees anymore. This is the prime opportunity to start firing clients or letting them go if they suck the life and energy out of you or pretend that everything is an emergency. Denise, I don’t know if you want to chime in on this. If you have to go to the real ER, if you look at your insurance card, your regular doctor visit copay is $40 to $45 on average. When you go to the ER, it’s $325 or $350 something.
It’s like $500 a month.
How much percentage increase is that for an emergency? Let’s say it’s $45 and yours is $500.
It’s almost 1,000%.
How come all of the firm owners we’ve worked with until they’re done working with us prior think that if the client comes on the day before, we can still charge the regular general copay? Whatever you were doing for your basic 1040, business return or whatever it is, for the people who procrastinate, do things at the last minute, don’t respect or value your time yet you still will provide that service at the same low rate?
In the world of medicine, I like to think about the doctor. It’s an emergency. Unless it’s life-threatening, which if it were for a tax return, they could have done that 2 to 3 months in advance because that’s when you sent notices out and let people know, “This is when we need it back.” Anything you want to say on that?
It’s spot on. What I’m saying is no more. Give them the X buzzer. It’s time to stop allowing people to train you. You have to start training them to respond the way you want, which is no last-minute loosies. At the last minute, they got to have to pay more.
That’s okay and you would be surprised how many people would pay for it. The problem is you don’t ask for it.
You Avoid Burnout
You’re afraid that they’re going to leave. Maybe you don’t want them as clients anyway because this is how it is every year. The reason also that this is the best time for you to do this is so that you don’t get burned out and get exhausted. How many more years do you want to keep doing that?
From everyone I’ve spoken to, they’re sick of it, which is why we decided to talk about this exact topic. I’m sick of hearing about it but we are willing to help change it. That is for sure. Know that we are here for that support. Are there any other bonus reasons as to why now is the time to overhaul your firm? I know we gave you three but maybe there’s another one in your head that you’re like, “This could be a good one too.”It's time to stop allowing people to train you. You have to start training them to respond the way that you want. Click To Tweet
I can’t think of anything now. It’s always like, “If not now, when?” This is the time when your families get impacted the most too. Wouldn’t it be nice to have it go a different way for once?
For those of you that are like, “Michelle and Denise, how do I do it?” If you are completely feeling a little underpaid, a little resentful about your clients, have no time for extra fun like arts and crafts, want to get paid more because you know you deserve it, want to increase your fees but need some support behind your mind on how to do it, what to say, how to have them engage with you at those higher fees because you know you’ve been lying to yourself about making changes every single year after tax season and you’re like, “I’m done lying to myself. I’m going to make the change,” you can head on over to TheAbundantCall.com to book a call with Denise and me.
On that call, we’re going to talk about where your firm is and what’s been keeping you stuck from making these changes, especially the ones about the price because that’s our topic in this episode. We’re also going to talk about how you can get paid first and upfront, create packages and do other things than do hourly billing or work for under $200 for 1040. We’re also going to talk about some of the next best steps you can take to double your firm revenue if that sounds like a good idea to you. We work with a lot of people who want to double their revenue or at least increase it by 200% to 300%.
We’ve even had some people quadruple their base fees so it is possible. There is a little catch to it. It’s not for everybody. Here are a few things that I want to make sure that you know you are before you book a call. You must have a firm that also offers high-value services. We will take care of the low-hanging fruit but the bigger vision is on tax planning, consulting and tax resolution.
If you’re a tax attorney, a CPA or EA, you must own your own firm or you can be in a corporate job with a side hustle but you better want to quit your job. That’s mandatory. You must take complete responsibility for your success. That’s very important too because you should not be looking for permission from anyone else to upgrade your firm or your skillset.
The last requirement is that you’re completely fed up with the way you’ve been doing it. That’s our request. Denise and I look forward to connecting and talking to you, mapping out and executing that plan. We look forward to talking to you. Thank you all for joining us. If there’s anything that you can do, it is to put whatever we shared into practice. If anyone comes to you on April 14th, 2022, you can share with them what you wrote down in your notes. We’ll see you in the next episode.
- Denise Mandeau
- Chris Voss – Previous Episode