Author Archives: Patrick LeClaire

About Patrick LeClaire

After 15 years in corporate finance and Tax Preparation, I formed a company as an Enrolled Agent. I insist on superior customer service and the highest standards available as I embark on a journey to resolve one case at a time at New Life Tax Resolution.

Clue Me In On Tax Resolution. What Can I expect From The IRS?

Here is a summary answer to many of the important questions that I receive at some point during the engagement New Life Tax Resoluton (NLTR) has with our clients or future clients.

First of all the IRS collection tactics can be intimidating and intrusive. The Internal Revenue Service issued over 9 million levies in 2010. Don’t let the IRS take advantage of your lack of knowledge!

The penalties and interest that the IRS is charging you can be upwards of 65%. We are experts with a proven rack record of reducing the total amount of debt.

We are dedicated to providing our clientele with the most cost effective and ethical representation in our industry. Ultimately, we want to accomplish four goals for each of our clients:

  1. Remove the threat and worry of the taxing authorities taking aggressive collection action against your income and assets.
  2. Seek a reduction in the total amount of debt.
  3. Propose and negotiate a formal resolution to your tax debt, which will be the most affordable arrangement given your financial situation.
  4. Ensure the appropriate steps are taken to permanently eliminate any possibility of a future tax burden.

What is the secret to avoiding the IRS nightmare?

The answer is professional representation. There is an old saying: “Do what you do best, hire out the rest.” Would you file bankruptcy without a lawyer? Would you try flying cross country without a professional pilot? Would you try to skydive without an experienced instructor?

This is what we do, full time, all the time. We are professional tax debt resolution experts.  When you retain our firm, we will make it our number one priority to ensure that all enforced collection action ceases on your IRS accounts. Our goal is to facilitate a resolution that you can live with without the fear of government aggression in the form of levies.

What happens after hiring professional tax representation?

After hiring [FIRM], we will file a Power of Attorney whereby the IRS and your Revenue Officer will be forced to work directly with us.  We will research your tax debt to obtain a total balance owed and to ensure that all of your returns have been filed.  We will order and review a record of your tax account, which will illustrate among other things, when you made your deposits and what types of penalties you were assessed.  We will assist in the completion of IRS Form 433, Collection Information Statement.  This form will be the basis for any Installment Agreement request.  We will request a resolution that is affordable to you. While we are in the process of finalizing your resolution, we will work diligently to prevent any enforced collection action such as bank account and accounts receivable levies, as long as full compliance is maintained.  Lastly, we will prepare a Penalty Abatement request in an attempt to reduce the size of your debt.

In the meantime, the most important thing for you to be doing is making your Federal Tax Deposits on time and in full.  If you have a Revenue Officer, you can expect that they will want verification that you have made your tax deposits on time and in full.  Also, please realize that the IRS has to follow certain procedures before they can proceed with any enforced collection action such as bank levies.  Some of the notices that you may receive can be appealed, however they are time sensitive.  Understanding all of your rights as a taxpayer is another benefit that New Life Tax Resolution can provide to you.

What are my resolution options?

There are a number of possible options for resolving your IRS liabilities. Your financal situation will largely dictate the available options. Your professional tax representative will thoroughly review your tax and financial situation and suggest the best alternative for you.

  • Installment Agreement: The most common resolution option, this allows you to make affordable monthly payments to the IRS to pay back taxes. These payment plans can have variable payments based on seasonal income if necessary. In some cases, you may not even have to pay back the entire amount you owe, but simply make payments until the statute of limitations expires on the debt (called a Partial Payment Installment Agreement).
  • Offer in Compromise: This is the infamous “pennies on the dollar” program you may have heard about. Under this program, the IRS may accept less than what you owe as payment in full. This program has rigid qualification criteria, and most taxpayers simply do not qualify – do not be fooled by a salesman with another firm making promises that you will qualify for this option.
  • Currently Not Collectible: If you lack the financial resources to repay your tax debt, we may be able to get your tax accounts placed into an uncollectible status. This status can last for one or more years, and the IRS will not come after you when you are in this status.
  • New Company Formation: If you owe business taxes, you may be a candidate for a complex strategy in which your old company is closed and a new business formed. It is possible for a majority of the penalties and interest on your business accounts to simply go away.
  • Penalty Abatements: You may be eligible for a reduction in your penalties. We can prepare and negotiate an application for penalty relief on your behalf, and seek to get the overall amount of your debt reduced.

Lien Negotiation: We can negotiate with the IRS to have assets you own released from under the Federal Tax Lien, which may enable you to either sell or borrow against the asset in order to pay the tax debt.

 

What do we need to know in order to move forward?

With a 15 minute conversation regarding your IRS situation, I will be able to pinpoint the best direction for the resolution of your case. We will discuss things such as:

Do you have any verbal or written agreements with the IRS?

