New year Campaign (s)?

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Jan 2, 2006 6:39 pm

New to this busniess (only 5 months in)  Any good advice on a new years campaign or strategy?  (Obviously, dial and smile beacuse it is all in the numbers, but there should be a few tricks for the new years)


Different approaches, mailing to key list.then follow-up.


What is the pattern of consumers (investors) after the holiday and into the new year.  Thought about sending a letter to all clients thanking them for their business (again) and reminding them who I work with and who I can ultimately help (solicit referrals)


See where I'm going with this?



Much thanks,


Duke

Jan 2, 2006 6:48 pm

Duke,


It's tax time now - April 15.  I would be soliciting CPA's/tax preparers for 401K rollover opportunities, SEP's and other business.

Jan 2, 2006 7:45 pm
bankrep1:

Duke,


It's tax time now - April 15.  I would be soliciting CPA's/tax preparers for 401K rollover opportunities, SEP's and other business.



Although I agree with the CPA idea, now is not the time. Accountants are about to enter their busiest time of year by far. Accountants will refer business, but they tend to need time to feel good about the relationship. They are usually conservative by nature it seems. Wait until June when they all get back from vacation and start trying to meet and get to know some. Interview some to be your own accountant with the caveat they will become your client, then the referrals start to flow.


Back to your real question. The holidays are over, depending what part of the country your in you may be in for 3-4 monthsof cold weather before you get a break and the first major holiday weekend is further away than that. So use this time to get your business rolling.


I am going indy on Tuesday and this is the plan I have for '06. I will be moving as many clients as I can in the immediate future. After that I will target business owners. I will walk into 25 businesses everday and follow up with 25 prospects everday and hold at least 15 appointments every week. This game is all in the numbers, get to 15 qualified appointments every week and you will get, and keep, the ball rolling. When I neglect my prospecting, my appointments go down and my business goes down in short order.


I do work on professional referrals also. I have some great relationships with a P&C agent, mortgage brokers, auto dealer sales managers and even a couple docs. Its always a good time to try and develop these relationships, but dont expect immediate results as it takes time for other people to trust you and you them.


Just play the numbers.

Jan 2, 2006 8:08 pm

Tell the CPA's that waiting is crap. His clients need help now, not in six months. Show him what you do and how it kicks butt over what everyone else is doing. Let him know that his clients deserve to do well with their investments and that procrastinating doesn't do anyone any good.


If what you do DOESN'T kick butt, get back on the phone and cold call.

Jan 2, 2006 8:09 pm

I agree with the previous posters. My brother-in-law is a tax attorney with a major firm and now is not the time to call on anyone preparing taxes. However, now is a good time to plan your CPA marketing campaign (starting in May or June) for the rest of the year.


Does your firm offer any seminars for CPA's in which they may earn "continuing education" credits for attending? That's a good way to get your face out in front of a roomful of CPA's.


Jan 2, 2006 8:47 pm
Dirk Diggler:

Tell the CPA's that waiting is crap. His clients need help now, not in six months. Show him what you do and how it kicks butt over what everyone else is doing. Let him know that his clients deserve to do well with their investments and that procrastinating doesn't do anyone any good.


If what you do DOESN'T kick butt, get back on the phone and cold call.



Yep, thats it! Piss of all the CPA's and accountants in your town so you cant do any business with them. Perseverance is usually the way to handle other professionals, you may have to call on them several times to either do business with them or decide they are not worth the time.

Jan 2, 2006 8:58 pm

I do taxes for larger clients and if you think now is the time to hit CPAs, you are sadly mistaken.  And I would agree, acting like your post will definately get you taken off the list of every serious professional.  CPAs are CPAs for a reason and acting like you are the next coming is NOT going to be well received.  But hey, if that's what you do, I hope you are in my area of the country.

Jan 2, 2006 8:58 pm
giff74:
Dirk Diggler:

Tell the CPA's that waiting is crap. His clients need help now, not in six months. Show him what you do and how it kicks butt over what everyone else is doing. Let him know that his clients deserve to do well with their investments and that procrastinating doesn't do anyone any good.


If what you do DOESN'T kick butt, get back on the phone and cold call.



Yep, thats it! Piss of all the CPA's and accountants in your town so you cant do any business with them. Perseverance is usually the way to handle other professionals, you may have to call on them several times to either do business with them or decide they are not worth the time.



I was a CPA before I came into this business, giving me some leverage that you probably don't have. Why would a CPA give business to someone who pesters them over a period of time? If you have something worth doing with their clients, they'll be glad to send you business. Be firm. Let them know that you are a professional and that you mean business. If you don't have anything that stands out from other advisors, then I recommend that you use your strategy. Maybe someone will surrender and toss you a bone.

