How to Market a Tax Practice

Dollar135 How do you market a tax practice? The answers came from LawMarketing Listserv members Vickie J. Gray, Larry Bodine, Jaffer Manek, Hale T. Chan, Ross Fishman and Mark Merenda.  Among the ideas raised were:

  • You're dealing with tax-nerds. "Spoon feed them your ideas a little bit at a time. Leave the big picture behind and focus on the steps involved to accomplish what you are proposing. Follow up faithfully. Keep your expectations small - baby steps," said Vickie Gray.
  • Decision makers at Fortune 1000 corporations are usually tax directors or financial officers. The best place to find these folks is through TEI (Tax Executives' Institute). Though lawyers in private practice cannot join TEI they of course have conferences and meetings with numerous social and sponsorship opportunities that give you a chance to get in front of their members.
  • New business for a tax practice is going to come from referrals and cross selling.  The partners in the practice need to develop a network of bankers, financial advisors, insurance agents and other lawyers who can refer tax legal work to them.
  • Firm management must make it mandatory or create an incentive for the internal partners to introduce tax partners to their clients.  The same onus/incentive must be placed on the tax partners.
  • Cross-selling will work only if the firm's culture and compensation system both DIRECTLY AND STRONGLY support it.
  • The firm's culture and compensation must also hold lawyers ACCOUNTABLE for cross selling. First, lawyers need to write out personal marketing plans where they specify exactly what cross-selling activity they propose.   Then the compensation committee must deny them a bonus or cut their income for failure to carry out the plan.

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