What You'll Learn In Today's Episode:

  • Getting referrals from CPAs requires building relationships and demonstrating value.
  • CPAs consider the risks and potential downside when referring clients to financial advisors.
  • Consistency and intentionality are key in building relationships and getting referrals. 
  • A long-term strategy and consistent nurturing are necessary for cultivating these relationships.
  • These relationships can also provide value to existing clients by offering access to trusted professionals.

Matthew Jarvis is joined by Steven Jarvis, CPA, from Retirement Tax Servies to lift the veil on the challenges financial advisors face when seeking referrals from CPAs – a pivotal Center of Influence (COI). This episode is a candid exploration of the risks and hurdles CPAs grapple with before referring clients to financial advisors, including the potential downsides and the pressing need to understand the true value advisors bring to the table.

They also dive into the art of building relationships with CPAs, offering game-changing strategies like paying for their time to thoroughly grasp your services and ideal client profiles. They share the secrets to a consistent, intentional process for nurturing these relationships and securing a steady stream of referrals.

This episode is a treasure trove of practical tips, from creating a 12-month calendar of activities to offering to pay for an hour of a CPA’s time (goodbye, forgettable lunch meetings!). But the real gem lies in their emphasis on the long-term value of these COI relationships for your existing clients and the importance of clear communication between financial advisors and CPAs.

Read the Transcript Below:

Matt  

Everybody wants CPA referrals but I don’t think anybody’s actually getting them

Matt  

Today’s episode is brought to you by even more great content if you’ve been enjoying the podcast if you’ve been enjoying Micah and myself go to theperfectria.com/trainingseries. That’s the perfectria.com/trainingseries to sign up for more of our great content. Videos, emails, other activities, webinars, asked me anything events, basically everything and anything that Micah and I are up to, you can get access to by visiting theperfectria.com/trainingseries.

Matt  

All right back to the show.

Matt  

Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of The Perfect RIA podcast. I’m your host Matthew Jarvis and with me today, none other than my very own brother Stephen Jarvis, CPA, head of Retirement Tax Services. Steven, how are you doing today?

Steven  

Matt, I’m doing really good. One of my recent favorite stories I get to tell people about us just happened the other day. I think it was more fun for me than you but you were a good sport about it. We got recognized on an airplane well, I recognize that an airplane.

Matt  

That’s true.

Steven  

And then their immediate question to you is well, you must be Micah, which why they would go with Micah and not the other Jarvis. I don’t know. But Micah is a good looking guy. So you should still be fine. 

Matt  

Yeah, yeah, I was super fine. I’m a little embarrassed for Micah that he got confused as me. There. Yeah. So Steve and I are brothers have been brothers for as, well Steven as long as you’ve been alive. Not as long as I’ve been alive as the older brother. But that’s true. In addition to our role as brothers of course you are CPA extraordinaire, the head and founder of Retirement Tax Services where you work exclusively with financial advisors and their clients. And what we want to talk about today and you and I recently did a webinar for your RTS members, is how to actually get referrals from a CPA, right? So every podcast, I listened to every expert, quote, unquote, that I hear says, yeah, go to your centers of influence and get referrals. And then you ask and you say, well, how many referrals did you actually get? And the number is somewhere between zero and zero? So Steven, from your experience as a CPA, your experience working with hundreds 1000s of advisors give us the inside scoop here. 

Steven  

Yeah and selfishly on behalf of other taxpayers, I’ll just go ahead and plug that for me. Anytime we have this conversation. I love that we can help people get referrals, but for me, it’s also that this is a great way for advisors to build really effective relationships that are going to help their clients win. There’s two sides to this. It’s not just the referral side and one of the reasons I love having this conversation is because for years I had never given an advisor a referral, including to my brother, someone that’s related to me someone I have failure with had never given these referrals in part for me because I used to not focus on the types of clients that you serve. And so right that’s a piece of it is one of the benefits of building close relationships is so that the CPAs you work with know who you serve, and who you’re going to want to work with. And in my past life as I was working with a completely different clients that I didn’t send you referrals because I wasn’t working with people you wanted to work with, but that was really what it came down to. But for a lot of CPAs it goes beyond just that of hey, what kind of clients you serve, and really gets into this bigger issue of questioning whether financial advisors deliver value in general and knowing what to expect if I send a referral your way? What’s that even going to look like?

