Have you ever dreamt about having a firm where you work with your dream, high net worth clients AND make MORE money? This dream can be a reality!
Dominique Molina has long been passionate about helping small businesses pay less tax. Unlike other CPAs, her practice, beyond annual tax return preparation, also emphasizes on proactive tax planning strategies to help small businesses leverage the tax laws in the same way that large corporations and the wealthy do. Unsatisfied with bringing her tax-savings approach only to clients in her own practice that she could reach, she created a company that trains and certifies CPAs to develop special expertise in tax planning in accordance with her own high standards for advisory excellence and tax reduction goals. The result is a growing network of CPAs who are successfully reaching some 90,000 small businesses throughout the country.
Molina’s mission to save clients from overpaying their taxes led in 2009 to her founding The American Institute of Certified Tax Planners (AICTP), a company she presides over as CEO. Certified Tax Planners are a leading group of tax professionals who are specially trained in the art of long term, proactive tax planning. AICTP trains and certifies CPAs to develop special expertise in tax planning, and it provides ongoing education, information, and other resources for accountants, advisors, and small business owners. Molina and the company provide a valuable service to the small business community, because AICTP member CPAs, as proactive tax planners, are advising their business owner clients throughout the year on strategies to minimize their annual tax liability by putting tax laws to work for them. By capitalizing on the wealth of tax-saving resources in the U.S. tax code, she and they are helping small businesses pay less tax in April, and retain more revenues for growth.
Are you an accountant that is ready to work with fewer clients, working fewer hours but making MORE MONEY by working with individuals who have a large amount of total assets? Then this episode of The Abundant Accountant Podcast is a MUST LISTEN!
Have you ever wondered how some accountants can work with only 26 clients and gross over 7 figures in revenue? In THIS BLOG POST I’m showing you how you can begin attracting your high net worth clients!
Here are a few key secrets we talked about in this episode
- Michelle Introduces Dominique Molina and her business.
- Dominique shares that she currently only serves 26 clients, but that they are all high net worth clients! Her business strategy helps her attract the type of clients that she wants!
- Everyone wants high net worth clients, but there is an art to attracting them! So many accountants and CPAs don’t realize it, but their behavior may be repelling the clients that they desperately want to attract.
- Dominique shares three ways that you may be repelling these clients, and four ways to attract high net worth clients.
- Repellant #1: You don’t offer a high enough value service.
- What sets you apart from every other accountant/bookkeeper/CPA out there? If you don’t have a high-value offer, you don’t have something to pull them in!
- Value is about the end results; what someone is getting from you!
- Repellant #2: You don’t have your ideal market identified.
- Most accountants start their own firm, and their ideal client is anyone with a heartbeat and breathing! However, that changes when you realize that you want to define your income and hours.
- Knowing what kind of person you want to serve helps you to sell effectively to them.
- If you want high net worth clients, you have to KNOW them, so that you can identify them when you see them.
- Don’t know your ideal client? Reverse engineer them! Get to know everything about them. Learn what those ultra high net worth individuals want!
- Repellant #3: you don’t know how your ideal client makes buying decisions.
- If you’re selling a $25,000 services package, a $25 off coupon will not appeal to these high net worth clients. These high net worth clients rely on relationships, so that they can get to know and trust the value that you have to offer. Once you understand how they purchase, you can lead with that value.
- There are four things that you can do to attract these high net worth clients.
- Attraction #1: have a high-value offering. If you serve a specific niche and save them 6 figures in taxes each year, that is a high-value offer that sets you apart from all other accountants.
- Attraction #2: know your ideal market.
- Attraction #3: know how your ideal client makes purchasing decisions, and adjust accordingly.
- Make sure that your words match what you’re portraying: if you’re bringing a high-value proposition to your client, they will research you, so don’t have a $25 coupon on your site to entice the low-level client.
- Attraction #4: Know where your ideal clients are; what conferences they attend, what their needs are. Once you know them, and know who they are and how to reach them, you can serve them effectively.
- Should I give away advice for free? NO! You do not have to give away your work for free.
- Many accountants give a free consultation and offer incredible value during that consult to “prove” their worth. You do not have to give away knowledge for free. Ask smart questions that prove your worth, and charge for a follow-up strategy session.
