Click Here To Listen To The Retirement Tax Services Podcast
Are you trying to learn how to deliver massive tax value to your clients? Then look no further. Retirement Tax Services Podcast, Financial Professional’s Edition is a show hosted by Steven Jarvis, CPA. Steven aims to bridge the gap between tax professionals, financial advisors and their mutual clients in their quest for reducing tax expenses in retirement.
So you’ve taken the next big step and signed up for tax software. Now what? How do you use this to make a huge impact on your clients’ lives? Taylor Schulte is the founder of Define Financial, as well as a podcast host, financial planner, and co-founder of The AGC™ Community for Advisors. In this episode, Taylor joins the show to discuss the ins and outs of tax software, specifically how to be more intentional around it.
Listen in as he explains the importance of putting a process in place before you start a new marketing strategy or sign up for new software. You will learn how to use your latest technology upgrade to the fullest of its ability, why you can’t automate everything within your practice, and how to set your clients up for success.
Steven and his guests share more tax-planning insights in today’s Retirement Tax Services Podcast. Feedback, unusual tax-planning stories, and suggestions for future guests can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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We’re not overpaying. No, we’re not overpaying. We’re not overpaying anymore. The tax code’s complicated, boring, and overrated. You don’t want that, you want a pro. One thing that you should know: this is a radio show. It’s not tax advice, don’t take it that way.
Steven Jarvis: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the next episode of the Retirement Tax Services Podcast, Financial Professional’s Edition. I am your host, Steven Jarvis, CPA. And in this show, I teach financial advisors how to deliver massive value through tax planning.
I’m really excited to have back on the show with me today Taylor Schulte, who’s a financial advisor and the host of the Experiments in Advisor Marketing podcast.
In particular, I’m excited to have Taylor on the show because we’re going to take a question that I get all the time and talk about how it works in practice. And that question is, what do I do with tax software? Taylor, welcome.
Taylor Schulte: Steven, thanks so much for having me back.
Steven Jarvis: Yeah. Always excited to have a conversation around taxes, especially since you spend so much of your time working with your clients on this. I know it’s something that you promote a lot in your marketing. It’s a real differentiator for you.
And when we were talking recently, I was really excited to hear how you’ve taken tax software, which everyone gets really excited about, but made sure that you had an intentional process around it. And that’s really what I want to talk about is, taking that next step beyond, “Great I signed up for the software,” to say, “How am I impacting my clients with it?”
Taylor Schulte: Yeah. I’m excited to dig into this topic today. I almost want to back up a little bit and just talk about processes in general, because I think so often anyone, advisors included put the cart before the horse when it comes to any sort of activity, whether it’s adopting a new piece of technology or just simply in your marketing.
Oftentimes we’ll put the cart before the horse. We’ll want to go do the fun stuff first or the easy stuff first, right? Like buying the technology, buying the software is the easy part. Buying the podcast’s microphone is the easy part. The actually producing content and hitting publish is the hard part.
And so, anytime we adopt something new or anytime I want to pursue a new marketing strategy instead of doing the easy thing first, I want to first put together that process. What’s it going to look like? Right. What’s step one? What’s step two? What’s step three?
And oftentimes I do like to start at the end of that process, like what’s the ultimate goal of adopting this technology or pursuing this marketing activity? And it’s hard, right?
You have to sit down and really think through it. And not only start to document that process, but actually put together a workflow. Other team members might be involved. Or you’re hosting a podcast here, you’ve got an editing team in the background. They have to be involved. So, at what point do they jump in?
So again, when it comes to technology or tax software and adopting that in your practice, I think if you really want to use it to the fullest and you really want to have some success with it, we have to stop and sit down and document that process.
So, I’m excited to share what our process looks like specifically when it comes to this tax software.
Steven Jarvis: Well, I definitely appreciate you starting there because it is kind of fascinating how as financial professionals, whether you’re in the planning space, the tax space, we all definitely really embrace our own value proposition and see the importance of having a person involved.
But we’re also all really quick to, like you said, go out and do the shiny fun things and say, “Well, what’s that software that’s going to make my life easier or automate the process?”