Matt  

Well, it’s important for us to take a step back on the referral discussion because referrals, whether they’re coming from a CPA, Steven like yourself or an attorney or a client or a neighbor or a friend. There’s a couple of things we have to remember first we have to remember you highlighted this briefly. Whoever is giving the referral is taking an enormous risk. And let’s wait upside downside. Best case upside the person is going to say like oh, hey, thank you for that. Appreciate that. Downside. Like like we almost can’t imagine a dark enough downside, right? Like hey, this guy was an idiot. I can’t believe you know him. He stole my money. He’s now in jail like we can get pretty far. So if you as the CPA, Steven I’m weighting the upside downside, like alright, I met this guy, Bob, Bob financial advisor, and I could send a client to him and maybe I’ll get a thank you for the client. Or maybe I’ll get a giant complaint from a client and this could even ruin that relationship.

Steven  

Well, and so again, I can only speak from the CPA perspective and right, wrong or otherwise. This is how a lot of tax preparers think about tax services as opposed to financial advising services. In the mind of the tax preparer, tax services are essential and everyone needs them. It’s not negotiable that you need them. It’s just a matter of who you’re going to pick. In contrast, for financial planning, this is like a luxury that maybe some people need and so it’s questionable whether or not it’s even mandatory to have so you’ve got to convince the taxpayer that what you do is even of worth and then that you are the right person to do it. So as a financial planner, you do have this bigger hurdle to get over to get to the point where someone is excited to send you referrals, because that’s where you want to get.

Matt  

Yeah, let’s also keep in mind and this goes to, I always want to get into the mind of the person that I’m trying to get something from not like in a weird way, I just wanna get my mindset. So another angle that Steven is inside the CPA. Community, you can speak this better than I can. Things are pretty cut and dry. Right like the CPAs who do tax do tax and the ones who do audit do audit and the ones who do SCC audit do it, like generally speaking, correct me if I’m wrong, there’s pretty clear boxes where as a financial adviser, we can’t even agree amongst ourselves what it means is that mean you’re selling life insurance if you’re a stockbroker. Does it mean you’re doing financial planning? What does financial planning even mean? So, I’m going to use saying, Hey, listen, I just do this thing. Send me some of your clients you don’t know what that’s gonna look like. You don’t even know what that means. You don’t know how to compare me to the 100 other advisors that called you this week. Like I’m, I’m trying to overcome a big hurdle here.

Steven  

Not only that, I don’t really have this thought before articulated it. I’d have to go back and like do some polling. But anecdotally, I would say that a lot of the CPAs I know very much fall in the camp of Well, I’m a smart person, I can do financial planning myself. And so most of them are not personally working with financial advisors to even have that firsthand experience to your point to be able to say, hey, here’s what financial planning is and why you need to go talk to someone. So there’s there’s a few hurdles overcome here. 

Matt  

Another one of these just beat up on these hurdles. Let’s pick one more because you and I were joking about this offline, right? We have to remember that the CPA designation is it’s a legal designation. If you call yourself a CPA and you’re not, there’s criminal penalties for that if you fulfill the CPA obligation. There’s criminal penalties. If you call yourself a CFP, and you’re not you’ll get a letter from the CFP Board saying you’re in violation of their trademark, like that. That’s the extent of CFP and I’ve been one for a long time. I’m not trying to disparage our profession, but we cannot go and I cannot go into Stevens office and act like we’re equals, or worse yet that I’m in a superior position. That’s just not going to get anywhere for professional.

