Imagine how you might feel if HMRC sent you an M & S voucher if you filed your tax return on time? Or offered you a discount if you paid your tax early?
We live in a penalised rather that an incentivised society. Pay up, do this or else!
But do we need to abide by this approach with our clients? What opportunities are there for standing out from the crowd?
In a previous blog posting, October 2013, we discussed a strategy for incentivising clients to bring in their tax return information in good. A summary is included in point 1 below. We have also included a few more ideas that you may like to consider:
- Increase your scale of fees for preparation of SA returns and give clients that bring in their tax return information in good time a discount. Clients that don’t take advantage of the offer will have to pay the increased rate, but you won’t be perceived to be penalising late comers.
- Don’t sit back and despair that your staff never seem to introduce new clients or tip you off when they notice that clients need help. Set up a formalised staff incentive scheme and pay an agreed bonus.
- At a certain point in every practice’s development, client referrals tend to tail off: clients really do believe that you are too busy and don’t want any extra work. So set up a proper referrals scheme and offer referring clients an incentive. For example: a gift, or a free planning review (this may also create opportunities to cross-sell).
- Depending on how long you have been in practice you may have worked your professional referrals network to death? When was the last time you incentivised this group? Organise an evening out. Any cost should be more than recovered by the networking opportunities created.
We will likely never see HMRC offering discounts, but does that mean we have to base our business model on theirs? As we have said in previous posts on allied topics: carrots are much tastier than sticks.