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How Xero Got Big & Why Accountants Need to Sell Better

Wayne Schmidt on the BD Academy Accounting Influencers podcast with Rob Brown
Wayne Schmidt on the BD Academy Accounting Influencers podcast with Rob Brown

Wayne Schmidt

Wayne Schmidt launched Xero in Australia back in 2009. By many people’s reckoning, he had his head in the clouds while everyone else was getting their feet wet. Wayne has since worked in executive-level roles at Xero, MYOB and Reckon and lived in the UK, AUS, China and the USA. After over 30 years of experience in the accounting industry, Wayne has just launched www.socialforgood.org to help train non-profits on how to leverage the power of social media to amply their worthy cause. He currently delivers sales mentoring to selected accounting firms across the world. Shownotes:

  • Shout out to the podcast Business Wars on McDonalds vz BurgerKing, Nike vz Adidas, Gibson vz Fender and other epic battles
  • The birth of Xero in Australia and how the early skirmishes with MYB and Intuitin the desktop vz cloud space
  • How being nimble and an early adopter of social media helped Xero take on the big incumbents in Australia to become #1
  • Three great questions to ask yourself before you post anything on social media
  • The three step sales and growth strategy Xero followed to become a global business
  • Why Xero will never win America, but could be a strong number 3, which is why their switch to Asia has been so successful that Intuit have retreated
  • Where Sage are now in the accounting software battle with Xero and Intuit
  • Why the Sage-Salesforce union was a very bad idea
  • Most accounting partners in firms are in their 50s which means they’re quite happy with the status quo and a compliance driven profession
  • The whole world is compliance driven and accountants don’t know how to sell advisory, so it will only happen very slowly
  • UK accounting firms should offshore their human resource much more
  • Shout out to The Outsourced Accountant (TOA) for offshoring accounting capability
  • If accounting firms want to grow rapidly, they should niche – accountants can be generalists or specialists, though one earns a lot more
  • Niching as an accounting firm doesn’t mean giving up existing clients
  • Why it’s crazy that partners in an accounting firm have to do the hunting and selling, when they’ve never really had formal sales training
  • Accountants – treat sales as a process vz a relationship, because relationships take too long before people actually buy
  • There’s a big difference between word of mouth and referrals for accountants, and one is much better than the other
  • Why accountants should have sales targets and sales budgets
  • Accountant discovery meetings are generally not run well but are great business advisory conversations
  • How many software vendors indulge in ‘lazy sales’ which is asking questions that can be answered by their website
  • If accountants want to be successful in business advisory, they need to be able to question and sell
  • Everybody can sell and everybody sells – just think of your last interview or date
  • Shout out to B1G1 and what it takes to leave a legacy by giving back to have an impact
  • Accounting firms who have let their bookkeeping go have made a big mistake and should bring it back
  • Shout outs to Fathom, Practice Ignition and Spotlight Reporting
  • Many app vendors use accountants as a route to market rather than educating them.

'The whole accounting world is compliance driven and #accountants don't know how to sell advisory, so change will only happen very slowly' says @wayne_schmidt on the #Accounting Influencers #Podcast with @therobbrown…
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Wayne Schmidt on the BD Academy Accounting Influencers podcast with Rob Brown

Wayne has been travelling since late 2017 with his wife Sally and is currently in Casablanca Morocco, on their one way trip around the world as digital nomads. You can contact him below:

Wayne on LinkedIn

Wayne on email

Wayne on Twitter

Wayne Schmidt website