And all this with the caveat that we know that on your podcast here that we’re talking to financial advisors, so we’re being very intentional that the language we use because this is not a debate about who adds more value or who’s the better professional and who’s smarter. We’re just acknowledging the reality of the situation. And you can spend all your time having those debates, or you can get work done and deliver value to your clients. I mean, you pick but we’re here to talk about what actually gets results.

Matt  

Let’s pull apart a couple more layers of this onion that we’re gonna talk about how to actually go down this process of getting referrals also need to remember that when we send someone a referral, we’re doing it to benefit ourselves. Now, you might take a step back, right but here’s why this is important. If I go in and say hey, Steven, please help me out would you do me a solid favor and send me a referral? A that’s not a good position. Like I’m in there begging. I’m saying like, Hey, could you help me out? I’m not really sure the value there, but Steven is gonna send or any CPA is sending that referral because it makes them look better in the eyes of the client. They may not have consciously acknowledged that they may not have said like, hey, I really want to refer my client to Matt because he’s, you know, he’s gonna make me look like a better guy at the end of the day. That’s it, which is why for example, never referred someone to McDonald’s or to Walmart. It’s a reliable experience. They do exactly what they said they’re gonna do. You’re laughing right? It’s funny, but like McDonald’s does exactly what they said they’ll do. They’ll give you a mediocre burger for a mediocre price. Walmart, you know, it will give you the lowest price you could possibly find, but you’ve never been like, Hey, dude the McDonald’s here in town, you gotta go. Because again, it’s not going to create an above and beyond experience for you. It’s not going to make me look better. In fact, you might even question like, really McDonald’s as your favorite place in town, even though they’re from time to time. So, gotta keep that in mind. What’s the other person’s mindset?

Steven  

Yeah, that’s a really interesting perspective. I’m definitely laughing because I hadn’t thought about that way before but I’m thinking back through because my experience over the last couple of years has definitely changed my lens on this because now I spend all of my time working with advisors and their clients and so I get to see a lot deeper into advisors practices, especially what they do around taxes and all the other pieces because although I’m not a stereotypical CPA, there are still some things that are true about me. One of them is that I want to stay focused on my lane of what I’m good at. But I also recognize that taxes are not the only piece of a client’s financial picture and it’s somebody needs to be taken care of the rest of it. So this is where it turns into. It turns into a huge upside for me to be able to point something to an advisor when it’s an advisor I know and trust because I can say hey, Mr. Mrs. Client, I’m really good at this tax thing, but the tax thing is not the only thing you need. And if you’re a someone that that fits a particular advisors, ideal client, I can say hey, you need to talk to this advisor because they’re gonna walk you through XY and Z as well. I’ll still take care of the tax piece but now your whole financial picture is gonna be taken care of.

Matt  

Yeah, one of our favorite things is to be able to say hey, I know a guy you got a problem that you told me about a problem you have. And I know a guy who can fix the problem and sometimes it feels like almost like the mob like I know a guy you know a guy but we all love that right? So a client comes to you Steven and says, Hey, listen, I got this. Whatever the issue like I want to retire next year, I inherited this money. I’m not sure what to do. And you can say, you’ve got this problem. And I know a guy or gal who has delivered massive value to me, who always goes above and beyond who makes my life easier and treats me with respect. I know that they will help you out. Let me make that introduction. That’s something I’m excited to do versus Well, I mean, 10 advisors call me a week and this guy called me most recently, so I mean, maybe he’ll help you out. Actually, you know, at that point, why don’t use Googl.e Google financial advisor and good luck to you.

Steven  

As we talk through all these these hurdles and obstacles and challenges with getting this done. You might be anxiously waiting for that one thing you can do that magically fixes it overnight. And sorry, that’s not the way it works. But here we can pick the things that you’ve seen work bad that I’ve seen work of how you build this relationship over time, which I love this conversation because it’s similar to tax planning in general. It’s not a one and done. There is no magic script that fix this immediately. There are things we can consistently do over time that if we have an intentional process are absolutely going to get you the outcome that you want. 

