Steven was baffled. After 15 successful years of running his heating, ventilation and air conditioning business, revenue was stagnating like the water in a broken-down swamp cooler. He thought he was doing all the right things: generating and meeting demand, working hard and smart, specializing, and even partnering with local construction and remodeling firms. Still, Steven was puzzled that his talented HVAC sales team struggled to close more deals and increase their average ticket size.
Heard that before? Most likely. You might also have heard that offering payment options is a solid strategy for growing your business through closing more deals and even persuading customers to upgrade. Our experience shows that regularly offering payment options to your customers can boost close rates from about 25 percent to 44 percent (a 76 percent increase), and increase installation ticket sizes by as much as 43 percent.
It’s one thing to know all that; it’s another thing to understand best practices for putting that knowledge into action. The good news? Asking money-related questions in the right way can be easy with just a little coaching. By following a few simple processes for offering payment options, you can take the price issue out of the equation and see that business growth you’ve been pushing for.
1. Plant the seed
Building in standard talking points from the beginning to the end of your sales cycle that address financial concerns can yield consistently strong results. When a lead calls your office to set an appointment, deliberately mention payment options. For example, “Don’t forget to ask Jim about our easy same-as-cash financing when he’s onsite with you.”
(Pro tip: it’s helpful if the seed was planted even a little earlier, by including payment options in your advertising and marketing materials. Be sure to work with a home improvement lender that offers customizable templates to make it easy to produce this messaging.)
2. Water the seed
As soon as your sales rep is onsite, at the beginning of the appointment, they should bring up payment options again. It’s a great sales tool for dispelling any apprehension about paying right up front, so it’s easy to talk about the job itself distraction-free. Taking concerns about price off the table allows your sales rep to focus instead on value. Be sure to mention two choices: a same-as-cash loan as well as a low interest low monthly payment option.
(Pro tip: make sure your home improvement lender offers a true same-as-cash option that has no interest and no payments during the same-as-cash period, plus a number of low interest loans with a variety of terms to fit your customer’s financial situation and preferences.)
3. Reap the harvest
Once again, as it comes time to close the sale, it’s the right time to make one more reference to the easy payment options your company offers. This is where it can become simpler to get a YES from the customer, or even encourage them to increase the job size. Many times, it’s more convenient to get some extra work done all at once when paying is made easier. The data shows higher close rates and bigger jobs when a customer chooses financing. It also leads to greater customer satisfaction and more referrals.
(Pro tip: save even more sales by working with a home improvement lender that offers an integrated counter-offer loan to help customers who are less creditworthy and may not qualify for one of the other loans. Utilizing this option can be a great way to assist some customers with an HVAC emergency and few other options.)
If you make these three simple steps a daily part of your standard operating procedure for your business, you’ll see a difference. But don’t try to do it alone — be sure to work with a home improvement lender that provides role-specific, on-demand training for your team, so these best practices can become habits of success and you can watch your business blossom.