And we have this idea that there’s just some magic button out there we could hit, which if there was, that would totally take our value out of the proposition anyways.
If there was a magic button, nobody would need Steven Jarvis or Taylor Schulte. They would just go hit the magic button. So yes, I appreciate you taking a step back and talking about really how we should be thinking about this process.
Taylor Schulte: Yeah, absolutely. Those who read my newsletter, listen to the podcast, there’s this favorite quote of mine that just stuck with me as it relates to marketing which is, “If you want to be average, outsource.”
And I think that can… you could say that about most things. Fully outsourcing something or fully automating something is probably going to produce an average report or an average output.
We need to be involved. We need to help create that process. It doesn’t mean that we can’t use technology or we can’t automate some of these things as part of the process, but we can’t just fully expect to just to turn it on and automate the whole thing and not be involved at all.
Steven Jarvis: Yeah, yeah. Which really reinforces why getting really clear on what the end result you want is, is an important first step, instead of just going out and finding that shiny tool.
Let’s make sure we know what it is we’re trying to… How we’re trying to deliver value to our client and then figure out what tools make the most sense.
Taylor Schulte: Yep. Absolutely.
Steven Jarvis: So Taylor, with that kind of context in mind, talk me through what this looks like for your practice, because tax planning a big part of what you do with your clients.
So, how did you go through that? How can other advisors get to that point where they’ve got both the process and the end result, as well as the tools to help them get there?
Taylor Schulte: Well, step one and the biggest hurdle for us was actually getting our hands on clients’ tax returns. I grew up in the wirehouse world and we were so focused on investment management and asking for a client’s tax return felt like a really daunting task. I felt really uncomfortable asking for it.
So it took me a while to kind of get over that hump and get comfortable with asking and now requiring a full copy of a prospect’s tax turn and a client’s tax return.
So, that was kind of step one, it was like just getting our hands on the tax return so we could get all this valuable information and use that valuable information in our sales process with prospects or in our planning process with clients. So that was kind of phase one of this whole thing, was just getting our hands on tax returns so we can start to build that into our practice and our planning.
And then step two is, well, how can we better illustrate the value that we’re providing to clients? Sure, we’re getting our hands on the tax return, we’re going through it, we’re getting really valuable information, we’re using that information to make recommendations, which is fantastic; but what more can we be doing to show clients that the value that we’re providing on an ongoing basis, they provide us their tax return and then what? They don’t hear from us after that.
So, what can we do after getting that tax return to show them that the value that we’re providing and why they pay us an above average fee year over year over year?
So again, phase one was just creating a process for getting our hands on those tax returns.
Steven Jarvis: So Taylor, for advisors who are new to asking for tax returns or aren’t to a hundred percent engagement from their clients, how long would you say it took between when you started asking for those tax returns to when your clients were fully on board; that this was just part of the process and wasn’t really something that you had to constantly nag them about or maybe it is something you still constantly follow up on?
Taylor Schulte: I mean, I’m pretty timid about these things. It probably took me longer than some people. I’d say to get to 100% adoption, it probably took a full 12 months. I wanted to have individual conversations with each client during our review meetings, kind of explaining why we were going to build tax planning into our process and into our firm.
So yeah, probably get everybody on board probably took about 12 months and this was all part of the clean up of my practice. I’ve shared publicly my story about how I had this chaotic practice and kind of had to go backwards before I could go forward again.
So, injecting tax planning into the firm was part of that. So, I’d say about a full 12 months. And then, like I mentioned, every new prospect before they can engage in us and go through our sales process, they have to provide their tax returns.
So once they become a client, they’ve already provided their tax return as a prospect, they pretty much expect to provide it as a client on an ongoing basis. So yeah, it probably took longer than expected.
And again, I’m not one of those who just sends out an email blast as, “Give me your two tax return.” I want to have that individual conversation with clients, explain why we’re doing it, what’s in it for them, what’s the benefit, what’s the value and then create an ongoing process from there.
Steven Jarvis: Ah, that’s great. I talked to a lot of advisors about getting tax returns and what to do with them. And honestly, I’ve heard everything from a year to three years to getting all clients actually on board with it.