Matt  

Yeah, for sure. For sure. Of course, what we’re going to outline now is a strategy. That’s for me, roughly 1/3 of my practice has been built on referrals from centers of influence. See what you were talking about several advisors, we know that have gotten significant numbers of referrals from the same strategy. And here’s kind of the crux of the strategy. The crux of the strategy is that I too, need to refer clients out. I too have clients as a financial advisor who need a tax preparer who needed an attorney who need these different things. And I want to be in a position where I say, Hey, I know a guy now I wish that CPAs would call me I wish that they would line up outside my office and they would say Hey, Jarvis we’re really looking for an advisor like love to sit down with you and find out if you’re the right advisor, hasn’t happened hasn’t happened. So instead, I reach out and talk about this in my book Delivering Massive Value. I reach out to every center of influence we’re gonna focus on CPAs today because we got Steven on the line I want to reach out every CPA in my area, who seems to find niche, right? If I go online, I look for CPAs. And I see they do all audit work, or they do all SCC compliance. Like that’s not the right person. I’m going to find the person that seems to fit my niche. I’m going to reach out to them and say, Hey, Steven, I have clients all the time asked me for an introduction to a CPA and I cannot promise that any of them are right fit for you. What I’d like to do is pay for an hour of your time, get a feel for what it is you do get a feel for who your ideal client is. And if I ever run into someone like that, in my practice, I will be excited to send them your way. Can you tell me what your hourly rate is and how it gets you on my calendar.

Steven  

Now I’ve got a quick site. So usually it’s so relevant because you use this line all the time of hey, can I pay for an hour of your time, and people who haven’t done it personally, I think can take it sometimes as a throwaway line, but it’s not. It’s something that I’ve literally used, and it’s something that I’ve started using. I don’t have to reach out to tax preparers with it. But how does situation come up that was outside of my area of expertise, but wanting to deliver value to the client. I found someone who this was their area of expertise and I reached out to them and use this exact line of hey, can I pay for an hour of your time to work with this client to figure out how this works. And just like you also usually talked about is a most of the time they probably won’t even take you up on the payment. Sure enough, we get on this call this person openly shares their expertise. Gets us everything we need to know, realizes Hey, we don’t, it’s not an ongoing relationship here and I say okay, how do we get you paid? And he said, Hey, this one’s on me. So these things work, if you’ll put them in practice and do them exactly how they’re being recommended. 

Matt  

Yeah and it’s just not a throwaway line. I’m gonna when I show up at their office, I’m going to show up with a check in hand already written out now sometimes it’s getting harder and harder to find checks, right? But I’m saving them from having to go through the hassle of invoicing me and again half the time they’ll say no, no, this is a professional courtesy. I said, Okay, well, I got the check right here, professional, but even if they take the check, I don’t blame him if they do. So what 300 bucks, 500 bucks, whatever the case may be, but I’m starting right away by delivering value to them. They don’t know me from Adam. And so instead of saying, Hey, Steven, will you do me a favor and give me an hour of your time I’m saying hey, listen as a professional can I pay for an hour of your time? Right away? I am head and shoulders above anyone else who has ever called them including their own clients, like your own clients are calling the hasty like to pay for some of your time, right? They’re complaining to me like I can’t believe my CPA billed me. Well you did talk to him for like three hours. Yeah, but he shouldn’t bill me. How should you get paid? I don’t even know it’s here. 

Steven  

 But that’s something you’ve been talking about for years like you said it. This is included in your book. This is something we’ve been talking about together for years as well. Yeah, geez. Within the last year or two, we actually went through and put together a calendar together of here’s what you can be doing every single month because I’m sure you get the questions too. I get a lot of questions from advisors who will say, hey, this all sounds great, but like, when do I reach out and what’s included in that gift basket that you talked about or that handwritten note? And so to help with some of that, that’s why we put on checklists we get on podcasts like this, but we do have to get specific we got to take these ideas of calling them and asking for an hour of their time and say, But wait, how do I find those people? What do I send to them? When do I say it and just get into the weeds as well?

