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Todd's recommended the perfect system to provide the Johnson's growing family with comfort for years to come. The system is a very fair investment. You're not the lowest priced company in town, but you're not the highest priced company in town either. You're known for good service and quality installations.
Todd tallies up the investment for their complete comfort system and hands them the pen to authorize the paperwork. As he does, the mood shifts. Suddenly, Jim and Gina, who were perfectly happy, scream in unison, "That's too much!" They turn from Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde right in front of Todd's eyes. He's suddenly backtracking and explaining how your company is better than others. Suddenly he's thinking about trimming something off the price. He might even call you and request a trimming of the margin so much that you'll hardly make any money. You might even say, "Go ahead and take a little more off. Any more and we'll lose money, but at least I'll keep my install crew working."
Even after all that, however, they still think it's too much and throw Todd out the door.
WHAT HAPPENED?Are the Johnsons and the rest of your clients really experts at the costs involved in your business or a new comfort system? Of course they aren't.
After all of the friendly conversation, why did they suddenly turn on Todd? In many cases when a person replies, "That's too much," it's a reflex mechanism to justify the fact that they don't have the money readily available. They don't want to hold themselves responsible for not having the money they need, so they blame you. It's easier to point the finger at your company than it is to look in the mirror.
By giving them the power to choose financing, however, you can become a hero. Offering them a way to handle the investment in the manner that they choose elevates your level of service. With this in mind, here are six reasons to become a master at offering financing.
Delivering a higher level of service: Providing your clients with a method to finance your products or services today is the ultimate service experience. They don't have to take the time to arrange their own financing. When you offer your clients financing, you're making it easy for customers to do business with you.
Happier clients: When you give clients the freedom to purchase additional products and services that enhance their lifestyle or improve their safety and comfort, they'll be happier. That increased satisfaction leads to referrals, fewer complaints, and appreciation from your clients.
Higher revenues and profits: When you present your recommendations, your clients begin balancing what they need with their available cash. They may experience a cash shortfall. Financing gives your clients the freedom to authorize all of the products and service enhancements they need today. By providing your clients with the solution to overcome their financial limitations, you'll generate higher revenues and profits for you and your company.
Increased closing rates: It's a lot easier to say yes to $80 a month than it is to say yes to thousands of dollars all at once. As a result, you'll close more sales and do more business.
Fewer complaints about your prices: When your clients can handle the investment of your products and services on an easy monthly plan, they'll be much more open to paying your prices without questioning the price.
Competitive advantage: Not all of your competitors will offer financing, so you'll be setting your company apart from the rest. Financing is one of the tools that allow you to run ahead of the pack.
Your choice to offer financing is actually one of the most important decisions you can make for your clients, for yourself, and for your company. Your clients want financing, and many of them may need it whether you realize it or not.
When you offer your clients financing, you can turn those shoppers that just call you for a price into owners that stick with your company for years to come. And when you give your clients the power to say yes to your products and services, you'll be making more money every day.
Terry Nicholson is president of AirTime 500. For more information on AirTime 500, call 800-505-8885. Nicholson can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publication date: 04/17/2006