Do you have a Revenue Officer? If yes, are they aggressive or unusually demanding?

Are there any current deadlines for information or money due?

Have there been any IRS threats of levies, wage garnishments, or seizures?

What was the date and title of your last letter received from the IRS?

Have you paid your current quarter Federal Tax Deposits on time and in full?

Do you have any unfiled tax returns?

 

How much is all this going to cost me?

Most firms you speak to will quote you a service fee based on how much you owe, rather than how much work is actually involved in resolving your tax case. Our service fees are based on what work is involved, now how much you owe. Full service representation from New Life Tax Resolution is affordable.

Our service fees for full service representation start as low as $1,500 – including all appeals, payment plan negotiation, and financial analysis. We guarantee that our service fees are the most competitive in the industry. Send us your quote from another firm, and I guarantee we can meet or beat it – all with zero sales pressure.

For Additional Information Or Your Free Case Discussion, Please Contact:

Patrick LeClaire Enrolled Agent

407-287-6638

 

 

Fear Not If You Happened to Miss the Latest Business Trend

Trends are like the Tide; they are constantly changing and changing some-more. Fear not my friend.

No matter where you look, people who should know better are caught up in trends.  It’s become part of the parlance of our times, after all, things are “trending” on social media, and trends DO offer the chance to make a fast buck many times.

Unfortunately, trends also have a tendency to create bubbles and those bubbles have the tendency to pop at inappropriate times.  Remember Facebook’s IPO?  The DotCom crash of the late nineties?   How about the real estate, and subsequent economic bubble bursting in 2007?  Even the news today is documenting the struggles of the Bitcoin/cryptocurrency bubble.

Guess what?  These examples and thousands of others are always there to distract you as an entrepreneur.  The problem is that bubbles are “sexy” distractions – a lot of people know a little bit about them, so when you mention you’re working on it, it still sounds like business.

It isn’t, of course; it’s a red herring … plus it sounds better than telling someone you were sitting on the back porch watching YouTube videos of your favorite band.

The truth is, trends distract you from core issues in your business.  Most business owners have never focused enough time in that area to make enough of a difference in their operations before being distracted … again.

On the other hand, sometimes these trends cross over directly into your core business – then what?

Let’s look at Bitcoin as an example.  As of this writing, there is considerable talk about the benefits of blockchain technology on the one hand, but on the other is the problem of how a cryptocurrency can be regulated.

For a business owner who advises clients on investing, he or she may have to acknowledge the elephant in the room – cryptocurrency – and then determine if it is a business strategy or a distraction, a trend or market-changer?

Here’s the real issue with trends – can you leverage your core business to provide value to clients while you address coming fads in your own business?

Yes, even the world of tax preparation and filing isn’t immune to trends – many tax experts thought that the idea of the E-file would never catch on – just like DIY tax software, but QuickBooks and dozens of other accounting and tax programs can help business owners every day.  As time goes by, every trend will fall by the wayside or become critical to your business – the important thing is to never let them be a distraction.

New Life Tax Resolution spealizes in helping businesses and individuals in solving their IRS and state tax controversies. Are you in a situation with the IRS? Could you benefit from hiring a specialist to put this problem behind you? My name is Patrick LeClaire an Enrolled agent at your service. Call me at 407-287-6638 and we can discuss a few things you want resolved.

What Is The Hidden Secret Your House Isn’t Telling You?

Your home has a dirty little secret it is isn’t going to share with you; I am bringing the secret out into the light so you can benefit.

One thing that nobody does in any real estate market is fight city hall and the assessed value of the property.  For a lot of people, they feel that the tax assessor’s office and the somewhat arbitrary values levied on homes lend credence to a home’s worth.

Here’s the deal – the assessed value of your home for tax purposes has no bearing on the appraised value of your home from the lender’s (or borrower’s) point of view.

None at all.

Let’s read that line one more time… “the assessed value of your home for tax purposes has no bearing on the appraised value of your home from the lender’s (or borrower’s) point of view.”

The company that originates a loan on a property may look at the assessed value, but in reality, they are going to look strictly at local comps – completed sales – to act as the harbinger of the value of a piece of real estate.

I know, some of you guys think that I must’ve bumped my head or something, but deep down inside, you know it’s true – when the market melted down in 2007-2008, was it due to a world-wide change in tax assessment strategy or rules?

No.

It collapsed because the appraised value of homes for sale – and the mortgages on those properties – were no longer supported in the market.

…and that leads to one thing that you, as a homeowner, can use to save you thousands per year.  Even better, it’s so simple, anybody can do it.

Take a copy of the county or city’s tax assessment on your property down to the courthouse and simply tell the clerk that you feel the assessed value is incorrect and you need to have the assessor’s office review the value and confirm the assessment.