Matt  

Yeah, we also have to keep in mind this is a two year plus strategy and you and I have advisors however they have gotten referrals in literally the first meeting. I have never had that I’ve been doing this for a long time I’ve never had that we both know several advisors follow this strategy Steven as you outlined and word for word right came in with a questionnaire to the whole thing got referrals immediately. But you got to figure this as a two year strategy, which is why Steven your point that 12 month calendar is so helpful of here’s the activity I’m gonna do every single month to cultivate these relationships. These are relationships that require nurturing. This isn’t a hey, would you write down five names of somebody I should talk to.

Steven  

As we’re recording this, we’re just coming out of the filing season and so on that as we put together that 12 month calendar, when CPAs are in their busiest time of year, that’s not when you’re calling inviting them to lunch or asking them to join the CE or whatever it might be. That’s when we’re sending consumable gift baskets. They come with no additional request for action on their part. It’s just hey, I know it’s a busy time of year thinking about you wish you all the best and I got jeez I can count at least a half dozen messages from advisors this filing season who said hey get exactly what you said phenomenal response. And so this isn’t even just like something you try six years ago and hope still works like this is realist still work in the trenches people are actually doing this and getting the results.

Matt  

Funny, funny side horror story, I guess the other web there are there are very few people who can get away with your one microphone. There’s very, very few people. One of those people is a CPA that I work with who has sent me a lot of clients, and we’ll call her Sue because I don’t want the rest of you calling her. Sue calls my office one day and tells Colleen and says I need to talk to Matt right now. And again, she’s one of the few people gets patched right through so it was tax filing season. So that oh, she must have a question when a client Sue, How’s it go? And Sue, who’s a unique individual, as Sue says, you know, I’ve met I hate financial advisors. I hate all of you. And I’m thinking what did I screw up? Where does this go? So she proceeds to tell me the story that right in the middle of the tax filing season is already the middle of April, she gets a call from an advisor who, Steven you and I know, gets a call from the advisor advisor says hey Sue, I’m just calling because I’m looking to grow my business to that I don’t care what you’re doing. It doesn’t matter. I’m in the middle of tax season. I’ve decided to there’s a true story. I promise you. I’ve decided to specialize in working with women, and you’re a woman and I’d like for you to refer to me all your women clients. So if you could just give me your list of women clients, I will go ahead and call them and I said, Sue I too hate all financial advisors. That’s the worst thing. I can’t imagine anything more wrong than that. And she wasn’t even surprised by the call. She says get these calls all the time. I just needed to vent to somebody. And so I got a call to vent to you so that you can really screw this thing up. Like that guy is never going to get a referral from her. And in fact, if she ever runs into his clients, she’s going to actively recruit them over to other advisors. 

Wow, that’s nice guys want to sit and kind of enjoy that moment for a second. That’s… It’s good. It’s good to know what the extremes are. Right? So the silver lining out of that for everyone else who isn’t that blind is the bar isn’t very high. And this actually is true across kind of across the board for tax preparers. Unfortunately, there’s still a generally and we talked about it before is there’s a general kind of misunderstanding what financial planners do. And there’s more of a general impression that hey, it’s a bunch of sleazy salespeople that just aren’t on my level. And so if you consistently do things if you’ll consistently have reach outs that are under selfish and self serving, even if it’s not, feels like changing, sending a consumable gift basket might not feel life changing, but now you stand out in my mind as someone who is looking out for me and not asking me to do things at the wrong time of year. If I get a handwritten note, if I get a stack of RTS tax guides that say hey, these are things that we give to our clients. I’d love your feedback or let me know if you want more copies. All these different things that seem simple. I’ve been there before. We’ve all showed up somewhere where we’re listening to prove someone wrong as opposed to listening to learn where we listen to it and listen to to Jarvis brothers talk and say, Hey, guys, no, none of those ideas individually sound complicated. I probably could have come up with them on my own. The key here though is you didn’t and even if you did, you haven’t executed on them. And the only thing that counts is what you take action on.

