Ask the Experts | Selling Financing Options

Question: What is the best way to use financing in a good/better/best proposal to our customers?

Gary Elekes; Founder, EPC Training:

Let's start by stating that we should sell best/better/good. Always start with the best product first and present that to the client and work our way down. It always feels better to a client to work our way from the top of the price pyramid - high value, high performance, high cost - down to the lower end.

The second layer of that conversation is how to present the financing. It’s important that financing is part of all of those pricing options. I like to present the financing price point - we’ll call that $99 per month or $199 per month or whatever that is - as the primary focus point of any part of a presentation. The total investment is going to be X, let's call that $10,000. That's going to be a secondary font and the financing cost appears in a larger font and is going to be prevalent.

We’re going to highlight the financing price above the total investment during the presentation because it’s a more attractive number. When a customer is looking at our price page on our iPad presentation system, what they’re actually seeing is our financing pricing.

The third component of that question is that I’m going to position the product and service portfolio that I think is the best fit for the marketplace. For us in Arizona, it might be a 16 SEER two-stage or an 18 SEER two-stage or we might be looking at a multi-stage compressor setup, depending on your product portfolio.

That particular position for us is going to fit most of the marketplace. Most of the customers are interested in those products. So that’s going to have a longer financing term attached to it. I’m going to extend that term to lower the monthly cost of the financing. That’s going to make the higher-end system appear to cost a similar price compared to the lower-end system, even though the customer will be paying more for the higher-end system in the long run.

I pair my best financing options with the highest priced systems. I may have to pay a little bit higher of a percentage in terms of my fees in order to get that program but I want to put the consumer in a position to be able to afford a system they want on a monthly basis. It’s good for them, it’s good for the business, and it’s certainly good on the install side. That’s the approach I would take.

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