Why does this work?  Because your city or county cannot reliably assess every property in the jurisdiction, so they rely on formulas to arrive at the value of a given property.  Over the years, these have a tendency to throw property values out of line.  The realignment?  In many cases, the sales value of similar properties in your area and a deeper look by the assessor’s office at your specific property.  In other words, what many people feel they are getting every year when the tax assessment is mailed to them.

This actually works on both sides of the closing table, too, if you are buying or selling a home or even a commercial property.  Investor’s won’t buy properties with inflated values, buyers don’t want to pay too much in taxes, and seller’s – the people who have actually been paying the taxes – certainly want to keep more money in their pocket.

Just as importantly, this works for commercial properties as well – in fact, we know of one medical office building in Savannah, Georgia that recently sold where the assessed value was 1.1 million dollars higher than the appraised value – and that is before the buyer corrected for vacancy.  In that particular market, this amounted to a savings of over $50,000 annually.

So no matter whether you are a buyer, a seller, or an investor, take time this month to review where your property taxes are in relation to the real value of your assets and put a little money back in your pocket.

ABOUT OUR COMPANY: New Life Tax Resolution is built on the foundation of our Core Values, including commitment, trust and respect for our clients. Our goal is to provide every client with efficient, permanent relief from the stressful burden of tax debt. We don’t just want you to be free from tax debt, we want you to leave New Life Tax Resolution with the knowledge and tools you need to never find yourself in the same situation again. Call today and take action to regain control of your finances from the IRS. Ask for Patrick LeClaire 407-287-6638.

IRS called: “Pay by Gift Card or go to Jail”. It is Phishing

Recently I received a call from a long time friend who was frantic because her son received a phone call from a person claiming to be an IRS Agent. He demanded immediate payment of a passed due tax liability. Why was  Janice was so upset? She was worried her son would lose his federal job putting his young family at financial risk. WHAT SHOULD I DO PATRICK????.

Here is some reference material ; use if it happens to you or your employees or family.

The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. This includes requests for PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts.

What is phishing?

Phishing is a scam typically carried out through unsolicited email and/or websites that pose as legitimate sites and lure unsuspecting victims to provide personal and financial information.

Report all unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS or an IRS-related function to phishing@irs.gov. If you’ve experienced any monetary losses due to an IRS-related incident, please report it to the Treasury Inspector General Administration (TIGTA) and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) through their Complaint Assistant to make the information available to investigators.

RS-Impersonation Telephone Scams

A sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be IRS employees, using fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.

Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a gift card or wire transfer. Victims may be threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information. If the phone isn’t answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.

Other tricks:

  • Some thieves have used video relay services (VRS) to try to scam deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Taxpayers are urged not to trust calls just because they are made through VRS, as interpreters don’t screen calls for validity. For details see the IRS video: Tax Scams via Video Relay Service.
  • Limited English Proficiency victims are often approached in their native language, threatened with deportation, police arrest and license revocation, among other things. IRS urges all taxpayers caution before paying unexpected tax bills.
  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
  • Demand payment without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

 

Soliciting Form W-2 information from payroll and human resources professionals.

The IRS has established a process that will allow businesses and payroll service providers to quickly report any data losses related to the W-2 scam currently making the rounds. If notified in time, the IRS can take steps to prevent employees from being victimized by identity thieves filing fraudulent returns in their names. There also is information about how to report receiving the scam email.

 

Report these schemes:

Email dataloss@irs.gov to notify the IRS of a W-2 data loss and provide contact information. In the subject line, type “W2 Data Loss” so that the email can be routed properly. Do not attach any employee personally identifiable information.

Email the Federation of Tax Administrators at StateAlert@taxadmin.org to learn how to report victim information to the states.

Businesses/payroll service providers should file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3.gov). Businesses/payroll service providers may be asked to file a report with their local law enforcement.

Notify employees so they may take steps to protect themselves from identity theft. The FTC’s www.identitytheft.gov provides general guidance.

Forward the scam email to phishing@irs.gov.

Employers are urged to put protocols in place for the sharing of sensitive employee information such as Forms W-2. The W-2 scam is just one of several new variations that focus on the large-scale thefts of sensitive tax information from tax preparers, businesses and payroll companies.

Phishing (as in “fishing for information”) is a scam where fraudsters send e-mail messages to trick unsuspecting victims into revealing personal and financial information that can be used to steal the victims’ identity.

Scam emails are designed to trick taxpayers into thinking these are official communications from the IRS or others in the tax industry, including tax software companies. These phishing schemes may seek information related to refunds, filing status, confirming personal information, ordering transcripts and verifying PIN information.

Be alert to bogus emails that appear to come from your tax professional, requesting information for an IRS form. IRS doesn’t require Life Insurance and Annuity updates from taxpayers or a tax professional. Beware of this scam.

