Charles Klvana is the founder of Eye on Books, a Perth-based bookkeeping firm. He shares what he and his practice learnt along the path to becoming a Xero platinum partner.
Reaching platinum partner status was a pretty memorable moment. Not only because we reached this milestone, but because the path to get there led me to realise some things along the way.
I now see that we respond well to targets, that creativity can be one of the greatest sales tools, and that it pays to stay across functionality to retain value for clients.
Read on to see the things that stood out for my team and directly helped us reach platinum status along the way.
Be creative with new initiatives
To help us reach platinum, we started promoting Xero non-GST ledgers for personal purposes. Many clients joined the program, and so did some of our sta . We found it was a really easy and simple way to track your personal budget, and the interest we got reflected a need in the marketplace that currently only non-GST ledgers can meet. By being open to this new experience, we learnt some valuable industry lessons too.
Set achievable targets
No matter whether we were at bronze, silver or gold partner level, we always knew where we were at, every single step of the way. We knew how many clients we had on Xero, and how many points we had on our certification path. And we regularly measured, tracked and analysed this data. That helped to focus our team, not just on Xero certification, but on what we were doing for clients to help them get to where they needed to be.
Be patient with client conversions
We’ve seen numerous clients from many completely different industries, and we’ve customised Xero for each of them. Every client is different. They all have their own fears and hopes. Our approach was to treat each client as you would wish to be treated – with patience as they come around to the concept of change, but also with the leadership required to instigate changes for the better and guide them proactively through the process. We’ve converted clients from Reckon, MYOB, QBO, Saasu, Excel and even Cashflow Manager, mostly directly by ourselves. This proactive conversion work was a big part of the reason we reached platinum status.
Immerse yourself in technology
Over the course of our certifications we’ve set up over 30 clients in WorkflowMax. These days we’re using over 20 Xero add-on apps to give business owners better functionality according to their individual needs. Even with all of this experience, we’re still learning new things every day, and Xero’s functionality is developing further. Clients expect us to be across this kind of thing, and it’s what helps to retain and engage our existing clients. We can’t overstate our enthusiasm for the add-on apps – they’re game changers for everyone involved.
Charles’ story is taken from the new issue of Partner Pages – a magazine of beautifully curated content, written by partners, for partners. Get your free copy at the Roadshow Australia 2018.