Buyers Procrastinating? Here’s How to Reward Them to Buy Sooner

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Buyers Procrastinating? Here’s How to Reward Them to Buy Sooner

It’s December and CPAs are deluged with frantic requests to help with tax planning. That is, their clients want their CPAs to help them make last minute decisions that will reduce their tax obligations on the returns they file for the current year.

So I asked a few CPAs “Why does everyone wait until December? Are there no ways to understand the situation and make these decisions in October or November?”

“Sure,” they say. “If they asked us in October or November, we could help just as well, if not better. But everyone waits until the last minute. We are flooded by anxious clients from Dec 1-Dec 31.”

When I asked these CPAs if they charge more for tax planning in December, they were surprised by the question.

Why not? If the same, or better work, can be done in October and November, that’s when the normal fee applies. When it’s crunch time and the client has waited until the last minute, why shouldn’t they pay a premium?

The same is true for other professionals whose value derives from their intellectual property: architects, creatives, attorneys, writers, consultants, proposal writers, SMEs of all kinds. When time is of the essence and it was possible for the client to engage you well in advance, why do you scramble to do the work for the same fee when you’re contacted at the last minute?

From my conversations with a broad cross-section of IP-based experts, the answers usually lead to one idea—that they should be ‘fair.” Fair to whom?

  • The ones who do come to you well in advance. Who ask you what the right time frame is for them to get the value they need. Fairness in this instance is giving them the normal price because they come to you in advance.
  • Being fair to yourself ensures that you’ll continue serving your great clients for years to come. What good is an expert who gets burned out by last-minute heavy workloads?
  • Fairness for your staff and colleagues and your family as well. What’s fair about 12-hour work days just because your clients waited until the last minute?

Your intellectual property is valuable. It is what leads to client’s results. If you don’t make it clear to your clients that you value your IP, they won’t either. If you charge the same at the last minute as you do in for work done in advance, you deserve to be overworked and undercompensated. You must never sell time—that is, provide your work for an hourly rate—and along with that you must never treat all time-periods the same.

Any questions? I’m happy to answer them.