How we prove ourselves to our customers

This post is for anyone that wants to understand why it is important to solve a problem for your customers and why proving it during the sales process will help you win more customers.


Technically, what we do for our customers is "Design, build and train on Xero report templates to ensure as much value for money as possible from Xero"

However, who really cares?

The real question is:

"What problem do I solve?"

Which then leads to

"Why would someone even bother hearing what I have to say?"

"Why would someone read my posts?"

Who cares about your product?

After three years at Xero and some personal crises, I needed a change.

I was keen on giving something a try.

So 12 months ago, I launched my business and held on fast.

I kind of thought I knew what was going on, kind of knew where the business could go, kind of, kind of, kind of...

What I did not have was data. 

So I said to my first six customers, 

I am going to charge you a fixed fee of $XXXX. What I want from you is to tell me exactly what I do wrong. I think I know what you want, but I am not 100%. I need your input. I will keep working with you until you say "This is awesome, I am happy."

I vowed not to stop until I meet this objective.

So they all signed up and I started doing the work and the data just poured in.

With every phone call, every email, every meeting and every training session, I vigorously took notes on what I had done well BUT most importantly, what else was causing pain for them?

Then I went back to the drawing board. 

I was only selling apples. 

However, the client needs a fruit salad. 

So with this data, I added some pears and bananas.

What else did it need? Strawberries?

Fruit salad, yummy yummy, fruit salad, yummy yummy.

Got any grapes?

I screwed up my sales

My process was to email a proposal with some product examples.

So two PDFs attached to an email using quotes in Xero. 

See our course "Xero Gig" on how to use quotes well in Xero.

Using this method means that they can see items such as:

  1. The report templates we build
  2. Our training resources
  3. How our support works

I thought, this is a good way to show my prospects my value, through my product.

I was showing them the fruit salad. 

After a client assessed a proposal, they would either say yes or no. 

They may need more information; they may sign up immediately. 

I got a mixture of results. 

I could not see why some proposals were rejected; this bugged me. They did not respond to emails or calls. 

60% of proposals were accepted but I wanted my conversion rate to be closer to 90-100%. 

What am I doing wrong?

There was something missing ... what do you think it was?

The drawing board

So I go to the pub.

Regent Hotel in Kingsford, next to University of NSW Sydney.

That is my other office.

I sit in there with James Squire and mull over things. 

What is missing?

What can I do to show how valuable I am?

What, how, when, who, why?

Then I remembered a couple of recent conversations.

"Donnie, I have been referred to you by Erin at Xero. She said you could help us. Right now it's taking us 45 minutes to get a set of financials ready."


There it is.


I am in the time-saving business

I had it.

I am not in the "Design, build and train on Xero report templates to ensure as much value for money as possible from Xero" business.

I am in the time-saving business.

That is the problem I solve.

I save my clients time because:

  1. The reporting framework is set up PROPERLY
  2. The training is done PROPERLY
  3. The support is provided ON TIME

The end result is that the "process time" is significantly cut down. 

I am helping my customers get these tasks done faster, cleaner and better.


I had found my fruit salad recipe.

Proving the solution we offer

So I put together this guide on the time-saving benefits that my customers enjoy.

Our customers take under three minutes to complete a certain job.

Customers WERE taking 45 minutes...

Now I send this PDF out with the proposal.

My sales conversion rate changed over night.

I went from around 60% to over 90%. 

I had identified the problem I solve.

Xero Partners are taking too long to do things. That is the pain.

I take away that pain for a fixed cost, with a touch of kiwifruit.

Click on the image below for a look at an example proposal.

Proof through video

Today, people would rather watch and listen than read.

So I threw together the video below; it shows:

  1. How long the job takes, with a stopwatch running.
  2. What the end result looks like
  3. How I do some of it (not all, as then you see my secret sauce)

Video progress:

  • Up to 330 minute - this shows the process of getting it done in under three minutes
  • 330 - 600 - this shows what the end result is, which is pretty much these reports
  • 600 to end - this shows some of the things we do to get you there

Want some pavlova?

What is next for my customers? 

Probably some pavlova, which will be served with whipped cream.

What that looks like: We are actually working closely with Fathom, Spotlight and Futrli to help our customers choose and use the best advisory tool for their business.


So I hope that inspired you to think about what it is that you do.

What problem do you solve?

Ask your customers.

Here are our customers. Over 45 in 12 months. All winning with time-saving benefits.

Please take a look and decide for yourself: is it worth having a chat with us?

You can book me for a FREE 15 minute discussion here.

I can help you serve up a breath-taking fruit salad platter to your clients.


Donnie Buchanan


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