So, it sounds like it actually went pretty well for you. And I’m sure one of the things that made a difference is you mentioned in there that part of that conversation with them was, what’s in it for them?
Because this can’t just be, “Hey, bring me your tax returns. It’ll make my life easier.” Again, I just love the intentionality behind your approach to this because you highlighted that, yes, it does make your life easier.
You can learn a lot great things just as the advisor, but then it’s bringing that full circle to demonstrating to the client why it’s valuable to them because that’s really what’s going to move the needle.
Taylor Schulte: Yeah, absolutely.
Steven Jarvis: Well, great. So step one then, or maybe we’re on step two. We had to identify that this was an important… What the outcome was, that it was important to you and to the clients. And we had to get the tax returns, so great.
Now, you’ve got tax returns for all your clients. So, where do you go from there of actually having an effective way to deliver on all of this?
Taylor Schulte: Yeah. And really quick to, we have bi-annual surge meetings. So we meet with our clients during the month of May, just after tax season and the month of October, just before the holidays hit.
So, our May meetings are coming up here. And when we reach out to our clients, which we’ll be doing I think here in early March or I think we’ll kickstart the workflow in early March, when we reach out to our clients to schedule those May meetings, part of that process is requesting their tax returns.
So, knowing that most clients are going to file by April 15th. Again, I don’t have the workflow memorized here, but whenever that email goes out, late April for them to schedule, to actually pick a date and a time for their bi-annual meeting in May, part of that process is collecting that tax return. So, part of that scheduling process is also getting our hands on their tax return.
So they’ll schedule, they’ll get an automated email from us with a secure link for them to upload that tax return ahead of their meeting. And then part of that workflow is following up with those clients that did not upload their tax return as part of that process.
So we know that that email’s going to go out, but not everybody’s going to actually follow through on it. So part of that workflow is for Karen to make sure ahead of their upcoming meeting that we do have that tax return. She’ll reach out with a phone call or an email to get our hands on that. So, that’s part of the scheduling process.
There are cases where we don’t meet with clients in May. Maybe we just recently met with them. So they opt out of that May meeting, which is totally fine. We just say they have to attend one of those meetings either May or October.
If they do opt out and we don’t happen to get their tax return, that’s okay. It’s also built into the workflow in October. So part of that is double checking, making sure we have their tax return, if not, that’s part of that process too.
So again, us getting our hands on the tax return is just phase one or step one. It helps us have a really intentional, valuable meeting with them. But again, we wanted to kind of take it one step further. And so, like a lot of advisors we adopted Holistiplan.
Holistiplan is great. You take the full tax return, the PDF, upload it to Holistiplan and it spits out a nice report in addition to kind of turning their tax return into something that’s easy to digest, like an easy digest, one-page summary of their tax return. It also produces some observations.
One idea was we would get that output from Holistiplan and then send it to the client. “Hey, here’s your tax analysis. We’ve taken your tax return, we’ve turned it into plain in English so you can understand it. Here’s a copy.”
But by doing that, it didn’t allow us to really control the messaging. And since we’re already having a lot of these tax conversations with clients, we notice that some of the information in those reports might cause some confusion.
For example, it might say, “Hey, this year looks like an opportunity for a Roth conversion.” I’m just making this up. Client sees that on this Holistiplan output report and says, “I thought we already talked about that.” Or, “I thought we already took action on that thing.”
So what we started to do as part of our workflow, and I’m happy to kind of walk through step by step, what the workflow looks like, is hiding certain sections of the Holistiplan report and only showing them the information that’s most valuable. And then the observations or recommendations or action items that come out of that analysis are then summarized in an email template from us.
So, we will send an email to each client after their tax analysis is done. And in that email, it will outline specifically what action items or observations we found that came out of that process.
Now, Holistiplan might help us a little bit, right, because they do have those observations that come out of the report. So it might prompt us to say, “Oh yeah, a donor-advised fund might be a good idea. Let’s look further into that type thing.”
So Holistiplan might help us internally, but we also have our own planning action items on our end or things that we’ve discussed with the clients. And so, we just want to control that messaging.
So again, in addition to getting their tax return, running it through Holistiplan, getting a one-page report with everything that we want the client to see, we then send that report along with a templated email, which I’m happy to share what that looks like.