Variations can be seen via text messages. The IRS is aware of email phishing scams that include links to bogus web sites intended to mirror the official IRS web site. These emails contain the direction “you are to update your IRS e-file immediately.” These emails are not from the IRS.

The sites may ask for information used to file false tax returns or they may carry malware, which can infect computers and allow criminals to access your files or track your keystrokes to gain information.

Fraudsters Posing as Taxpayer Advocacy Panel

Some taxpayers receive emails that appear to be from the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP) about a tax refund. These emails are a phishing scam, trying to trick victims into providing personal and financial information. Do not respond or click any link. If you receive this scam, forward it to phishing@irs.gov and note that it seems to be a scam phishing for your information.

TAP is a volunteer board that advises the IRS on systemic issues affecting taxpayers. It never requests, and does not have access to, any taxpayer’s personal and financial information.

ABOUT OUR COMPANY: New Life Tax Resolution is built on the foundation of our Core Values, including commitment, trust and respect for our clients. Our goal is to provide every client with efficient, permanent relief from the stressful burden of tax debt. We don’t just want you to be free from debt, we want you to leave New Life Tax Resolution with the knowledge and tools you need to never find yourself in the same situation again.

Our company is uniquely poised to help with a variety of issues from bankruptcy to back taxes, audits, liens and levies, wage garnishments, and other issues.  It is possible to be free and clear of looming IRS issues. To see what programs, you may qualify for CLICK HERE.  If you are a phone person, you can call New Life Tax Resolution today at 407-287-6638.

 

IRS Warns Travelers: Passports at Risk if $51,000 in Taxes Owed!

Many of my friends and contemporaries in the business world travel a great deal for work and pleasure. So, imagine you’re at the airport preparing to board your plane.  You have an appointment with a prospect that could give your business the big name international client you have worked so hard to get. Knowing that could this prospect is so close to becoming one of the biggest and most prestigious clients of your career you can’t help but feel some excitement and pride.

Your trip is pleasant, and the flight was smooth. You disembark into the security area and are asked for your passport. WHAT you say? What do you mean my passport has been revoked? Customers put you back on a plane to your home country after sitting for 8 hors for the next flight home.

Not the vision you had when you boarded the international flight to a better tomorrow.

The Internal Revenue Service has strongly encouraged taxpayers who are seriously behind on their taxes to pay what they owe or enter into a payment agreement with the IRS to avoid putting their passports in jeopardy.

In January 2018, the IRS will begin implementation of new procedures affecting individuals with “seriously delinquent tax debts.” These new procedures implement provisions of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, signed into law in December 2015. The FAST Act requires the IRS to notify the State Department of taxpayers the IRS has certified as owing a seriously delinquent tax debt.  The FAST Act also requires the State Department to deny their passport application or deny renewal of their passport. In some cases, the State Department may revoke their passport.

Taxpayers affected by this law are those with a seriously delinquent tax debt.  A taxpayer with a seriously delinquent tax debt is generally someone who owes the IRS more than $51,000 in back taxes, penalties and interest for which the IRS has filed a Notice of Federal Tax Lien and the period to challenge it has expired or the IRS has issued a levy.

There are several ways taxpayers can avoid having the IRS notify the State Department of their seriously delinquent tax debt. They include the following:

  • Paying the tax debt in full
  • Paying the tax debt timely under an approved installment agreement,
  • Paying the tax debt timely under an accepted offer in compromise,
  • Paying the tax debt timely under the terms of a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice,
  • Having requested or have a pending collection due process appeal with a levy, or
  • Having collection suspended because a taxpayer has made an innocent spouse election or requested innocent spouse relief.

A passport won’t be at risk under this program for any taxpayer:

  • Who is in bankruptcy
  • Who is identified by the IRS as a victim of tax-related identity theft
  • Whose account the IRS has determined is currently not collectible due to hardship
  • Who is located within a federally declared disaster area
  • Who has a request pending with the IRS for an installment agreement
  • Who has a pending offer in compromise with the IRS
  • Who has an IRS accepted adjustment that will satisfy the debt in full

For taxpayers serving in a combat zone who owe a seriously delinquent tax debt, the IRS postpones notifying the State Department and the individual’s passport is not subject to denial during this time.

Taxpayers behind on their tax obligations should come forward and challenge what they owe or enter a payment plan with the IRS. Frequently, taxpayers qualify for one of several relief programs, including the following:

  • Taxpayers can request a payment agreement with the IRS.
  • Some financially distressed taxpayers may qualify for an offer in compromise. This is an agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS that settles the taxpayer’s tax liabilities for less than the full amount owed. The IRS looks at the taxpayer’s income and assets to determine the taxpayer’s ability to pay.

To help determine eligibility and to exercise your taxpayer rights of representation you should consider hiring a tax resolution firm to help sort the issues and get you back in the air flying to the next appointment.

