10 Steps to Being a Xero Gold Partner
When we were doing the final check of our new website before it went live today, I happened to notice that a number of the accounting and bookkeeping firms in the ‘testimonial display widget’ on the home page are prominent Xero Gold Partners in the Xero community.
That wasn’t the surprising part.
We create plenty of Xero Gold Partners. We also tend to attract them.
‘Evangelising’ Xero as a great tool for business advisors, and introducing it to accountants over the past 4 years has been fun. It just evolved, because we use and love Xero in our business, we love the cloud and the app eccosystem they are developing—Xero really is a platform, more than just an app—and we often use it as an example in our case studies on marketing and how to sell, in our Academy videos and Masterclass workshops.
What did take us by surprise (in the pleasant sense of that word!) was when we worked out with the help of the Xero Partner website that 15 of the 18 firms are Xero Gold Partners.
83.3% of them.
There are a number of reasons why that is, on multiple levels.
When I thought through, “What do these firms DO differently to other firms? What helped them reach Gold Partner status with Xero?” I jotted down into Evernote ideas as they came to me, and it resulted in a list of 10 things.
Then I thought, “Hey, I should blog that list.” (Gotta practice what we preach!)
So I have.
And here it is.
For Xero ‘newbies’…
- Forge a strong relationship with your local Xero Account Manager. You’ll need a partner and on-call resource on this journey. Don’t try to go it alone. Your Xero Account Manager has the best knowledge and best price point (free!) for helping you along your learning journey with Xero. (Plus Xero recruit very well. You’ll find your Account Manager can add a lot of value to your firm, through their general tech savvy advice.)
- Understand the big picture WHY of cloud, single ledger, Xero and the Add-on Partner app ecosystem. It’s crucial to not just understand this, but to live and breathe this vision. Teaching your clients about this positions you as a Thought Leader. With only 10% of SMEs in Australia, for example, having heard of Xero (I was floored when I heard this during Rod Drury’s CEO address at Xerocon this morning) there is still huge growth ahead for them, and—by extension—for you.
- If you’re new to Xero, quickly get the basic product knowledge: Don’t dabble. Dive in, learn Xero, use it—get hands-on—get really familiar with it in a practical sense. You can only effectively sell what you believe in, and you can only believe in what you understand.
- Embrace it: Fully implement Xero in your own business. You need to 100% walk your talk if you’re recommending Xero to your clients.
- Investigate and totally understand the software applications provided by the Xero Add-on Partners network. Focus in on those that are relevant to your clients. (Tip: It helps to have defined niches. We teach niche marketing strategies in Module 1 of our Academy). Document your recommended list of apps. Then master them. Many of these apps are truly mind-blowing. It’s an exciting time to be in business. You can add massive value to your clients here by guiding them and putting them on a fast-track to transforming their business processes. It’s about more than accounting. As Rod Drury says, “Accounting is the core data, but it is just the beginning.”
- Encourage your clients to attend Xero Customer Training webinars Links: AU, NZ, US, UK, Global. Use the country selector dropdown in the lower right corner of that web page to select your country.
- Start blogging, tweeting, and doing eNewsletter articles about aspects of Xero (Our Automatic Marketing services make this super simple and time-efficient for you.) Get your marketing material and your website looking great too. Use a web developer like PracticePlus who understands accounting businesses, understands the cloud, and who truly gets how important the design aspects are on websites.
- Start running your own webinars and client workshops. If you’re not comfortable running webinars or client education events just yet, get in an expert like Wayne Schmidt (formerly of Xero, now CEO of Addon Success) to run an event or two for you. You’ll achieve a big impact, quickly. Modern marketing is largely about education, not traditional promotion.
- Decide on and commit to your new modus operandi of “If you want to work with us, we’ll move you across to Xero.” There might be some rare exceptions amongst your clientbase due to legacy or custom in-house systems they are using, but in the small and medium business space, adopt this as your standard approach with new clients.
- Up the ante and really become active in online marketing including blogging, social media, webinars, screencasts, SEO, landing pages and other modern marketing tools. This will allow you to effectively and time-efficiently educate your clients about the benefits of cloud computing, cloud accounting, single ledger, social accounting/collaboration and Xero. Teaching firms about how to do all this is our passion. It’s fun and the ROI is quickly measurable.
Clearly Gold Partners don’t bring 100 clients across to Xero by accident. It takes focus, follow-through, execution.
The list above is not exhaustive. There are many other strategies you can use.
What’s been your experience? I’d love to hear your tips about what has worked well for you, in bringing clients across to Xero, and attracting new clients who want to implement Xero?
Share in the Comments box below.