So again, we prevent any sort of confusion and we kind of control that messaging going forward.
Steven Jarvis: Yeah. I really love just how intentional that process is. And maybe can you speak to a little bit… It sounds like that’s where you are at today, but no one gave you those directions.
I mean, that’s why I’m asking you to come here and tell the rest of my listeners because there wasn’t a how-to guide of, here’s how we bring this all together in the most effective way.
So maybe, what was the learning process for you? How did you arrive at where you are today?
Taylor Schulte: Yeah. Again, I think it was in adopting Holistiplan and looking at that report, always putting myself in the shoes of a client. Like if I’m a client and I received this, am I going to find this valuable? Where am I going to get confused? What questions might I have?
So, I think that’s the lens that we looked at that through. And again, looking at some of those things, I could easily see how a client might be confused. “Hey, we spoke about that earlier this year.” Or, “We already have that on our action item list,” whatever it might be.
And so again, in thinking through how can we better communicate this value to the client and just be in control, right. We just want to be the person in control, not just a random automated output.
And going back to our comments about, we can’t fully automate these things, we need to take control and we need to build them into our process.
And so, again, it’s one thing to collect the tax return, it’s another to run it through Holistiplan but the client doesn’t know any of this. They don’t know that you’ve been doing this work behind the scenes. So, how can we show them what we’re doing on an ongoing basis?
So the email that we send, and by the way, when we meet with the client in May for that bi-annual meeting, one of the agenda items is, “Hey, thanks for giving us your tax return. We have it. We’re going to do a tax analysis like we always do for you.”
Or if it’s a new client we’ll say, “Every year we do this tax analysis for you, we will run that through our tax analysis software and we’ll produce a nice one-page summary for you. In addition to that, we’ll also outline some opportunities for the rest of the year.”
We’ll also give them an expected date for when they can expect that deliverable to be sent to them. So if we’re meeting with them in May, we know what our calendar looks like going forward. So we’ll say something like, “On June 15th, you’ll have this in your email inbox. Is that okay with you?” “Yep. Sounds good.”
When June 15th comes around, we send this email. It says, “Hey Bob and Sue, I’ve securely attached your 2021 tax report to this email. From our analysis, we’ve identified the following tax planning opportunities to consider this year.”
And then we break up the email in three different sections. One, the first section, things that we’ve already discussed and implemented in their financial plan. So, we’ve already discussed these things. If they have been implemented, we bullet point those.
The next section is things that we need to take care of immediately. And then finally, what’s included in their client portal for discussion at a later point that year.
So, we break it up into those three sections. It’s template that we have in tax expander and that goes out to each individual client. So each client’s going to receive that at a different point, depending on when they have their May meeting with us. But they’re going to receive that email with specific information to them, in addition to that report from Holistiplan.
Steven Jarvis: So in April, you’re requesting these tax returns; in May, you’re meeting with a lot of your clients, but you’re setting this up so that this isn’t some kind of mad dash. If they send in a tax return, you’ve got to tear through it, try to find some nugget that you can then prove to them that it was worth their time.
This whole thing is a structured framework where you’re setting expectations and then delivering on that value. I think that’s so important for people listening to take that away, of seeing where those intentional steps are in setting both you up for success and the client up for success so that there’s clear action to be taken from here.
As you’re talking about that email template and breaking into those three sections, can you give examples of things that might fall into those different areas?
Taylor Schulte: Yeah, absolutely. And sometimes we feel like we sound like a broken record. We’ve already talked about Roth conversions. The client already knows that there’s a Roth conversion opportunity or that we’re going to pursue a Roth conversion towards the end of the year.
Do I really need to tell a client that again? And I just think it can’t hurt to remind them that it’s on our radar, that we have a set date for when we’re going to take action or a next step for how we’re going to take action on that thing.
So I’ve just kind of gotten over that fear of, “Do I really need to share this with the client again? Am I just sounding like a broken record?” But we found that clients really appreciate just knowing that that thing that we talked about has an action plan, and that we’ve got it taken care of, it’s on our plate and that we’ll follow up by a certain date.
