Remember that old sales mantra – ABC (Always Be Closing)? It used to be gospel for salespeople, with every conversation focused on getting the customer over the line.
But purchasing behaviour has evolved. We live in an age of 24/7 news, Google and Trustpilot. Customers are much more educated about product types, features and benefits because so much information is available at the click of a mouse or the tap of a screen.
This presents salespeople with new challenges. Focus on an ‘Always Be Closing’ mentality and you risk putting off prospects, who can easily buy from a competitor up the road or online. And that means hitting your sales targets is about understanding the customer lifecycle and decision-making process, and tailoring your approach accordingly.
How do you do this? Offering finance to your customers helps open the door to these sorts of discussions, supporting your sales process in these 3 ways.
1. Differentiate by giving customers a better service
Consider your competition. For most equipment suppliers, it’s a combination of local bricks-and-mortar and online vendors. From telephony to video surveillance, customers have abundant choice. And that means you’re struggling against commoditisation and struggling to differentiate.
Overcome that challenge by offering added value – and financing is an easy way to do this. You can help free them from budgetary constraints and choose the equipment best suited the business, while enabling them to profit from that equipment immediately.
Think about it from the customer’s perspective. They may be able to buy it a bit cheaper online, but you can help them get them a better model, generate more profit from the purchase and do it without taking money out of the business.
2. Nurture prospects with a consultative sales process
Financing is a differentiator, but it also gives you more opportunity to understand and advise the customer. And that makes you a more compelling supplier choice.
Financing is a way to turn the sales conversation to purchasing drivers like liquid cash and profit. You can focus the conversation on business benefits of the equipment and any after-sales support packages. And you can offer payment structures to suit the customer’s cash flow, for example monthly, quarterly or in line with seasonal peaks in revenue.
Once you’ve homed in on the customer’s needs, you can then offer the best holistic solution – which benefits them and you.
3. Improve customer loyalty and increase lifetime value
When you sell equipment on financing, you have a tailor-made schedule of ongoing touchpoints. You can evaluate the finance package to make sure it’s still the best product for the business. You can go in for planned maintenance and servicing.
These are opportunities to build relationships within the company – getting to know various people who influence the purchasing process and what their goals and challenges are. It also gives you a better understanding of business operations, which means you’re in a strong position when it comes to advising on upgrades and future purchases.
Facilitate sales through education and partnership
Hitting sales targets is about identifying opportunities and making the most of them. And financing is a way to open up opportunities to educate customers, build relationships and partner with them to grow their businesses.
You can achieve the holy grail of becoming a trusted adviser – a supplier who has their best interests at heart and will go the extra mile.
- Offering financing is a way to differentiate your offering in fragmented, saturated and commoditised markets
- You can offer customers a better service because you have more opportunities to understand their needs and provide the equipment, support and financing to meet them
- Financing frees the customer from budgetary constraints and helps you focus on purchasing drivers like cash flow and profit
- When you sell financing, you have an established schedule of touchpoints that help you build relationships and boost loyalty