Hiring a Tax Resolution Firm should come with some due diligence on your part to be sure you be properly cared for and your case is being actively resolved. I have prepared a Guide called “5 Questions to Ask Any Tax Resolution Firm Before Paying Them a Dime” to set you on a straight path to clarity in choosing a professional.

 

ABOUT OUR COMPANY: New Life Tax Resolution is built on the foundation of our Core Values, including commitment, trust and respect for our clients. Our goal is to provide every client with efficient, permanent relief from the stressful burden of tax debt. We don’t just want you to be free from debt, we want you to leave New Life Tax Resolution with the knowledge and tools you need to never find yourself in the same situation again.

Our company is uniquely poised to help with a variety of issues from innocent spouse, bankruptcy to back taxes, audits, liens and levies, wage garnishments, and other issues.  It is possible to be free and clear of looming IRS issues. Grab your guide here “5 Questions To Ask Any Tax Resolution Firm Before Paying Them A Dime”

Targeting Growth – Let’s Avoid The Biggest Mistakes

During the last few weeks I’ve been doing some research into the biggest mistakes that many small businesses make when it comes time to scale up yourbusiness. So, I’ve put together some observations based on my experience over the last few years on where the mistakes often get made with respect to targeting.

It’s kind of interesting.  There’s really about five distinct areas that I’ve found that any company needs to focus on to solve most issues. What are they?  All the ones that made this list are directly related to targeting of new products or services.  Read on!

Not going narrow enough.  Many, if not all, the failures I’ve studied have come from companies trying to charge a premium for a “one size fits all” approach.  If you build a product for the masses and then give it a boutique price point, very few, if any, buyers are going to use it or, more importantly, continue to use it.  A specific solution requires a specific price point, but a generic solution requires a much lower one.

  • Not taking advantage of the assets and experiences you have access to.  If you spent years in the software industry and then become a marketer, you had better acknowledge your own expertise.  At the same time, if you know a world-class software programmer, then you need to bend his or her ear to learn how your new ideas could be incorporated.   You have a team, use it!

 

  • Not going after a market that can make you money.  If you know that “X” market has capital and a need for a service that you can develop, then you need to determine how to break into that market.  Ignore that information at a substantial financial risk!

 

  • Being unclear on the clients you want.  If you don’t know what kind of client can make you the most money – or who your ideal client is – then you are failing to provide them the real value that they deserve in the first place.  Until you understand who it is you are serving you can’t help anyone!  At the same time, trying to serve customers that are less than ideal for your business’ primary skills and products results in less than efficient operations and – let’s call it what it is – less money.

You need to get crystal clear – NOW – on these things and start identifying places that you have left money on the table in your overall operations.  Until you do, you are going to no operate at peak efficiency and profitability and that is a New Year’s Resolution you cannot break!

 If you received a letter or notice from The IRS do not hesitate with that phone call because time is costing you a degradation of your taxpayer rights and can become expensive very quickly due to penalties and interest. 

If  important to you call Patrick LeClaire @ 407-287-6638. Send me an email @ patrick@newlifetaxresolutions.com. If all else fails send a message in a bottle.

Speaking to Create Your Niche Audience

It’s a well-documented fact – statistically, people are more scared of public speaking than actual death by several nasty causes and, given the radical differences between a well-polished speech by a professional and the ad-hoc ones we might have slapped together, it’s easy to understand why.
We feel, basically, like amateurs when we are, of course, professionals and have been treated as such for many years.
On the other hand, for those owners looking to grow their businesses, public speaking can be extremely lucrative. Why wouldn’t you try it – and try to get better at it?
Before we get into how to sell from the front of the room during a speaking event, let’s look at your business. If there were ever a time to have the systems in place to allow you to undertake a potentially massive influx of new clients, this is the place, so looking inwardly has to be part of this strategy.
How many new clients can you potentially onboard?
Tony Robbins has the systems in place to sell hundreds or thousands in one weekend, you, most likely, don’t –even if all you sell is something fairly mundane – you must be able to deliver on the sale.

Imagine, then, being a web designer who is a “solopreneur”  and, as the result of a well-received speech to a local Chamber group, suddenly has 15 new clients?

The result would be a month of lost sales while they scurry to deliver on the products they sold, potentially unhappy clients as a result of not having their website built “fast enough” and, at the end of the day, when all the websites were built and delivered, no new sales in the pipeline or the sales funnel.

On the other hand, let’s take that same web designer, give her a small team that can handle the content and the programming and allow her to be the “rainmaker” since she really has a knack for sales and is fun to listen to on stage and that same entrepreneur (she’s not alone now!) can give her speech to the Chamber, sell her 15 sites, and continue to build and sell – and increase the sales and the size of her company.

Systems and team are the foundations of success as a speaker.

You cannot effectively sell from the stage or from the front of the room if you cannot handle a purchase from every person in that room.

