When Eric Greenspan asked me if I would consider writing an article on how to Nurture Partners and Building Long Standing Relationships my first thought was what the heck I don’t usually write non-technical posts. Why is Eric asking me to write about this topic? Then the more I started thinking about it, that is what our whole Transaction Pro for QuickBooks business is based upon our Partners and our ongoing relationships.
We came out with our first QuickBooks Add on Product back in 2005 and it has grown to be the most popular QuickBooks Import tool on the market today with over 37,000 companies using our QuickBooks Desktop products alone. How did this happen? Well we received a lot of great feedback from Intuit personnel, QuickBooks ProAdvisors and Small Business Owners. We spent the time getting to know our customers, what their pain points were and in return our customers provided their very valuable feedback which we incorporated into our products. In addition, because our customers liked our products, felt a connection with us as fellow small business owners and because we listened to them, they continued to recommend our products to anyone that would listen to them.
When I first joined the Transaction Pro team I had never used QuickBooks before and some of our QuickBooks consultants that also are our customers made several recommendations. These included signing up for the QuickBooks ProAdvisor program and to become certified, help friends with setting up QuickBooks to track budget and expenses for life events such as weddings and just to call them if I had any questions. These QuickBooks professionals I still work with today and many of them are part of our Transaction Pro Partner network. So basically, what happened is early on they helped me learn how to use QuickBooks and I was able to pay it back to them by providing opportunities for QuickBooks and Transaction Pro consulting.
Over the years we have attended QuickBooks conferences and I have established ongoing relationships with Intuit personnel in the Accountants and Developer divisions. The feedback and communication has gone both ways and it is so nice to have these contacts so when I do not know whom to turn to for guidance they help me resolve any questions and/or point me to the correct Intuit contact.
We try to provide as much training information on our communities, forum and blog. However, due to time constraints we have not been able to create as much video as we would like. There are several companies and individuals that feel so much more comfortable with video and I have met them virtually and formed relationships with and they have interviewed me. I still hear from QuickBooks users that they learned about our products by viewing interviews by Eric Greenspan of astUtemy and Gina Rodkey of Small Business Accounting Advisors. In addition, we offer discounts on Transaction Pro products to astUtemy members as we appreciate the support of this great community.
We have also tried to be very active and responsive on social media but often times I have found that we do not have to be responding. We have so many Transaction Pro aficionados that I find our users answering questions about Transaction Pro before I can even get a chance to read the question.
So, in short it so important to build relationships and keep them strong. It is very easy to get all caught up in how much work that we must do and we are also working remotely without much interaction with other professionals. You can start by setting a goal of once a week to start networking or connecting with other professionals. It may not help you with your immediate workload or requirements but you will have strong relationships to reach out to when needed.