Convincing clients to adopt new software isn’t always an easy job. Sure, a lot of clued up businesses will hit the ground running when you introduce them to new ways of working. But others will shy away. At a minimum, getting your clients on the cloud for their finances will pay off for both parties, saving time and effort, day after day.
Speak your client’s language
We’re not saying you need to literally learn Spanish or French…. Although what a great way to personalise your services. This is about understanding how IT literate your clients currently are. If they’re somewhat of a software aficionado, it’ll be an easy job convincing them of the advantages of cloud technology.
But for your non-tech clients, speaking in plain terms will be key. If they’re fully fledged Luddites and you bombard them with jargon, not only will they not understand, but it’ll alienate them further. Explaining the benefits in simple language will be a sure fire way of getting them on board.
Tailor your approach
Make sure you know why your client should be on the cloud. What are the benefits to their business specifically? It might be about streamlining their internal processes and providing a more efficient workflow for order processing, for example. Perhaps they want to automate cash flow forecasting through the cloud. Or maybe the firm wants to modernise and empower their employees to work remotely.
Having a conversation with your client about their needs, goals and budget will inform your approach. When you understand your client’s KPIs, you’ll be able to tailor your argument for embracing cloud technology, detailing how it will help them achieve certain performance targets and overcome particular problems in their firm.
Tell a convincing story
Real world examples are a great way to get your client visualising how cloud technology could positively impact their business. Rather than just reciting a list of all the advantages of cloud-based software, why not tell them about the time a client accidentally lost all their expense records, but were able to recover a backup copy in minutes thanks to the cloud.
Rooting some of your reasons with real-world examples could really help sway them to your way of thinking. And when you show them how quickly you can produce real-time management reports, 3-way cash flow forecasts and even run scenarios to determine decisions, they’ll struggle to deny the power of cloud working.
Give them a choice
There’s a multitude of cloud software available now, offering different products, services and price brackets. Present a range of relevant options for your client with a variety of costs and service levels. But be careful not to overwhelm them! There are hundreds of add ons in the Xero ecosystem, which would take a long time to get through. Pick your top five and show your clients how good they are.
Have an open discussion about the pros and cons of each option, what are the risks and potential impact of them? If you’re flexible in your approach, and go in with an open mind, you’ll be able to find a happy middle ground where your client’s anxieties are alleviated but they’re still adopting a new cloud solution.
Agree on outcomes
It’s important to both be on the same page regarding your expectations. Be honest and open about what you can realistically achieve. Having targets gives everyone something to shoot for – syncronising your efforts towards a common goal and making you more likely to achieve it.
At this stage it may be worth broaching worst case scenarios too. For example, what’s the contingency plan if a server goes down? Having these conversations early can help prevent catastrophe later down the line. And showing your client that you’re fully prepared for all eventualities should only strengthen your case.
Show, don’t tell
If you can show your client how easy life is when you’re on the cloud, it may be what they need to seal the deal. When everything’s integrated and automated, the amount of time they can save is astounding.
If you can recall the advantages as they’ve benefitted you, then that’s your strongest way to sell it. Show how you’ve adopted cloud technology in your own practices, and how easy it can make life when it’s up and running.