Why?  When you set foot on the stage or the host introduced you, you suddenly had status as an expert in your field.  As a result, the audience suspended a degree of belief about you and allowed you to lead them to a place – a place where, you hope, they bought one of your products or services.

If you can’t deliver on that in a timely manner, two things happen in your clients’ brains:  One, they dislike the fact that you can’t deliver and two, they feel you directly lied to them about your knowledge, skills, and abilities.

As you can imagine, this can be hard to overcome.

Build your fulfillment systems robustly, ensure you can deliver products and services in a timely manner, and then, it will be time to take…

The Next Steps…

Now that you have to have robust systems that can allow you to deliver on the promise you are making to that audience – “Every one of you need what I have to sell, and I can take care of each of you with my expertise and team.”  If you are the rainmaker, then you need to have the team and the systems to allow you to keep making it rain, not to get stuck programming, or building, or delivering, or engineering.

Your job, if you are selling and presenting, is just that:  selling and presenting.

So how do you do it?

There are plenty of formulas, and some work for everyone and some work best only for specialists or those with a certain degree of reputation in their field.  The important thing to remember is this – the big speakers aren’t pitching your products or services and you aren’t’ pitching theirs.

Here are some hints on how to expertly craft the one you need, now.  Certainly, PowerPoint can be effective and is practically expected these days, but it isn’t a crutch – it’s an added point to help you reinforce.

Start off by acknowledging the person and/or company that is introducing you, especially if you are presenting during one of their events.  Remember, it’s their audience and you have to build rapport.

Next, acknowledge the audience and ask them, collectively, one or two questions that they would find pertinent in their business.  Are you speaking about social media?  Ask them, by show of hands, how many times they’ve checked their accounts that day, then tie that back to a bigger statistic… “Yep, you and two billion other people checked in today, too.  Every person you ever need to know to expand your business is on Facebook right now.”

As you close down the introduction phase of your presentation, tell your audience what it is you’re going to teach them and then, hint at the offer you are going to be making.  In our social media example, that could look something like this, “I’m going to share three critical parts of the Facebook marketing puzzle today – things that you can start using as soon as you leave here today, and then, I’m also going to share an even easier way for you to do that to save you 5-8 hours per week.  Sound good?”

Your presentation – the body of your speech – then dives into those three points.  At the same time, using real examples – people, companies, testimonials, etc… is important.  You have to illustrate a “before and after” state for your audience AND humanize the business.  Give your audience real value!

As you start to wrap up,  you’re going to restate those points, and then discuss the actual offer you are going to make.  Use the same tone that you’ve been using this whole time and make sure that you have the time left to be able to discuss it!  “By now, you’ve seen how effective…” and then, “As I said earlier, the easiest way to deploy all these strategies is to use XYZ Corporation and our Facebook Ad Power Program.”

The pitch, though, has to come from a place – and be reinforced by – the benefits of the offer, not the features.  Tie back to your examples, with real people or companies and case studies or testimonials from clients.

Lastly, you want to make it easy for your audience to buy – AND – to find out more information.  Close your time out by thanking them and assuring them that you are going to the back of the room and will be available to not only get them signed up, but to answer any questions they have about the program or product and – if necessary – reinforce any prices or discounts they get as a result of the seminar they are attending or the memberships they hold.

One presentation, many sales

While a lot of entrepreneurs may only see value in the sales they close at such an event, dollars never tell the whole story for the value of a presentation at a seminar.

Let’s look at two critical parts of the transaction – or lack thereof – after you have made an offer and presentation.  First, is the actual closing of the sale to attendees.

In short, you have to be prepared.  Contracts, products, order forms, and even members of your team might all need to be there to handle questions, merchandise, and even sit in with prospects for strategies your team can assist them with.

Remember, though, the fortune is in the follow up!  As a presenter, you should always be able to collect the names of the attendees.  The best way is to use a software package to collect their names, emails, and phone numbers, and you can do this by offering an ebook, the PowerPoint you presented, or some other free gift that is pertinent.  Think of this as a way to add value AND grow your own database.

The goal is to start up a conversation with all the attendees, and of course, that is best handled through your CRM and email automation, not a “newsletter” giveaway.

As for the attendees that bought your product, in order to not lose the sale as a result of buyer’s remorse or second thoughts, communication is critical, too.  A personal call to all your new clients not only makes them feel special, it can also open up lines of communication – especially in high-ticket sales and mentoring/coaching products – that can alleviate any issues down the road.

Here’s the thing to remember:  everything I’ve described in these pages and the previous articles is built and designed in a system – in this case, a system for onboarding new clients in a seminar or live event.  The end result, of course, is to convert every attendee into, at the very least, a prospect in your database.

As the weeks pass, though, you want to have the structure to continue to nurture those prospects into your sales funnel and to convert them from prospects to buyers – no matter how big the ticket.

