It’s great to see firms moving their clients to the Xero platform. But I’m amazed at the number of firms that aren’t taking advantage of it.

For me, one of Xero’s biggest drawcards is being able to offer clients a completely new business platform. By introducing them to some of Xero’s add-on partners, you can provide value-added advice that helps them change the way they do business.

The good news is you don’t need to be an expert on every add-on partner that integrate with Xero. You just need to know about some of the staple add-ons, which you’re probably already using in your own firm.

I recently introduced a client to Chaser, an add-on that automatically chases up outstanding invoices. From my perspective I was just introducing him to a routine add-on that could provide some value. But his reaction was anything but routine.

“Wow,” he said. “Are there any more add-ons like this?”

I’ve already written about how confusing everything seemed when we first ventured into the add-on world. But once we’d refined our approach, the next step was working out how to market them. And it’s a step that a lot of accounting firms struggle with.

Just as we did.

We had no trouble getting our clients on to Xero itself. But whenever we talked about Receipt Bank, Chaser or CrunchBoards, their eyes would start glazing over.

Why? Because we were talking about products, not solutions.

So we changed tack, and started talking about how they could:

  • eliminate data entry for their accounts payable
  • send automatic reminders to debtors
  • receive in-depth monthly reporting.

Our clients could see the benefits straight away, and happily jumped on board.

Whenever we talk to clients about addressing unproductive or missing areas of their business, we no longer mention specific software or add-ons. Instead we talk about how they can free up their time, improve their cash flow, or receive feedback that will help them manage their business better.

Clients won’t necessarily take up everything you offer. But we certainly improved our hit rate. And our clients appreciated the extra advice we gave them to help improve their business efficiency. They could understand the benefits of the service without needing to learn another program. And as long as it got the results we talked about, they didn’t care how we did it.

If you’re looking to start offering advice to your clients, here are four tips on how to do it.

  1. Choose the add-ons you know about and want to work with.
  2. Prepare marketing spiels that help describe their benefits to your clients.
  3. Talk to your client about the benefits, and leave out the technical side of the service.
  4. Never mention the name of the add-on until they fully understand the benefits.

By following these four steps you’ll create a strategy based on benefits your clients can relate to. Which means they’ll be far more likely to take you up on your offer.