- Don’t be alone; don’t be a lone wolf. Find someone who markets to the same type of client, and win together!
Learn More & Connect With Me Here!
- Read The Abundant Accountant Blog
- Certified Tax Coach website
- Dominique’s Facebook page
- Join us on Facebook
- Follow Michelle on LinkedIn
P.S. It’s time to stop thinking that offering a $25 coupon is going to bring in the high net worth clients that you desire to work with. Get rid of that coupon and read THIS BLOG POST!
P.P.S. Over the last 18 months, I’ve been perfecting something called the Selling Without Ever Selling System. Up until now only my high-end clients have had access to this information. But I’m so excited about this that I’m offering you a free coaching session so I can share this information with you too.
This system is all about getting your IDEAL clients coming to YOU and finally getting paid what you’re worth so you can build your dream practice and still have the time and money to enjoy your family and kids. If you’re tired of waiting around for business, relying on busy seasons, or guessing at what works, this free coaching session is for YOU.
Learn more at theabundantcall.com.
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The 4 Best Ways To Attract High Net Worth Clients For Your Accounting Firm With Dominique Molina
In this episode, we have a very special guest. Our guest is the President and Founder of the American Institute of Certified Tax Planners. With over fifteen years of experience as a Certified Public Accountant, our special guest has worked with many top business owners and investors using proactive tax planning to help them keep more of what they earn. Our special guest is a keynote speaker, teacher, bestselling author, and mentor to tax professionals across the US.
Before we get into this episode, I am eager to discover more about those of you who read every single episode. If you’re wondering how you can do this, I’d like to take a moment to extend an invitation for you to subscribe and leave a written review on iTunes so I can keep delivering the content that you want and love. When I read those reviews, I am going to take that review and highlight it on a future episode right here on the show. Again, please subscribe and leave a written review for the show.
As many of you know, sharing is caring. I also like to invite each of you to take a screenshot of this episode on your phone when you are finished reading this episode and tag me, Michelle Weinstein, as well as our amazing guest, Dominique Molina. Also, make sure to #TheAbundantAccountantPodcast when you post it and share it on your LinkedIn feed. Make sure to tell us, what is the top lesson you found the most value from in this episode, and what will you implement in your firm? Now, let’s welcome Dominique Molina to the show.
Thanks so much for having me here, Michelle.
Dominique, can you share with everyone a little bit about who you are, where you’re from, and your background?
I’m a CPA and like a lot of you out there, I started my career in public accounting working for a large practice here in San Diego, California. That’s where I live. Like a lot of people, I grew frustrated with some of the constraints of public accounting, the long hours, mediocre pay, and no life. I thought the cure to all of those problems was to start my own practice and it didn’t take long before I realized I had the same exact problems. Only, they were magnified because now I have to take care of other people that are working for me too.
I set out to do my business a different way. What I’ve found over the years is that focusing on tax reduction has been a great way for me to adopt value pricing and shrink the number of clients that I work with. I work with 26 clients now, but most people would be surprised to learn how much I make because it’s very lucrative.
Now, I spend most of my time working for a nonprofit. It’s a small organization here in San Diego. It’s called the American Institute of Certified Tax Planners. I help CPAs, enrolled agents, and attorneys do the same thing in their practice get licensed in tax planning, learn how to deliver real value to people, get paid a lot more than industry standards so-called, and lead a much better life. I’m happy to be here today and I’m excited about our topic too.
We are discussing a very important topic. I would say every topic on the show is very important, but this one is, for sure. What are some of the best ways to get and attract higher net-worth clients for an accounting firm? You’ve done a great job at that. A lot of accountants that I’ve worked with in my courses or whenever they’re saying, “Michelle, how do I get those higher net worth clients into my portfolio? I’m sick of dealing with the low-price clients that come to me and they only want to know what I charge. They always tell me I’m too expensive.”
I get it because we have dealt with the same thing but what are those things that we need to do as accounting professionals to increase the value of high-net-worth clients in our firms? In this show, what we’re going to be talking about are the top three reasons you might not be attracting those people and what you need to do to attract them. I’m very excited about this topic.