Get over yourself and embrace the opportunities that speaking can open up for your business and your bank account.  The formulas are simple and the successes revolutionize your business model.

ABOUT OUR COMPANY: New Life Tax Resolution is built on the foundation of our Core Values, including commitment, trust and respect for our clients. Our goal is to provide every client with efficient, permanent relief from the stressful burden of tax debt. We don’t just want you to be free from debt, we want you to leave New Life Tax Resolution with the knowledge and tools you need to never find yourself in the same situation again.

Our company is uniquely poised to help with a variety of issues from bankruptcy to back taxes, audits, liens and levies, Trust Fund Recovery Penalty, and other issues.  It is possible to be free and clear of looming IRS issues. To see what programs, you may qualify for CLICK HERE.  If you are a phone person, you can call New Life Tax Resolution today at 407-287-6638 to set up a case review.

 

I Received a Gift so Special I just said WOW. Kindness Rules.

When people say Kind words about you that are unsolicited, it is a nice feeling. Sometimes it is so special you want to display it in lights….

Here is  what my dear friend Sandy Geroux had to say in print about me:

When I first met Patrick LeClaire, what struck me most about him was his innate humanity and genuine caring, not only for his own family, but for other people and their welfare as well.
When I read Taxation With Representation (a title I love because it reminds us that every taxpayer has rights, regardless of what the IRS may be demanding), I was struck by his passion for citizens’ rights. More importantly, I was struck by his extensive knowledge and experience in helping ordinary citizens resolve tax situations that have either been thrust upon them by their own unfortunate mistakes or, at times, by unforeseen circumstances.
Fortunately, I have never had a run-in with the IRS myself, and have always considered myself fairly knowledgeable about how to stay out of tax trouble. But after reading this book, I realize how much I don’t know about our everchanging tax laws, red flags that could draw unwanted attention to myself and my business, and especially my rights as a taxpayer. I also didn’t realize that there is such a thing as a certified Tax Resolution Specialist who is authorized directly by the IRS to deal with IRS agents and represent taxpayers who have issues. I always thought that if I had a tax issue, my accountant would be able to handle it for me. I now realize that accountants often run into the same brick walls that we ordinary citizens do. What an eye-opener!
Being a current business owner myself, as well as having been a former REALTOR® where I had to pay estimated taxes as an independent contractor, I now see how any taxpayer or business owner can get into trouble with the IRS unless they are aware of what to do, how to do it, and even when to do it.


Whether you believe you have a tax issue or not, do yourself (and your business, if you own one) a favor and read Taxation With Representation. If you are already in the throes of a tax issue requiring resolution, I urge you to give Patrick LeClaire a call. You could not find a more knowledgeable, experienced and yet human and empathetic advocate to help you through the troubled waters of an IRS investigation.
Then do your friends and family members a favor (especially if they own a business or work as an independent contractor) and encourage them to read this book and incorporate its advice into their daily practices. I won’t try to summarize all the great advice offered here, but I believe in my heart that if you follow Patrick LeClaire’s advice, you will be able to avoid the heartache of having to go through anything like the troubles illustrated through his many stories of clients and colleagues who have had to deal with the IRS on complex tax issues. You may even be surprised to see yourself in a few of them.
Let’s face it, we all need a lot of hard work and a bit of luck in order to thrive in business and in life. But when it comes to taxes and the IRS, you need more than hard work and luck – you need knowledge.
So, while I wish you much luck and success as you travel this road, I know that you will have a much easier journey if you arm yourself with the knowledge offered in this book, and stay out of the sights of the IRS.
Here’s to your (tax) health!
-Sandy Geroux, M.S.

Let’s hope 2018 brings a couple more articles of praise.

Ten Steps to Increased Sales or Let’s Make a Deal

The constant search for prospects with enhanced Salemanship skills is fraught with dangers and mistakes. If able to overcome the pitfalls of choosing the right candidate your company is able to increase the rate of successful and happy clients.

Here is some sound advice from my favorite consultant:

If there was ever an art in sales, it is how to transition from the presentation to the close.  Volumes have been written about this and yet it is still one of the most misunderstood concepts in sales.  At its best, it can be awkward, at its worst, it can be painful.  In our business, we aren’t “sellers” in the classic sense, but there still comes a point when me and the team have to make that transition from presentation to closing (just like you!) and here are ten things to keep in mind as you begin to rack up sales in 2018 and make it the best year ever!

  1. Smoothly transition from presentation to close.  If you have been rolling right along in a friendly style, then shifting to an adversarial style to close is just harsh.  Remember, closing is a part of the presentation, not an exception to it.
  2. Qualify your audience and make sure they know they are a good fit.  Simple phrases like “Here’s who this works for…” or “The ideal scenario is…” and make sure they see that they fit that description.
  3. List the benefits of the product or service.  In the presentation, you undoubtedly discussed the features(Right?),  now you need to switch to benefits.  The feature is the “Rich Corinthian leather” – the benefit is “it is super comfortable.”  They aren’t the same and one man’s benefit is another man’s liability.
  4. Odd Jobs

    Auditor: Someone who arrives after the battle and bayonets all the wounded.

