Who comes to see you? People with problems, tax problems. Problems that they may have been struggling with for years, but right now they have a different problem. When they take a seat in front of your desk, they are suffering from anxiety about your fee. They believe it will be expensive to hire a professional to resolve their tax problem, but they have little concept of what expensive means in real dollars.
However, this scene may be changing as more prospective clients arrive having already googled you, browsed your website, Facebooked you, and any other Internet resource they can find. They may have called some of the big national advertiser to get price comparisons. So here are a couple of ideas on how do you deal with this new, better informed, nervous nelly:
Be sure that you are on the Internet. There should be no information that detracts from your professional reputation.
Do your homework on the competition. Search the net for information and complaints on them,use ripoffreport.com and similar sites.
Call them to learn how they charge.
Consider how you will differentiate your firm from others.
Spend some time analyzing the thinking of your prospective client. Get into the conversation they are having in their heads,answer the questions you know they have – even before they ask,start the fee conversation for them, and explain how cases are worked and how you expect to be paid.
Often it’s best to let them tell their story, vent about the IRS if needed, and realize that you are not going to be judgmental. Your approach should be to view their tax malfeasance as a financial and business matter to be resolved. Practitioners should be aware that the prospects are frequently embarrassed about their situation.