Jan 2, 2006 9:56 pm

I agree that now is not the time for harassing CPA's, but I don't think they will like ever being harassed.  Over the next month and a half I would make it a point to contact every tax preparer and CPA I could and tell them specifically how you can help there clients. 


Ask them their focus business owners, HNW, etc and have one idea that you leave them so info on E.G the Uni(k).  Then also just tell them about your philosophy and leave them cards.  Also don't be stingy ask if they are taking new client and what types of people would they like to work with to refer business back emphasize the two way street.


I think developing long term relationships is great, but the simple fact is the CPA/tax preparer is going to have people that need to do SEP's, IRA's etc. and your the guy that can help them.  I would not wait until next year, yes tax time is busy but no one has their tax forms until feburary the CPA's I work with say tax time is busy, but more so at the end March April...  Your taking 10-15 minutes of their time.


Jan 2, 2006 10:04 pm
bankrep1:

I agree that now is not the time for harassing CPA's, but I don't think they will like ever being harassed.  Over the next month and a half I would make it a point to contact every tax preparer and CPA I could and tell them specifically how you can help there clients. 


Ask them their focus business owners, HNW, etc and have one idea that you leave them so info on E.G the Uni(k).  Then also just tell them about your philosophy and leave them cards.  Also don't be stingy ask if they are taking new client and what types of people would they like to work with to refer business back emphasize the two way street.


I think developing long term relationships is great, but the simple fact is the CPA/tax preparer is going to have people that need to do SEP's, IRA's etc. and your the guy that can help them.  I would not wait until next year, yes tax time is busy but no one has their tax forms until feburary the CPA's I work with say tax time is busy, but more so at the end March April...  Your taking 10-15 minutes of their time.




I never worked OT until the end of February, which amounted to an extra 8-10 billable hours until mid-march. Second week in April I was billing 100 hours/week. It was mind numbing and I always welcomed a 10 minute phone call from anyone who would dial my number, just to maintain my sanity. Of course, Giff74 is much more qualified than me to tell you what it's like to be a tax accountant.

Jan 2, 2006 11:05 pm
Dirk Diggler:
bankrep1:

I agree that now is not the time for harassing CPA's, but I don't think they will like ever being harassed.  Over the next month and a half I would make it a point to contact every tax preparer and CPA I could and tell them specifically how you can help there clients. 


Ask them their focus business owners, HNW, etc and have one idea that you leave them so info on E.G the Uni(k).  Then also just tell them about your philosophy and leave them cards.  Also don't be stingy ask if they are taking new client and what types of people would they like to work with to refer business back emphasize the two way street.


I think developing long term relationships is great, but the simple fact is the CPA/tax preparer is going to have people that need to do SEP's, IRA's etc. and your the guy that can help them.  I would not wait until next year, yes tax time is busy but no one has their tax forms until feburary the CPA's I work with say tax time is busy, but more so at the end March April...  Your taking 10-15 minutes of their time.




I never worked OT until the end of February, which amounted to an extra 8-10 billable hours until mid-march. Second week in April I was billing 100 hours/week. It was mind numbing and I always welcomed a 10 minute phone call from anyone who would dial my number, just to maintain my sanity. Of course, Giff74 is much more qualified than me to tell you what it's like to be a tax accountant.



now now....let's try to be civil....

Jan 2, 2006 11:06 pm

Oh, shucks.

Jan 3, 2006 6:34 am
bankrep1:

I agree that now is not the time for harassing CPA's, but I don't think they will like ever being harassed.  Over the next month and a half I would make it a point to contact every tax preparer and CPA I could and tell them specifically how you can help there clients. 


Ask them their focus business owners, HNW, etc and have one idea that you leave them so info on E.G the Uni(k).  Then also just tell them about your philosophy and leave them cards.  Also don't be stingy ask if they are taking new client and what types of people would they like to work with to refer business back emphasize the two way street.


I think developing long term relationships is great, but the simple fact is the CPA/tax preparer is going to have people that need to do SEP's, IRA's etc. and your the guy that can help them.  I would not wait until next year, yes tax time is busy but no one has their tax forms until feburary the CPA's I work with say tax time is busy, but more so at the end March April...  Your taking 10-15 minutes of their time.




This is kind of what I was thinking.


Dirk glad to have your experience at the table. You should have lead with your prior CPA life. I do think that makes your opinion on this subject more important. Please expound on the idea then, how do I worm my way into more CPA's lives?


Thanks

Jan 3, 2006 9:10 am
giff74:
bankrep1:

I agree that now is not the time for harassing CPA's, but I don't think they will like ever being harassed.  Over the next month and a half I would make it a point to contact every tax preparer and CPA I could and tell them specifically how you can help there clients. 


Ask them their focus business owners, HNW, etc and have one idea that you leave them so info on E.G the Uni(k).  Then also just tell them about your philosophy and leave them cards.  Also don't be stingy ask if they are taking new client and what types of people would they like to work with to refer business back emphasize the two way street.


