Consumer financing is a powerful sales tool when used properly. This guide is to help you achieve further sales success and increase your business revenue with a valuable payment method for your customers.
So, you’re closing a sale, or maybe you’re in the middle of building rapport with your customer. At what point do you bring up financing? Do you wait until you are asked for it? Do you bring it up in the middle of conversation? Make sure you are making it an easy question for them to ask you. There are two reasons why customers will NOT ask you about financing, so it is important to understand this and make it easy to discuss.
We spoke with our own Wendy Mootoosingh, Director of Sales of Home Improvement Financing with Crelogix who says, “The first reason customers will not ask you about financing is pride. Some customers feel that asking for financing implies that they cannot afford their purchase and that being the case, would rather avoid asking because of that. Although it’s socially acceptable to finance a vehicle, or a home, there is a perceived stigma in financing other purchases, such as a new roof, furnace, driveway, or home improvements. It is this stigma that regulates the buying habits of people who prefer financing.
She also says, “The second reason to understand are the customers buying habits. Because of the first reason, buyers who prefer financing tend to shop around for product or service providers who OBVIOUSLY offer financing. The more obvious it is that financing is available, the less their pride is threatened by asking for the financing.”
Below you will find 3 simple steps to assist you with offering financing to both objections.
1. First things First. Make it obvious with your POS materials, that financing is available.
This takes the element of surprise out of the offering. Placement, and target areas are important to capture your customers attention. Whether you have a show room, or a catalogue, every item that you offer financing on should have payment amounts displayed to them. This takes the discomfort of you needing to bring it into your rapport building. They will be expecting it.
Make the POS tags BIG and as OBVIOUS as possible. The more the monthly payments are in the forefront, the more comfortable people will be to bring up the topic of payments. Buyers will scour websites and newspaper ads, and if they don’t see the words “financing available”, or some other derivative of the same, then they just keep shopping. For those business owners who offer financing, but don’t promote it, they miss out on this traffic. If your financing option isn’t front and center, those buyers just pass on by without a second look. If you don’t want to miss out on this traffic, have flags on your front yard, sandwich boards, huge window decals, page #1 of your website, vehicle wraps, EVERYWHERE you can splash the magic words “financing available” take advantage of the opportunity.
TIP: Display the highest possible monthly payment, based on the highest interest rate, not the lowest on your POS materials. This way, you’ll NEVER get into a situation where the customer feels like you’ve done a ‘bait and switch’. When they discover the payments are actually LOWER, the customer will know you are working for their best interest.
2. Always offer it, EVERY time, and offer it as the preferred payment method
“Would you like fries with that? Would you like to super-size that? Do you have an air miles card? Would you like to by a lotto ticket today?”
All of these are routine phrases that are asked EVERY TIME without fail. It needs to be the same with Crelogix financing. Unless it’s obvious, your customer may feel uncomfortable asking you about financing, and may not even know how to broach the subject.
Assumptive or implied close works well here, as does clearly asking leading and focused questions. Here are a few ways you can ask throughout your conversations, or toward closing the sale:
• When are you looking to finalize your purchase?
• How are you intending on paying for your purchase?
• Will you be using the payment plan as your method of payment?
• Who will be the primary applicant on the application?”
• Does a payment amount of ______ fit within your budget?
• Are you comfortable with a ____ monthly payment?
• What would you do with the $ (full amount of purchase) if you didn’t have to spend that to get your (purchase item) ?
Then proceed with, “Let me show you how….”This is a good opportunity to bring up monthly payments and how they can use their intended method of payment for what they really want.
Reasons why consumer financing with Crelogix is the better option:
• Lower interest rates than a credit card
• Frees up your cash, to keep for other uses
• No penalty for paying it off early
• Interest rates are competitive
• Canadian company that deals directly with our partners and customers. You work with a live team.
• Because it is a __ year loan, the payments are very affordable
3. Promote No Interest, No payment loans to reach and sell your customers consumer financing.
The slow season is inevitable for most businesses and planning ahead with your marketing goes a long way.
Instead of trying to capitalize on one single sale during a slow period, offer No interest No payment loans during times that are right for your business. For example, a few furniture giants promote: For a limited time only: “Don’t Pay Until May!” loan program every single year. Customers expect it, and they look forward to it. If you promote the loans as offered only during your slow season, you’ll have a good chance of making it your busy season.
You can offer these No interest No payment loans year around, but if you don’t treat it as a special event, then neither will your customers; find what works best for your business and customers.
TIP: Once your customers agree to financing, or if they have expressed interest in a higher end model of your product, let them know the small payment difference. If the difference is only $10 to $15 a month more, the likelihood that they will select the premium model is greater.
Tools for Success
• Ensure you have sufficient POS materials available, as well as obvious materials (size, color, font size, etc)
• Marketing Calendar – this breaks down monthly payments, term and interest for ease of calculation.
• Application Materials: Document Checklist, Quick Reference Guide, Portal login information, Merchant Support telephone number
• Your Rate Card: Know what you will earn in commission