Five Fast and Easy Ways to Turn Annual Clients into Year-Round Clients

Converting your current clients into higher-paying services is much more cost-effective than marketing for and onboarding new clients. Here are five ideas on how to create a successful conversation with your clients without feeling like you’re bugging them.

  1. Education

Everyone likes to feel like they are becoming a bit more financially literate.  Start by providing your clients with a flyer of the benefits of more frequent accounting and tax planning.  These benefits include:

  • Saving money on taxes by being proactive with tax planning
  • Making better financial decisions with more timely data
  • A more collaborative relationship between the accountant and the client
  • Detecting and correcting problems more quickly
  • Peace of mind that everything is up-to-date instead of behind all the time
  • Lower bookkeeping costs on clean-up and catch-up when something is done wrong and it has to be corrected after the fact

Deliver this flyer of benefits when you deliver your annual services.  You can also turn any of these into a question during a conversation: “Would you like to be able to detect and correct problems more quickly?” This language is more effective than saying, “Would you like to meet four times a year for tax planning?”

  1.   Ease them into a change

In late October, start calling all of your annual clients and offer to catch their books up year-to-date.  You’ll free up time during busy season for new clients, and you may be able to spot some tax savings opportunities during this time as well. You’ll be able to turn their return around quicker during busy season, and clients will feel like they are being proactive. They may also become amenable to quarterly catch-ups.


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  1. Let clients know their options

In a very soft sell, you can simply let clients know that if they’d like a higher level of service, you provide a quarterly package. Clients that must have the best of everything will not be able to let that go.  They will want the “higher level of service.”

  1. Let them know what they missed out on

This is playing a little hard. Take a look at their tax return to see if they missed out on tax savings due to lack of action. Did they fail to make a retirement contribution? Did they time a stock or real estate sale badly? Is their business not incorporated to take advantage of certain deductions?

Give them examples of actions they could have taken to save taxes when you deliver the return.  Then let them know what you can do for them next year with your quarterly package.

  1. Require it

If you practice is full and you don’t want any more annual clients, then consider creating a minimum package that’s semi-annual or quarterly.  Then let current clients know what their options are. You will lose some clients this way, so plan for the attrition and roll it out slowly so you can replace any clients you lose.

Try these five ideas to increase your revenue, serve your clients more frequently, and smooth your work out all year.