Matt  

100% 100%. So here we are. We’re the late stage of May here early June. This is a good time of year to be reaching out to all your tax preparers. So if we were pulling up that 12 month calendar, and Steven you and I just did a whole webinar on this. There’s one month calendar right now say hey, it’s post tax season, tex preparers have had a chance to recover. This is a great time to reach out to existing tax preparers you already know, right? Some of you already have a relationship you have mutual clients, it’s a great time to reach out and say, Hey, can I buy you lunch or pay for an hour of your time to talk about your thoughts on the Trump era tax cuts expiring? Legitimate question right then we have a discussion or what are you advising clients rates are scheduled to go up and 26 are you doing gains harvests? Are you doing Roth conversions? Like tell me your your thoughts about that? And of course for tax preparers I haven’t met that’s where I’m doing that cold approach. Hey, listen, I’m always looking for somewhere to refer people can I pay for an hour of your time and so forth. So that’s really what you ought to be focusing on right now is how do I get in front of these people? Again, can I buy you lunch can pay for an hour of your time, whichever the case may be?

Yeah, Matt, you and I went through and laid this out over a calendar over 12 months with recommendations of what to do each month. And there’s some of those months that are a little more critical of the timing as opposed to others some of them are probably interchangeable. Some of them are not to your point. Don’t be calling the tax preparers in March and April. Don’t! Don’t try to get the other time that time of year. But what’s more important is that this has a place on your calendar to live because we all know that we’re much more likely you’re going to do it if it’s not on our individual calendar. So even if you don’t have the exact same 12 month calendar that we do, you need to take time to sit down and either put this on your calendar for the first time if you haven’t before, take the time to review what you have on your calendar. Make sure that you’re incorporating your team that you have a system for this because this isn’t levels right. Step one would be I’ve got something on my calendar each month, but then it’s great I get to May and it’s like Okay, now what do I do? The next level would be okay, I’ve got specific actions or I’ve got specific team or taking those actions. So this is more likely to get done.

Matt  

Yeah, another lens that helps with that. Any center of influence and again, we’re talking specifically about CPAs here it works for attorneys and it works for business bankers and a couple other professions. It does not work with realtors, mortgage brokers, so many people have transactional relationships, but I want to treat them as if they were an a client, like my top top top client, which means if I’m doing any kind of a client newsletter, I’m also physically sending it to them with a quick post a note saying hey, this is something that we’re sending to clients. Do you have any feedback, love to hear it? Or if we’re doing any client events education or appreciation? I’m inviting them say, Hey, I’d love to have you come we’d love to introduce you to a few clients. Right? I want to make sure I’m cultivating that. And I’m always focused on Joe Polish’s approach to you and I go to Joe polishes Genius Network on a regular basis, his approach of what’s in it for them. If I’m approached and saying I need something from you, and I’m gonna give you nothing in exchange, that’s not going to win, right? Even this thing. Hey, I’d like to hear about your thoughts on the exploration of the TCJA but I’ve offered to pay for lunch or pay for an hour of their time to get that feedback. I’m not trying to make them easy, but like hey, I’m too lazy look this thing up. Can you tell me where the armor brackets are?

Yeah, and I use mentioned there and pasty this is more coming from other people like your talk. I would really strongly encourage you offer to pay for an hour of their time. Not offered to buy them lunch. Yes because people have an offering to buy them lunch their entire professional career. And that just screams I’m trying to sell you something. It’s um, this is just transparency, right? Even if you lead with like, Hey, I’m looking for how I can buy like, they know you’re a professional. They know you want to make money. It’s not gonna be a surprise that at some point, you wouldn’t be opposed to getting some referrals from them. But there’s just kind of this I don’t know. Just this impression around. Hey, I’m gonna buy you lunch that I’m going to turn down every time because so many people make that offer to me. It doesn’t stand out. You call it an offering to pay for an hour of my time suddenly stands out. 

