How to overcome customer doubts when it comes to advisory services

By Dominique Molina, CPA.

The difference between offering advisory services and doing a tax return is simple for tax professionals: one service for which they are paid to give clients something they want, only sometimes they don’t know it yet, and the second It is the fulfillment job that clients have no choice. but to complete

When it comes to offering advisory services to your clients, new and old, it is essential to start with step one: what does the client want?

Tax professionals will find that most clients want to achieve the financial goals they have set for themselves and are interested in further guidance from their tax professionals to help them do so. The caveat comes when clients express that they want additional services at the same low price of simply filing their taxes. So where should tax professionals go from here?

Clients need to see the facts in relation to their lives. Work on creating a plan that quantifies the results you can deliver relative to your small business or financial journey. When clients can see the money saved or the goal achieved thanks to advisory services, they are more likely to pay the fee to see the return on their investment.

It’s all relative, and if you show your clients that, in the grand scheme of things, the money they spend on consulting services is not expensive compared to the money it will save them, you will have successfully defended your expertise in a fair way. that they can see. financial victory.

After understanding your customers’ perspective, it’s time to change your mindset from reactionary to proactive. Instead of contacting them just once a year for your tax return, start implementing a subscription-based model or set a certain cadence for meetings to discuss a roadmap. When you make an ongoing effort to strengthen your financial health, they can see the value in what you provide. You must train your clients to understand that they can seek your advice when they need it because you are on top of your finances and have your goals in mind.

On the subject of mindset, you also need to overcome the fear many tax professionals face: admitting that it pays off. You’ve seen the numbers and done the math, you understand that advisory services help so many clients in the long run. Now you have to sell not only to your customers, but to yourself when taking the leap. Take this time to educate yourself with all the resources available, talk to other tax professionals about how they made the switch, absorb as much knowledge as you can, and remember that you are the expert in this scenario.

So how do you approach the subject in the first place? As I said before, clients need to see the facts in relation to them. Think of cell phones in today’s day and age. Never in my life did I think I’d spend $1000 on a phone, but as it stands, that phone gives me everything I want: the ability to watch TV on the go, Facetime family across the country, navigate to the next location, and Suddenly I’m willing to spend that money because it gives me so much in one device. If we can put counseling services in the same light as mobile phones, customers will be able to understand the long-term benefits of mobile phones. We can help people improve their earnings and make better decisions at the end of the day, which makes the advisory service fee seem so small compared to what they will save and achieve.

Consulting services are not something clients adapt to overnight. It takes constant effort and proactivity to prove your worth. Start by understanding what each customer wants and help change not only her mind, but your own in the process. It all starts with a conversation, so work on what you’re going to say to help overcome your customers’ doubts. Not all clients may want counseling services and it is up to you to identify clients and show the long-term benefits to them and your practice.

To hear more from me on this topic, listen to the latest AccounTrends podcast where we address this important topic: HERE.


Dominique Molina, CPA, is co-founder and president of the American Institute of Certified Tax Coaches.

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