What to Say on Phone Calls about Fees

Hand holding phone with dollar signs pouring outEven difficult calls are opportunities.

By Jassen Bowman
Tax Resolution Systems

If you are actively engaged in marketing your practice, it is inevitable that you will receive telephone calls with the dreaded, “How much do you charge for a tax return?”

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What NOT to say ...

  1. “We don’t provide fee quotes over the phone.”
  2. “Tell me a little about your tax situation and ...”


Never forget that you spent money in order to get that phone to ring. That phone call is a lead capture opportunity, so don’t squander it!

Your entire process for handling this phone call should squarely center on capturing the caller’s contact information. This is the first and highest priority in this situation! Setting an appointment is the second.

You should modify this process to fit your business model and the personality of the person answering the phone. This is a basic process template for a small office with one practitioner and one receptionist, where the receptionist is answering the phone.

  1. Thank the prospect for calling.
  2. Say, “I can definitely help you with that. Would you mind if I asked you a few questions in order to best assist you?”
  3. If they agree …
    • Ask for their name and phone number (say “just in case we get disconnected” if you want to make this feel more comfortable for some people).
    • Ask how they heard about you (mark lead source in CRM system).
    • Ask who they went to last year (sets basis for a fee conversation later).
    • Provide a general fee range: “Our fees vary depending upon the complexity of your tax return, and can range from $____ to $_____, depending upon your special circumstances.”
    • Sell the appointment: “What I would suggest doing is scheduling an appointment directly with _______ in order to properly assess your tax situation. Would (time) on (date) work for you?”
    • Set up the appointment, and obtain additional contact information.
  4. If they won't …
    • “Every tax situation truly is unique, and our fees depend entirely upon the complexity of your particular tax return. The best thing would be for us to get together and evaluate your specific situation. Would you like to meet with ______ on (date)?”
    • If still “No,” attempt to obtain email address to “send them some basic fee information and a valuable discount offer on tax preparation services.”

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