Matt  

Yeah, I appreciate that distinction, which highlights the year the purpose of this podcast and of course the podcast Retirement Tax Services podcast on doing what works and listening to people who are actually doing this. And I’m glad you would draw that distinction because you’re right, I would only offer the lunch to someone with whom I already had an existing relationship. Yeah, yeah, a cold never. I would never say excellent. Obviously. Right, that’s pure. Like let me I’m gonna pitch you and it’s just like the timeshare presentation, right? You say, Oh, look, I could get a free lunch or I could get a free trip to wherever if I sit through this timeshare presentation, and not many people I know take up on that because they know it’s just going to be the hard sell. So again, I appreciate that distinction of anytime you’re gonna let people know that and if it’s in your heart, like hey, I’m just gonna try to pitch this person. I want to go and even though I’ve paid for an hour of your time, I want to deliver value in this. One quick funny story on that Stephen, the gentleman who taught me this strategy many, many years ago, this guy named Ray Addams, for all I know is still practicing advisor, Kirkland, Washington. He was my insurance general agent at the time. And so he’s walking through this strategy with me how he does it. And he says, he’s a funny guy. He says, Matt, when I sit down with him, you know, I give him the check. I sit down on their desk, and they say, Well, Ray, what would you like to talk about? And Ray would say, You know what, I paid for an hour this time if I want to jump up on your desk and yodel that’s what I’ll do. That’s what he would tell him. It worked for him. I would not recommend that. I would not recommend that. But you just set yourself apart by begin putting what’s in it for them.

Steven  

Well, and here’s the other piece of it, Matt. I know you talked about this in your book you talked about as you discussed this strategy. I mean, we’re always talking about this in condensed timeframe. So you only have so much time to talk about all the things that this does. But the other side of this is that this can be a huge value add to your existing clients even if you never get a referral. Because unless you happen to have the one book of clients that pays $0 in taxes, but still has money somehow. There are going to be things that you can learn and continually improve on and so again, it’s not just a throwaway line. It is totally worth your three or $500 to sit with an expert and hear how you can address tax law changes how you can better communicate Roth conversions or qualified term distributions, how you can set your clients up for success. Those are all real value ads that you’ll get out of the process as you’re building this relationship. And that’s the thing that it might stand out on the outset that hey, you offer to pay for an hour of my time versus buy me lunch. But what’s going to keep you top of mind is as I can see that you do something different for your client that you clearly care about not just doing tax planning, but making sure it’s reported correctly that you accept that is somewhat your responsibility not just my responsibility as the tax preparer to make sure all the right information gets to.

Matt  

Yeah, it really is one of the thing I would kind of cash I’m just kind of reflecting back on mistakes I’ve made. Which which is a lot is a lot and actually see a quick side note really excited that we’re gonna be jamming together at the Retirement Tax Services Tax Summit, that’s on September 25 to 27th in in the Phoenix area. And what I like so much about that and I’ll tell you back into second is that it’s all people that are in the trenches, right? These are tax preparers. These are advisors who are delivering massive value and they can share what works and and what doesn’t work. So here’s an example that doesn’t work. I used to be quick to just call a judge the tax preparer I would run into like, Oh, this guy’s an idiot or this lady straight up told me she would never refer a client, a financial advisor ever, and I would be dismissive of that, but there’s no need to. If i sit down with a CPA that I paid for and he or she right at the gate says you know, we have our own wealth management department and we would never refer externally. I’ll just make a note. I say, Oh, that’s really interesting. Okay, so here my first question is like, Who do you decide who gets filed on time and who goes on extension? Like I’m not ever gonna let anything faze me. Because even if that’s true, you know, they say I’ll never refer outside of or for the strategic players in town. They still be the people outside they may be looking for financial advisor themselves. I’m never gonna dismiss that. I really can’t think of a real world scenario whatever say yeah, I’m not going to talk to this person again, like short of them saying, Hey, come here again. I’m going to kill your family. And I might still just do it for the challenge. I got a dairy like go for let’s see what happens.