    Economist: An expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today.

    Lawyer: A person who writes a 10,000 word document and calls it a “brief”.

    Reveal any bonuses and volume discounts.  If you have an add-on, now is the time to discuss it, but NOT as a retort to a pricing objection.  Like benefits, you are using this to sweeten the deal, not close the sale.

  5. Reveal the price.  Don’t make it too hard for them to buy!
  6. Reveal the justification.  This is not about objections, this is about restating specific value points.  If your price is higher (or lower) than similar offerings, then why is that?
  7. Mitigate risk.  Again, you are still building value here – showing how they cannot lose in this deal because of the success rate of your customers, the guarantees offered, or the monthly pricing structure and lack of a contract.
  8. Summarize the offer.  You might have been talking for more than an hour in a larger presentation, so being able to effectively summarize the “whole enchilada” in a specific bulletized screenshot or powerpoint is a great way to bring it all together.
  9. Give your call to action.  This is where most closings go awry – you need a specific point in the presentation where you ask for the business.  It could be simple, “All we need to get the process started is your name right here on the agreement and my team is ready to get started.”
  10. Shut your mouth.  I can’t emphasize this enough.  The first one to talk after number 9?  They are the loser.

Don’t think too hard about all this – the best time to close new clients is to have a powerful marketing strategy that reassures them that you and your firm are ready and capable of providing the products or services they need.  “Hard” closings aren’t for everyone, but following this simple formula will put more money in your pocket.

Are you using the 40% Rule to Expand your Business?

The year 2018 offers some exciting opportunities for our businesses to expand. Tax changes and a rising equities market offer stimulus to an already growing economy. It is the year for all of us to step up and put those growth plans into action. Plant that seed and watch it grow into the dream you have been planning.

One of the biggest challenges for many small companies is trying to understand how to grow and expand the business.  For some, especially in the service sector, expansion might be geographically limited due to hard costs – a fully loaded service vehicle can easily top $100,000 plus the skilled labor team to employ in it.  On the other hand, America is built largely in a service economy now, with many more “intangibles” for products today, so how can, say, a small business – a consultant, let’s say – expand their offerings?

For one thing, understand that perfection is poverty.  No product or service was ever designed perfectly the first time.  Every book every written has been cut and proofed by an editor (this newsletter is no exception) and just as importantly, no one ever carried a finished product to market without substantial testing and revision.

Here’s the rule of thumb for new services – create 40% of it before you sell the first one, then use that first sale to guide you on how to structure the completed package.

I can hear you all right now, “But Patrick , my business situation is special and regulations forbid me to launch anything that is fully vetted and documented.”

In a very few cases, you’re right.  If you are raising money for a venture capital deal or need institutional investors, you’re absolutely right.  Most of us aren’t, though.  We’re web designers, marketers, social media specialists, auto repair shops, alarm companies, or accountants.

The beauty of the 40% Rule is that many of these products and services are already in a sort of murky developmental stage in your company anyway.  In the case of a web designer, it could be an add-on software or program or offering hosting for the website that you built.

A repair shop could offer an annual maintenance package.

An accounting firm could offer bookkeeping services based on QuickBooks.

In each case, this service or product is not intended to replace the primary role of the company, but to be a value-add for existing clients.  Just as importantly, because it is a value add, the marketing costs of client conversion, lead capture, and marketing is lower.  At the same time, since we are building out the offering as we go, utilizing existing clients allows you to be using some of the goodwill you have built up based on your reputation – not on the expectations with a new service offering.

Now, there IS a Catch-22 in all this – because you have only designed a thin framework (the 40%) of what the product or service is, once you have closed a sale on it, it is imperative that you stay focused on that new client and how they are being taken care of.  If you don’t stay on top of this – managing production, keeping in touch with the client, and even managing scope creep, you can quickly find yourself having created a product that either nobody wants because it isn’t robust enough or one that everyone wants because you aren’t charging enough.

Neither one of those is fun and that is why this type of expansion can be extremely lucrative on the one hand and very stressful on the other.  No matter what, though, there’s no denying that this offers a sure-fire way to grow your business in the new year.

Remember, my office is open to you and your family when you have IRS issues that need to be resolved. IRS is some of the most expensive debt that a person/business can face during your lifetime.  Penalties, interest and interest on the penalties are detrements to your company growth. I’m willing to bet that even calling for a quick phone meeting could result in some new IRS strategies.  To review your irs notices, please get in touch with  New Life Tax Resolution. Call Patrick LeClaire @ 407-287-6638.