Offering financing to your home improvement customers can feel awkward. These steps will help make it a natural part of your sales process.
It’s easy to find the benefits of offering financing to your customers. It can help you book more jobs and increase your sales. But has anyone ever told you how you can offer financing to your customers? How do you even bring up financing in conversation? These three steps can help take that seemingly awkward conversation and make it a natural part of your sales process.
MENTION FINANCING IN YOUR MARKETING MATERIALS
The easiest way to offer financing is to let someone else do the talking for you, right? In this case, the someone else is your marketing materials. You likely already invest in marketing for your business. Maybe you have a website and social media, a radio ad, or even just a decal on your company car.
Regardless of the type of marketing, it’s wise to include financing everywhere you advertise your business. (Yes, that includes putting another decal on your company car.) For instance, a customer could see that you offer financing on your website and choose to go with your business over another. They may even bring it up during their appointment, alleviating the stress of bringing it up yourself.
INCLUDE FINANCING IN YOUR PAYMENT OPTIONS
Not all customers will ask about financing, though, and offering financing to customers can seem intimidating at first. You don’t want customers to be offended by the offer. Plus, how do you bring it up in conversation without implying they can’t afford your services?
If you’ve gone through this train of thought before, it’s understandable. But the truth is, you’re likely overthinking things. Think of it this way: Does asking a customer if they want to pay with a credit card imply you think they can’t afford to pay cash? It’s just simply another form of payment, right? There are many different reasons a customer may choose to pay with a credit card over cash, and the same goes for financing.
So, when you’re ready to offer financing to a customer, don’t overthink it. Offer financing to every customer just like you would offer other payment options. When it comes time to pay, ask your customer: “Do you want to pay with cash, credit, or monthly installments through our financing partner?” It’s truly as simple as that.
If your employees are still uncomfortable offering financing, find different ways to bring it up. When a customer calls to make an appointment, ask your office staff to remind them that you offer financing and to ask the employee for more information if they’re interested. Or you could mention financing in your appointment reminder emails. The customer will likely bring it up if they’re genuinely interested, taking the pressure off of your employees.
USE THE “GOOD, BETTER, BEST” PRICING STRATEGY
Once a customer expresses an interest in financing, what’s the next step? Your financing partner likely has multiple financing options you can offer, and you need an easy way to present them. At FTL Finance, we recommend our contractors use the “Good, Better, Best” pricing strategy. We even offer a free project estimator that calculates the monthly payments for you and organizes them in a “Good, Better, Best” layout.
Why Use the “Good, Better, Best” Strategy?
So, why do we recommend this strategy? With “Good, Better, Best,” the question you’re asking is “Which option do you want?” instead of “Do you want this option?” The latter gives the customer the opportunity to say no, whereas the former doesn’t even present “no” as an option. Plus, when presented with three options, customers are more likely to pick the “Better” option. If you’re only offering the “Good” option, you could be losing out on money.
How to Choose and Present Options
Let’s look at how an HVAC tech can choose “good, better, best” options for a customer and present them with financing options.
By the end of a visit, you know what your customer needs to fix their problem immediately. But you may also have some other ideas that can help improve their HVAC system, especially if you’ve had the opportunity to talk with them and ask questions. The next step is to take your ideas and put them into three options you can present to your customer.
The “Good” option is just the minimum your customer needs to fix or maintain their HVAC system. Nothing more, nothing less. The “Best” option is all the bells and whistles — whatever you can think of that would solve their current problem, plus problems they may not even know they have, like IAQ. And the “Better” option is somewhere in between.
You can present these options to every customer, regardless of the payment method. However, we recommend using our project estimator to make your presentation easier. All you do is input the project cost and a description and choose a loan plan, and it does the math for you. Here’s what that would look like:
It’s another great way to casually offer financing to customers. You show them your recommendations and the total, plus the monthly payment, if they choose to go with financing. They can choose from the “Good, Better, Best” options and from the payment options.
Offering financing to customers doesn’t have to be an awkward conversation. Including financing in your marketing materials, working it into your payment options, and using it to present product options help make the conversation more natural.