Tip: Prepare CPAs for â€˜Buying Seasonâ€™
by Rick Telberg/For the CPA Channel Marketer
The economy may be sputtering, but CPAs are gearing up for one of their busiest â€œBusy Seasonsâ€ on record.
CPA Trendlines research shows that 42 percent of CPAs expect the 2009 season to surpass last yearâ€™s season, compared with 36 percent who expect to do at least as well and only 22 percent who are bracing for declines.
(Source: CPA Trendlines from Bay Street Group LLC)
Iâ€™ve been canvassing CPAs about busy season expectations and performance for several years now. Although there is much more uncertainty in the air, CPAs are as confident as ever. If past tracking is a guide, then the season could finish even stronger than usually conservative CPAs are currently predicting.
â€œWhile there is increasing fee pressure for compliance services,â€ according to CPA Blake Christian, who is also an editorial contributor to the Insider newsletters, â€œwe saw a very strong year-end, particularly with respect to year-end and advance 2009 tax planning.â€
â€œThe favorable tax changes under the Stimulus Package, as well as uncertainty over the 2009 economy and Obama tax regime, focused our clients more intensely on short-term and long-term tax planning,â€ Christian said.
Busy season always presents special issues and opportunities to CPA channel marketers.
On the one hand, CPAs are too busy making money to spend money. So many marketers naturally make the mistake of pulling back. But, in fact, CPAs are more engaged in their business during busy season than at any other time of year.
In the â€œoff-season,â€ CPAs have the time to relax a little and to delay decision-making. But during busy season, CPAs are making decisions â€” buying decisions â€” every minute. To be sure, those decisions donâ€™t get implemented until after April 15.
But if you havenâ€™t been advertising to CPAs during busy season, youâ€™ll be caught flat-footed during the â€œbuyingâ€ season. Thatâ€™s because CPAs will have already made up their minds.
During busy season, you see, CPAs are paying attention to every detail of their operation. They are deciding what to keep for next year, what to change, what to buy, who to hire and fire and which new products and services theyâ€™ll need.
So, during busy season, the most successful CPA channel marketers maintain constant contact with CPAs.
In fact, veteran CPA marketers can pretty well predict who among their competitors will succeed and who will fail based on the level and intensity of their busy season advertising.
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