So for example, one of the sections in that email is things we’ve already discussed and implemented in their financial plan. So I’m looking at an actual email to a client last year, their tax analysis deliverable email.
Number one, Roth conversions. “We have another opportunity this year to execute Roth conversions, but the implementation of the strategy depends on how we approach charitable contributions in 2021. We will cover this in more detail in our October meeting.”
So they probably received this email again shortly after the May meeting block in June. And we said, “Look, we have an opportunity, but charitable giving is also something on our radar. So, in October we’ll discuss this again.”
And that’s an important piece too. We don’t just write in the observations there, Roth conversion opportunity. We want to say that, here’s the opportunity and then here’s why or how it benefits you.
Because some clients will forget. “Why does using a donor-advised fund? What is that again?” Or, “Why is that important or how does that benefit my situation?”
So when we write out these bullet points, what is the thing and then how does that thing benefit them? The other one on this list that again, already discussed with the client but just reminding them, 2021 capital gains. As discussed in our May meeting with large capital gains, realizing on a couple of real estate sales, we want to try to limit the realization of additional capital gains where possible. There happens to be a need to withdraw funds from your investments. We would lean on the trust account and sell holdings with the fewest gains.
Again, sounds really straightforward to us as planners, but just reminding them that we are aware of the large realized capital gains that happen on real estate, outside of our view, right? We don’t have that at fidelity in their account, but we have our eyes on it.
We’re taking that into consideration so that when and if we need to raise money inside their brokerage account, we’re going to be really conscious of where that money comes from and we’re going to mitigate those capital gains if we were to do that.
So we’ve already discussed these things, we’ve already implemented them. We’ve already talked about it with the client, but we’re just reminding them again in addition to sharing that report with them.
Steven Jarvis: Yeah. That’s so great. Such a great example of how you can deliver value to your client throughout the year. We don’t talk about it a lot on this podcast, but you mentioned surge meetings. Obviously, real big with our friends over the Perfect RIA.
This highlights one of the things that I think some advisors will have some hesitancy around when it comes to surge meetings stuff. “Well, if I only meet with my clients twice a year, what am I doing for the rest of the time? What if they have other questions about their other needs?”
But this is the piece that you have to keep in mind of, what are the other intentional steps you’re taking to give clients that peace of mind, to reassure them of what you’re doing for them?
I like to call that the dishwasher rule sometimes of, hey, even if they already know you did it, make sure it stays front of mind because they pay you so they don’t have to think about these things all the time, but they want to know what’s taken care of.
Taylor Schulte: Yeah, exactly. And I think it’s important to hit on. I mean, one of the struggles that we ran into and one of the problems that I know advisors run into at surge meetings is surge meetings can create more work, right?
So you just had all these meetings with your clients and then all these action items came out of those meetings. So you just had a really busy month with all these meetings and now you’re going to have another busy couple of months trying to implement and take action on them.
And so when we first added this to our process, running the report through Holistiplan and then sending these custom emails to each and every client, trying to do that while going through surge and following up on everything else was a lot for our office.
So now going forward, what we do is, in that meeting or prior to that meeting, as part of the prep; we look at the calendar, how many more meetings do we have? What does our schedule look like? What do our other follow ups that are already on the calendar, what do those look like? What’s a reasonable date that we can get this analysis done and send it to the client?
So again, we’re meeting with that client in the middle of May. We’ve already looked at our calendar, so when we meet with that client and say, “Hey, your tax analysis will be done. First week of July, we’ll send that to you, your tax return in plain English. And we’ll have all the observations and action items for you. How does that sound to you?”
I mean, 99% of the time, they’re going to say, “That’s fine. What am I going to do between now and July that’s going to change anything?” So it’s really helped my lead planner, especially just gain better control over his calendar, not pull his hair out coming out of surge.
So it’s just one of the things I think as advisors, sometimes we think that we have to take action immediately or else the client’s going to be mad at us. So if we just set that expectation up front and include that in the surge meeting follow-up right, “As promised, your tax analysis will be done by this date” and put that in the email, just better sets expectations and allows us to just better control the follow-up in our calendar after surge.