We’re going to talk about the top three things that you might be doing that repel affluent business owners from wanting to work with you. We’re going to talk about the top four things you can do to attract them into your business.
Let’s get into it. What’s the first one that’s repelling people away from everyone reading right now where you’re like, “I’m not attracting those clients that I want?”
The number one reason is that you’re probably not offering something of high enough value to attract those people. When you think about it, if you’re offering to do a tax return, payroll, or bookkeeping, you join hundreds of thousands of others, all offering the same thing. The first step in changing that around is to identify what it is that you can offer. I said, “What can you offer if you don’t currently offer it to attract a high-value client?”
With my background, what I’ve found works very well is advanced tax reduction.” Let’s say I have a client. It’s even not much money. They make $500,000 a year or $1 million a year. If I can come in and save $100,000, $200,000, or $300,000 for them every year off of their tax bill using proven, tested, and court-tested IRS-approved techniques, they’re pretty happy with that and they want to work with me.
That’s step number one. It’s offering something different.
Offer something high value. If you want high net-worth clients, you have to offer high value. You got to identify what that is first.If you want high net worth clients, you have to offer high value. Click To Tweet
Dominique, what does the definition of value mean to you?
Value is about what somebody is getting. It’s the results. What results am I helping to create? I got a common request last week that I know a lot of you have gotten before, and that is the old CPA letter. American Express was going to cut my client’s spending limit and he can’t afford to do that. He relies on his American Express. American Express said, “Get a letter from your CPA that says how much you make.”
I could certainly follow an hourly billing model where I bill for a half hour of my time to prepare the letter, but in looking at, “What is this going to allow this person to do? I can charge $1,500 for that letter. It still only took me a half an hour to complete,” but the value to this client is so important that it allows me to be able to charge much more.
The importance is that without that letter, he won’t be able to spend his monthly spending and needing of that cashflow reserves anymore. Is that $1,500 worth it to him to have you write this letter as this tax advisor and get him the funds needed from American Express?
Some of you may be gasping, “No one would ever pay $1,500 for a CPA letter.” Let me tell you, “I’m living proof they do and they will.” Here’s why. It’s about the whole package. It’s what do they get for it all? I don’t only give him a CPA letter. I’m saving the person over $1 million a year in tax. He happily pays when he needs something.
What is step number two?
The second thing that we do as accountants that repel high net worth clients is we don’t have a market identified about whom we’re going after. Most of us have probably started our careers out taking anybody that would walk in the door because we’re trying to get money in to pay our bills. If they had a heartbeat and are breathing, we will accept them as clients. If you want to attract high-net-worth clients though, you have to be able to reach them.
Part of reaching them is being able to know who they are so that you can recognize them when you see them. The step to solving this is to identify a market that is affluent. What I would suggest is to outline, first of all, what are the minimum fees in your practice that are going to lead to the practice that you want. Think about, “What level of value do I need to provide and what types of people can I provide that level to?”
To give you an example, my minimum fees are $25,000. I have to think, “How do I deliver $25,000 worth of value?” I don’t know. If I save someone $150,000 a year, is that worth $25,000? A lot of people think so. How can I save $125,000 a year? Somebody, first of all, who’s paying at least $125,000 a year in tax. It goes on and on. You can reverse engineer and think about, “If I’m looking in the $500,000 income range, who makes that type of money?” it’s these people. You can narrow it down in a process of elimination and identify a market that’s going to be ideal for you.
Who is your ideal market, Dominique?
My ideal market right now, I love working with internet-based business owners. Number one, they understand the value of technology. They understand brief is more.
Do you want to explain that to all the accountants reading? What do you mean by brief?
Less is more. It means I don’t need to explain every little thing that I’m doing. They trust me and they understand having a face-to-face meeting on Skype. I don’t have to travel anywhere or have somebody travel, come, sit in my office, and take up whoever knows how much time. It’s very easy. Email and video are very easy to communicate and they appreciate that as well. They don’t want to spend time in this office either.
Dominique’s love is internet-based businesses that understand less is more and that will meet with her on Skype or Zoom so she doesn’t have to leave her office or house. What’s the third thing that’s repelling accountants from those clients that they’re looking to attract?