I think developing long term relationships is great, but the simple fact is the CPA/tax preparer is going to have people that need to do SEP's, IRA's etc. and your the guy that can help them.  I would not wait until next year, yes tax time is busy but no one has their tax forms until feburary the CPA's I work with say tax time is busy, but more so at the end March April...  Your taking 10-15 minutes of their time.




This is kind of what I was thinking.


Dirk glad to have your experience at the table. You should have lead with your prior CPA life. I do think that makes your opinion on this subject more important. Please expound on the idea then, how do I worm my way into more CPA's lives?


Thanks



Do what I said in a prior post. Tone it down, of course, but transmit the message.

Jan 3, 2006 9:24 am

I've got a buddy who works a lot developing CPA firms as referral sources.  Like others who have posted he knows enough not to bug accountants during tax season.  But, what he does in March (when it's really crunch time for accountants) is hand deliver a "goody basket" to a number of CPAs -- nuts, bags of candy, granola bars, etc. -- with an enclosed note (and several business cards) saying he hopes the CPA & staff will enjoy the snacks as they're putting in their long hours.  The targeted CPA(s) will always take a minute to come out to greet him when he makes his delivery.  He feels it's great PR for him & shows the CPAs that he understands their business & the tax season pressures.  Having those snacks during late night sessions is really appreciated.


After tax season they're really open to spending some time w/ him.  He also schdules an office meeting with the CPA firms after tax season as an annual "investment/economic update" event, including giving examples of things he's done for his clients during the past year(option exercise strategies for corporate execs, life insurance/estate planning strategies, handling large positions in low basis stock, etc.).  He says the examples are designed to prompt the CPAs to think of clients that may have similar needs.  Doing this meeting shortly after tax season is good because the CPAs still have many of their client situations fresh in their minds. 


My buddy says this results in a steady stream of referrals over the rest of the year.

Jan 3, 2006 7:24 pm

Good post, Duke!

Jan 4, 2006 4:43 pm

Dirk:


What do you suggest (or do) that "kicks butt".  Obviously not the EIA's you mentioned.  Thanks for your input.

Jan 4, 2006 5:02 pm
dude:

Dirk:


What do you suggest (or do) that "kicks butt".  Obviously not the EIA's you mentioned.  Thanks for your input.



I discussed it in another forum.


EIA's do kick butt if you sell them correctly. If you liken them to CD or Bond alternatives, they kick butt. If you compare them to the stock market, they dont. Although, I happen to believe that the market isn't even half way through it's bear market. Given that backdrop, EIA's will be great.

Jan 4, 2006 5:27 pm

I share office space with a CPA the only one in town. I answer the phones sometimes and I can tell you we get bugged all the time by reps! Most are new rookies. I have helped other CPA's out during tax time. They pay me a fee for doing taxes and I teach them what to look out for from the reps. The CPA's learn the tricks of the trade. Funny most of the new reps at the wire houses do not even have a clue on how they are screwing there own clients. But the CPA's soon lets the client know how they are getting ripped! 


By far the worst offenders are the insurance reps. I cannot believe the number of 1099's we receive on life insurance policies!  

Jan 5, 2006 12:26 am

If you're looking for something to do in the New Year, why not do something a little less intrusive than trying to convince CPA's you can help their clients.  To prove my point, call a few and I will virtually guarantee you will get nowhere.


When you call a CPA or Attorney leading with, "I can help your clients save money on their taxes"; they will be thinking 'ohh, you want to sell my clients your products, no thanks'.  Truth is, until you can send them business it is highly unlikely they will send you business - unless they personally know you, like you, and trust you.  If you don't have relationships like this right now, it will take years to forge them.


If you're calling them and saying, "I have a lot of clients who could use a good CPA, I'd like to meet you to hear what you can do for my clients", you will get a much better response.  If someone agrees to meet with you, you should find out as much about their clients as possible.  Find out the commonalities between your clients and theirs, and it's possible they'll ask you about your business.  Be prepared to have a short, concise Unique Selling Proposition that seperates you from any other broker/advisor the CPA has worked with in the past and you'll be on your way.  Remember, this will take some time, and as a former wirehouse rep, most of the branch managers want you writing new business like yesterday.


So, what to do?  Find a rather narrow target market (like emplyees of a singel large employer in your area; nurses at the largest local hospital; retirees' who are over 70 and concerned with their RMD's, etc.), do a 3 part direct mail campaign to a few hundred people introducing your expertise in that niche', follow-up with personal phone calls, and within a month you'll know if it's worked.


Once you find a narrow market that you enjoy working with, is lucrative, and is penetrable (funny word) - then your off to the races.  Stick to it and you will soon be known  as the local expert for these folks.


Best of luck in the New Year!