Steven Jarvis: Yeah. Well, I like to talk about taxes being such a great differentiator because they change every year. They come back around every year. If you’re an advisor committed to tax claim, you know you’re going to have something new to talk to your clients about every year.
But kind of the flip side of that is what you’re talking about is that, I mean, double bonus here, that not only does it come back around every year, but there aren’t all of these urgent deadlines throughout the year.
As long as we’ve talked about it and taken action at some point during the year and set those clear expectations, is it really going to make a difference if we do it in May or in July or in April or in October?
I mean, there are some important deadlines as we go throughout the year, but not many as long as we get it done within the calendar year and we have an intentional plan for it.
Taylor Schulte: Yeah. And the truth is if there’s something that’s urgent, it’s going to be uncovered during our meeting prep process. We’re going to see that something needs to be done immediately or really shortly after their upcoming meeting.
If that’s the case, we’re going to put that on the agenda and we’re going to tackle that. And then everything else will just fall into the tax analysis that they get in a month or two months or whenever that might be.
So again, I think we’re going to have eyes on those urgent things. And then again, in that email to them, when it goes out it’s going to say, “Here are the things we need to do immediately. Here are the things that we’ve already discussed. And here are the things that we can discuss later this year or at a future date.”
I also thought I’d highlight too. I thought you were going to a different direction with that comment or question. I think sometimes advisors… I’ll use myself. Sometimes I was fearful like, “Well, what if we don’t have any tax planning opportunities? What if the client’s…”
It’s such a simple situation that there are no tax planning opportunities. So we just requested their tax return, we told them we’re going to do this tax analysis, we want to deliver value to them, but there’s nothing to really highlight.
And so we created what we call a lighter version of the tax analysis for some of those clients, because we do have some of them, they’re just older in retirement, or just kind of done with all the proactive tax planning. It’s just a really simple email.
Again, we still scrub the output report from Holistiplan to make sure it doesn’t confuse them, simple one pager. And it’s just an email. It’s just like, “Hey, thanks for sending us your completed tax return. Our team has run your tax return through our tax analysis software and has produced an easy to read one-page summary for your records. I’ve securely attached it. Let us know if you have any questions.” That’s it.
So, that’s still better than nothing at all. It’s a simple one pager, turning their tax return into plain English. It doesn’t have specific action items, that’s okay. I think for some clients that’s okay.
Or if you’re just starting out and you want to keep it simple out of the gates, that’s a good solution too. So, I just wanted to highlight that it doesn’t have to be this robust email for each and every client.
Steven Jarvis: Yeah, that’s a great point, because I definitely hear that fear from advisors as well. I get that question quite often of, as I work with advisors who are members of retirement tech services, I review tax returns on a quarterly basis for them.
And usually, advisors will send in their more complicated situations. But I have advisors who will send in the simple ones because they say, “I know what to do on the complicated ones. I have no idea what to do on this one. What would you say to this client?”
To your point, I mean, sometimes it is going to seem on the simpler side but there’s still value to the client in a couple of ways. One, now they know someone has told them, “Hey, I went back through your tax return and looked at these things for you and nothing stood out. We’re all good this year.”
That is value. This isn’t a game we’re playing. That is peace of mind you’ve given them. And as long as you have a thorough process and you’re doing this every year, you’re putting them in a position where if something did change, you’re the one that’s going to help identify it.
We can’t magically guess which years are going to have that random complexity or that unusual situation, and only review that year. We’ve got to either have a consistent process or not, so we definitely can deliver value even on the simple returns.
Taylor Schulte: Yeah. That’s such a good point by just saying, “Hey look, we did a tax return analysis. We also reviewed the opportunity for a Roth conversion and this year, there’s just not an opportunity.” Great.
Steven Jarvis: Yeah. Great news, we’ll revisit it again for you next year. We’ve got you covered.
Taylor Schulte: Yeah. Yeah.
Steven Jarvis: Taylor, I feel like the way you’ve described your process, it should be really easy for people to pull out and say, “Okay, here’s what I can go do in my own practice,” but we always want to make sure it’s really clear how people can take action on the information we’re sharing.