The third thing is about looking at how these types of people make buying decisions. Not understanding how they make purchase decisions repels high-net-worth clients from us. That’s because we tend to follow models that we see popular in the industry. What do we see a lot of in the industry? We see a lot of ad campaigns, discounts, coupons, and things like that. Think about it. If I’m going to sell an engagement for $25,000, do you think a coupon that offers $20 off is going to attract my market?
You may be doing things with your marketing that are repelling people because you don’t understand how they make buying decisions. People who are making decisions of this nature take longer to make their decisions. They need to put trust in the individual because they consider the transaction to be one of many more than price. Price is not important to these folks, but having an advisor that they can trust and rely on for a long period of time is the most important thing.
If I’m coming in, sitting down with somebody, and talking about what a great bargain and deal this is for them, or if I use words like our normal price is, but for you now, it’s going to be this.” You can turn off your ideal customer. The third suggestion in how to improve is to understand how they make their buying decisions so that you can act appropriately.
Using your internet-based businesses as the example that we’re rolling with, what are the buying decisions that you’ve noticed from your ideal client that you’re working with based on what you shared so they can visualize and have a story to go along with the points?
Number one, trust is the most important factor in what we do. Every way that you show up on the internet, in person, on camera, what does your office look like behind you on camera? All of that matters and it needs to be congruent and consistent. In other words, if I’m also trying to bring in anybody that will walk through the door and I have a coupon on my website, but I’m not showing it to the net worth people that I don’t want to know about that, they’re going to find it because they’re going to do a little bit of research on you, especially people that are in the tech industry.
You want to make sure that what you’re saying about yourself matches everywhere because trust is so important. I focus on what results I’m creating for them. For people that are busy and that’s what I’ve noticed about one trend with this target market of mine. They are very busy and lifestyle-motivated. They don’t want to have to be tied down with recordkeeping, storing things, and coming in to sign things. They want to be free to travel the globe. If I can develop processes and systems in my business that go along with that, say an app on their iPhone that tells them where they’re at all times 24/7, that is attractive to them. I understand what they’re looking for when they make their decision.
Let’s transition into what everyone is wanting to probably hear. What have you found are the best ways to now attract and get those higher net worth clients coming to you? It’s almost like having a magnet and they keep gravitating toward you, which you’ve experienced now.
To recap the three suggestions I have, number one is, first of all, to identify what value it is that you bring to the table. The second thing is to identify the ideal market to go after. The third thing is to understand how they make buying decisions and the fourth suggestion I have is to know where to find them. A great example I have for you is to look for people that also target your same market. That may be a financial advisor, a banker, or a service provider that consults with online coaches or that develops technology for people in the online marketing space.
It might be people who sell medical equipment to doctors, for example. It may be cost-remediation specialists for dentists. You want to identify who those other people are and tag team it. Meet with them. Find people that are going to click with you and see how you can co-market together to have them do some of the heavy lifting. I’ll tell you, I’m not the best at sales. When I can turn that over to a real pro that’s also going to win when we get a client together, that’s been the most impactful way for me to attract high-net-worth clients.
How have you met some of your internet-based clients?
It starts with going where they hang out. There are several high-profile conferences every year. They’re live and in person and being able to set up, and I know you’re a big fan of this, Michelle, but being able to tag the person on social media and suggests, “I’m going to be there too. Can we grab a coffee? I’d love to meet you in person. Can I grab and shake your hand? Can we coordinate a time to meet and a place?”
It’s because sometimes, these events are so big. It’s crazy. The nice thing about identifying a market is that you don’t have to have just one, for example. I have multiple targets that I work with a lot. I have chiropractors and a lot of doctors. Once you are in and accepted in that community, the referrals are crazy because you become a specialist in dealing with issues that they are dealing with on a daily basis. You understand what they go through and that’s very important. Also, it is something that they’re looking for when they’re looking to work with someone that they trust.
I get a lot of questions, “Michelle, how do you find these higher net worth clients? Do I have to send mailers out? Do I need to do social media?” What is your take on that as far as focusing on, “We don’t need many?” The other thing that we haven’t even spoken about a lot is that you don’t need many of these clients to have an amazing life and successful practice.
