Using financing as a tool to lead the sale is not complicated. But it does require you to implement a sales strategy that includes offering financing on every homeowner visit, and the discipline to stick with that strategy consistently to maximize results.
Here are 5 key strategies that’ll help you lead the sale with financing successfully, and help you close more and bigger deals.
- Swap out the word “financing” for something more familiar – the word financing can have negative connotations for some consumers. It may elicit feelings of shame or embarrassment that they have to finance the job and are unable to pay for it upfront.
To put your best foot forward, and turn financing into a powerful tool, you need to work a bit of rebranding magic.
Instead of using the “f” word, talk to your customers about an “exciting offer,” “special promo,” “great payment option,” etcetera.
Be inventive! Use your creativity to come up with a friendly new term that will make your customers see the benefit of going with that “awesome payment plan.”
2. Promote, promote, promote – to take full advantage of financing as a tool, promote the fact that your company offers financing across all your marketing channels, including:
- Every one of your marketing materials
- Your website and social media
- Your showroom
- Anywhere else you promote your brand
3. Make financing a part of every sales pitch – leveraging financing to its full potential means that you mention the option to finance a job early on in every sale consultation and refer to it throughout the conversation with prospective customers.
Don’t wait until customers bring up financing! In fact, make it clear that this is your preference for how they pay for the job.
If you don’t commit to this approach and fail to be consistent in offering financing every time, you won’t see the full benefits of your strategy.
For instance, you may visit some customers’ home for the first time and get the impression that they want to pay for the job upfront, but maybe can’t afford to pay your full quote.
In your eagerness to close the deal, you offer them a discount.
And in the next moment, they ask, “so what kind of financing do you offer?”
Suddenly you’ll realize, too late, that you acted prematurely. That’s because you cannot add on to the price of the job any fees you may have now that you offer financing.
Now, you’ll be in a difficult situation. The discount you have offered will now eat into your profit on the job.
You can’t exactly backpedal on the offer without risking losing the sale altogether, or potentially damaging your company’s reputation, so you’ll be stuck with a job where you may break even or take a loss on.
To avoid this situation, calculate your annual cost of financing and build it into your standard pricing so you can offer financing first, every time.
4. Offer affordability, not price – Let’s say you average $10k on new A/C installation jobs. As a part of the sale, you want to offer a higher efficiency solution that costs an extra $1,700. The total ticket price would be $11,700.
The full price for the sale will require the customer to pay $11,700 upfront.
To present affordability, you can offer your customers a variety of financing options.
For a cash customer who would rather not pay the full amount upfront, a great option would be a no monthly payment, no interest loan, if paid in full during a 12-month period.
A different option for those customers on a tighter budget would be a more long-term loan with prime interest rates (for example a 2.99% interest rate) distributed evenly over each monthly payment.
In this scenario, the monthly payment on a $11,700 loan, including interest, would be approximately $210 a month over a 60-month period.
Finally, for those customers who do not qualify for a prime loan rate, you can offer them a loan with slightly longer terms at reasonable rates, such as a 65-month loan with a 9.90% rate that works out to be about a $234 monthly payment.
This way, instead of telling your customers “the job will cost you $11,700 today,” you can provide them with the financing option that will best suit their needs.
5. Let your customers know they can be approved for more – customers who apply for financing will often be given a bigger loan than the one they requested in the event they want to do additional work or upgrades.
For instance, if they apply for a $10,000 loan, a lender may qualify them for as much as $15,000 – depending on their profile.
Those extra $5,000 give your customers the ability to upgrade their projects and include additional add-ons or higher-tiered systems. In general, this ability will raise their overall customer satisfaction with the completed job and increase your sales ticket.
You can really leverage that extra cash into a win-win situation for you and your customers.
The key is to show your customers how distributing those extra $5,000 into a low, monthly-payment option, or a 0 down, 0 interest for 12-month option, will make the job affordable for them, while the return on their investment in higher efficiency products and other add-ons will also pay them dividends over time by reducing their electricity costs and increasing their home value.
If you follow these 5 simple steps to sell customers into financing consistently, you’ll experience great results.
By using Credit for Comfort, you can enhance your chances of closing on every financing job even more by providing your customers competitive rates from one or more of our lending partners, Greensky and Fortiva – our Prime and Second Look options, respectively.
If you empower your business with both of these options integrated into the Credit for Comfort app, you’ll be able to provide affordable financing plans to customers who are eligible for a Prime loan as well as those who fall into the Second Look category.
*Content has been adapted from GreenSky’s e-book “Increase Profitability by Offering Financing.”