So as you think about what we’ve been talking about today, what are some action items you would recommend to people listening to this, wanting to do more in their practice?
Taylor Schulte: Yeah. Well, first, I’m going to package all this up for your listeners. So if you want a copy of our workflow for what we do when that tax return is received, and you want a copy of those email scripts that we send out, including an actual sample email that went to a real client, I package all those up. You can go to taylorschulte.com/rts, and you can go and download those files. So, go check that out.
So, I’d say that’s action item number one. Action item number two, I would say is, if you’re going to adopt some sort of technology or tax money and software or tax analysis software, before you go and swipe your credit card and buy it, sit down and start to document. Number one, why are you adopting this tool to begin with? What purpose is it serving? What gap is it filling? And then what are you going to actually do?
So just imagine, client gives us tax return. We run tax return through this tax analysis software. Now, what? What do we actually do? What does that process look like? And I would actually write it down.
I found that going straight to Redtail and typing out the workflow in Redtail can be kind of a daunting task. I got to go and open this up and start this workflow.
So I’ll simply just open up a Word doc or a Google doc and just simple checklist: one, two, three, four, five, six, couple sample email scripts that might go along with that. And just start there.
Go through that process. It’s probably going to take a couple of times in real life. Again, we’ve ran into some struggles and found ways to overcome those, but just document that. Document that process before swiping that credit card and chasing that shiny object.
Steven Jarvis: Yeah. I love that. That’s great. I really appreciate you putting together that package for all the listeners, taylorschulte.com/rts, and we’ll make sure that’s in the show notes.
I love the suggestion to write the process out first outside of a system. I really like getting the giant post-it wall notes that you can just stick on the wall and have a marker. I’ve got a spot. I can see it right behind my camera here. That’s where I get up. I get away from my computer and I write things out. So, love that as well.
And then obviously it’s a step in your process. So hopefully, it’s a step in the process that people are writing out. But since it’s what we talk about so often, I want to make sure we highlight in there; getting tax returns, regardless of which tool you use is a critical step in there.
Don’t wait for some magic date that you think it’s suddenly going to become easier or more relevant. Well, I guess only for your clients who pay taxes, it’s probably all of them if you have clients with money.
You need to be getting tax returns. Definitely take the advice that Taylor’s giving as far as how to build a process around that but you need to have that commitment. You need to see the value and be doing something with those tax returns.
Taylor Schulte: Yeah, absolutely. I think the last thing I’d say, just as a reminder, when we’re specifically making observations about the tax return or sharing tax planning opportunities, to not assume that clients know what that thing is or why they’re doing it.
Even if you’ve talked about Roth conversions a hundred times, when you send out that email or share that action item or observation, again, let them know what the opportunity is and then why you’re pursuing that opportunity.
So again, we might sound like a broken record, but I think it’s really important to continue to highlight why we’re doing different things and how it benefits them.
Steven Jarvis: It’s a really great reminder. So often just as people we think about things differently when it impacts us. So your client could’ve heard you talk about Roth conversions two dozen times, but until the year where it impacts them, they’re not really thinking about it the same way. So, I really like that.
Taylor Schulte: Yeah.
Steven Jarvis: Well, Taylor, I really appreciate your time and coming on the show. It’s been great to have you on as always.
Taylor Schulte: Yeah. Steven, thanks so much for having me. I really appreciate it. Yeah, it’s fun. And it’s helpful for me to go through this as well and find different ways that we can improve.
So, thanks very much. And if anybody adopts a system like this or makes improvements to our process or our email scripts, please do let me know.
Steven Jarvis: Perfect. Yeah, taylorschulte.com or Experiments in Advisor Marketing if you’d like to hear from more from Taylor. Thanks everybody for listening. And until next time, good luck out there. And remember to tip your server, not the IRS.
We’re not overpaying. No, we’re not overpaying. We’re not overpaying anymore. The tax code’s complicated, boring, and overrated. You don’t want that, you want a pro. One thing that you should know: this is a radio show. It’s not tax advice, don’t take it that way.
The information on this site is for education only and should not be considered tax advice. Retirement Tax Services is not affiliated with Shilanski & Associates, Jarvis Financial Services or any other financial services firms.
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