What’s your opinion on social media? I talk to a lot of these people and they’re like, “I need to do my social media first, or I need to get out mailers.” I’m like, “You don’t, but let’s hear it from you, the expert.”
Again, that goes back to understanding how your market makes its buying decisions. If you picture it, is somebody going to select somebody to pay $25,000 to whom they’ve never met and whom they got a letter in the mail about? Most likely not. In fact, the higher your net worth you go, the more relationship-driven they are. They want to get a referral from someone they know or they want to get to know you as well. You have to then use mediums that are acceptable to them.
Don’t waste your money on that stuff if your market is not going to respond to that. Now, if you’re looking for people that are transactional, they want the best deal that they can. They want to get in, they want to get out. Those folks respond very well to the coupon, to the discount, and to a mailer. If your market is not on social media, why bother doing social media?If your market is not on social media, don’t even bother spending time and resources on it. Click To Tweet
Let’s say that you have a primarily older market, although there are a lot of older people now. The demographic for Facebook anyway is getting much older. If they’re not using social media, then don’t waste resources on that. Understand where they are. I’ll tell you one thing. In the techie space, there are message forums that are not taking place on social media but are found elsewhere online that are groups and you can join those groups and start to build that relationship.
That’s a key point because as you know, I do talk and work with a lot of accountants and I hear it all the time, “Michelle, I’m not an extrovert like you are. I’m very introverted.” For each of you reading that’s an introvert, which might be a lot of you, the message board idea that Dominique is sharing is one of the best ways because you don’t even need to go out and meet them.
I’m an introvert. What I do for a living requires me to be extroverted at times, which means I have to take good care of myself because I find it very draining. I’ll go take a long nap after this interview, Michelle. That’s where others can come in handy by partnering with others. If that’s not your thing, but you understand that’s how your market makes its decisions. Maybe they’re high networkers.
Let’s say you’re targeting people in the real estate industry. Realtors tend to be very extroverted. They go to tons of networking events. That’s where you can meet them very easily. Tag team with somebody else who is extroverted that gets energy from doing those types of events and partner on that so that you can benefit without having to go against the grain so much.
We talked about referrals. That’s a big one with these higher net-worth clients. There are a lot of accountants that I’ve personally spoken with and I get this question a lot, “Michelle, should I charge for that consultation or should I give it away for free?” What is your opinion on that? Coming from a place where the larger the value, the greater the relationship must be with that new prospect sitting in front of you.
Do you mean what’s my opinion on the F word?
Yes. I had to bring up the F word. If we have Dominique Molina here as a special guest, we better talk about the accounting F word.
I don’t like giving anything away for free, and I’m sure everybody reading doesn’t like to give it away for free either, but we do it all the time. One of the primary reasons that accountants give things away for free is because we think that the buyer is looking to see if we know what we’re talking about. As a way of demonstrating that we know what we’re talking about, we will blurt out all kinds of information. Let me tell you, it is no different from owning a 7-Eleven and having somebody come in, get their favorite drinks and snacks, and walk right out the door and you saying, “With my blessing.”
That’s giving away your intellectual inventory. What I will say is, “You don’t need to give away information for free to demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about.” You can do that with very good questions. When you know the right questions to ask, you and I refer to this as the doctor’s frame. If you think about it, you don’t walk into the doctor’s office and the doctor starts prescribing and scheduling surgeries for you and other types of procedures.You don't need to give away information for free to demonstrate to your clients that you know what you're talking about. You can simply do that with very good questions. Click To Tweet
They take time with you. They listen to you and they ask all kinds of interesting questions. “Does it hurt when you do this? Does it hurt when you do that? Does it also happen to hurt over here?” Normally as a patient, I go, “How did you know that? That’s crazy.” What that does is builds trust and confidence in the doctor’s abilities. When we can do that, I was meeting with somebody who’s a certified tax planner. She got a client that called in and said, “I’m going to start a new limited partnership and it’s going to be a holding company. We’re also going to have an S corp that’s going to buy and sell real estate and also make other investments. Can you set this up for me?”