Steven  

Well, Matt, I’m glad you mentioned this summit. I’m getting really excited about it. We’re probably getting close to the whole thing selling out so make sure you get your seat soon. But I was recently talking to our good friend Micah Shilanski. And if we’re kind of comparing notes about how financial advisors talk about tax planning activities, versus how clients, hear them and then relay them to a CPA, which is one of the things I’m excited about. Be able to share at the summit of both sides of that conversation. Because as the advisor, you’re only going to ever see the adviser side of that. And despite your best intention, they’re going to be misunderstandings at times or just you know, six months later, the clients not going to remember it quite the same way. So we’re actually working on how we’re going to help advisors at the summit roleplay some of these things and go through specific scripts Hey, remember that great strategy that you were excited about? The client was excited about? And then six months later, the CPA backed the bus over you and told the client what a terrible idea that was. Great. Now how do you address this? And so those are the kinds of things a real world experience, I’ll be able to go around the room and saying, Hey, who’s dealt with this before? And tell me exactly what that looked like.

Matt  

Yeah. I’ve ever reflected back on last year’s Tax Summit, right where Michael Henley was their brilliant advisor talking about how he does seven figure Roth conversions every year, like going to clients that you should convert $1.3 million to Roth. Holy smokes! Or my comments was they’re talking about how he bought a tax practice and the pros and cons of that right to be able to hear I’m just not aware of anywhere else you can go and learn from people who are on a wildly successful road. A lots of places you go and have someone read you the tax code. Lots of places you go where people theorize about it and no one else I know where you can go and actually learn from people are doing. 

Steven  

Yeah, go to retirementtaxservices.com. I think you can specifically go to retirementtaxservices.com/summit. Get right to the registration page. You can of course follow me on LinkedIn as well so that my followe count continues to exceed Matt’s. That’s what’s important here. You’re welcome to send me a message there. And I’ll get to the information. We’re super excited about this event selling out and having a room just packed with advisors who are committed to this stuff.

Matt  

I love it. I love it. Well, that sounds like action item number one get signed up for the summit. Action item number two, I would say get your calendar out and physically mark when and how you’re going to cultivate your centers of influence and relationships. Even if this isn’t a major prospecting channel for you. Just the ability to build a say when your client comes in and says hey, I need an attorney. I need a CPA. I need a business banker. Whatever your niche is, and you can say listen, I got a guy I got a gal who can take care of it. That itself is incredible. That’s massive value to your client versus telling them I don’t really know anybody you should just Google it right? There’s no value there. Steven, any other actions that come to mind either on this topic or taxes in general? 

Yeah, this is only gonna feel somewhat related. But it comes to mind a lot just from our conversation, others that have come up recently, when people are telling you strategies that they think are going to work in practice, just ask them how it worked the last time they did it, and you’re welcome to ask me that at the summit. You can ask Matt that I love it when people try to call Matt out and ask what that looks like in practice because Matt, you’re really doing these things in practice. 

Steven  

But it’s such a good litmus test for is this something I should pursue and not the people who aren’t doing it can’t have accurate ideas sometimes, but at least you have the right lens of oh, hey, that was an idea versus this is something that really works in practice. So the action item is make sure you’re asking that follow up question when you’re getting recommendation. 

Matt  

100% 

Matt  

I love it. Final extra item. If you haven’t checked out already, be sure to check out Steven’s Retirement Tax Services podcast. It’s a great one to add to your rotation. And of course, as always, be sure to like subscribe and get five stars in both podcasts. It does make a big difference as we are spreading the word. So thank you, Steven very much and to all of our advisors. Until next time, happy planning!

Matt  

Hey before you leave a quick word from our sponsors. Hey, everybody wants you to take a quick look around your office and on your desk. There should be the Retirement Tax Services desktop tax guide. And if it’s not there, or if it’s not current meaning you didn’t downloaded in the last month, go to retirementtaxservices.com and download the desktop guide. This is a must have resource for every financial advisor committed to tax planning!

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