She was saying, “How do I respond?” It’s because the answer is you could just give it away. If you’re like me, I’m busy, so I like to get people off my to-do list. It’s far too easy to go, “Great. We’ll take care of that for you. No problem. Connect us with your attorney.” Instead to recognize that as an opportunity say, “The way you establish this can make a big difference in how much tax you pay. I’d like to understand better what your goals are with this setup. Why is it that you’re thinking about a limited partnership? Are you connected to the S corp? Why is it that you have that in mind? How much capital are you going to put into the business? Are you going to have partners? How much do you expect to make?”
By asking those types of questions, we’re building trust and confidence and we’re gathering information that we need so that we can give you and them an estimate of the value we can create for them. When we do that, we can quote higher fees because we create more understanding of the high value we’re offering a high net-worth client.
Also, the F word wasn’t used.
No. What I do is a complimentary discovery session, but it’s for me to ask questions and listen to their answers. That’s it. If they have questions for me during that time, I say, “That’s a great question and we’ll be sure to cover that during your strategy session.” I’m selling them a strategy session.
Thank you so much for sharing all of the tips as far as what’s repelling you from attracting those higher-value net-worth clients. Also, what are the things that you need to change in order to start attracting them? Dominique, before I let you go, is there anything else that you would like to share as a bonus tip? Any last words of advice so everyone reading can start attracting those clients they truly do want to work with?
Don’t do it alone. Don’t be a lone wolf. It’s great to be a solopreneur and have your own thing going, but it’s very lonely even for an introvert to the extent that you can collaborate, whether it’s in a Facebook group of like-minded individuals or whether it’s a local group of other business owners. Collaborating with others helps get you out of your head and it gives you a different perspective on things that we take for granted.
To have someone like you, Michelle, you’re a lay person in an accountant’s world, but to get that feedback from you to say, “No, that’s important what you just said,” because I didn’t know that as a business owner. I didn’t know I have to do A, B, and C. “Let’s talk about that more.” We tend to take things for granted.
You can hide behind your computer screen and chat online on a message board or in a Facebook group, LinkedIn, or something like that. I’ve got a LinkedIn group if you’re interested in collaborating with people in the tax industry. It’s called US Tax Planning Professionals. You’ll get a lot of inspiration, motivation, and insights that will help you connect with more high-net-worth clients.
Thank you so much, Dominique, for being here with us on the show. It was an honor to have you.
Thank you. It was a great pleasure being here.
Thank you all so much for tuning in. It was such an honor to be here with each of you and talk about this key topic. I would also love to know if the show has helped you in your firm, please send me an email and share with me your story. I want to hear about it and I’ll share it with others. You can email me at Hello@ThePitchQueen.com. Send me your success stories on how the show has helped you in your firm.
Also, if you’re an accounting professional, which I know you are because you’re reading and you’re sick of chasing clients or you’re sick of attracting those lower-value clients, or maybe you’re just sick and tired of not getting paid for your knowledge and worth like Dominique was sharing, it’s not your fault and I understand because no one’s been training you on how to fix these problems.
If you would like to set up a free discovery session, head on over to TheAbundantCall.com to schedule your coaching session with myself and my team. You must have been in business a minimum of two years and also have a lot of clients that maybe you’re wanting to attract more of those higher value clients, but are not converting them. Again, I can help you attract those ideal clients coming to you so you can ultimately build the dream practice that you love. Once again, head on over to TheAbundantCall.com to schedule your coaching session with us. Thank you so much for reading and have an amazing day.
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About Dominique Molina
Dominique Molina is the co-founder and President of the American Institute of Certified Tax Planners (AICTP). As the driving force and visionary behind the San Diego-based company, Dominique set out to change the way tax professionals approach tax planning. In 2009, realizing that many tax professionals were missing government tax breaks that could save millions, Dominique began to create an elite network of tax professionals including CPAs, EAs and tax attorneys who are trained to help their clients proactively plan and implement tax strategies that can rescue thousands of dollars in wasted tax. Dominique has successfully licensed over 1,000 tax professionals as Certified Tax Planners across the country, creating a national network of highly qualified advisors.