How to sell the benefits of asset finance to your customers and grow your business
If you are one of the 84% of businesses which don’t offer asset finance, chances are your business is not achieving its growth potential. In fact, small and medium sized businesses which offer asset finance report 80% higher forecast growth than businesses which don’t.
But it’s not just about growth - your cash conversion cycle is probably a lot longer than it needs to be (around 59 days longer on average), and you are less likely to be closing as many large, profitable deals as competitors who offer finance.
That’s all very well, but for sales teams tasked with starting a discussion about asset finance – knowing how to sell the benefits of asset finance while at the same time closing the sale can be challenging. Yet at the same time, given the option of thinking about manageable regular installments compared with a large upfront cost, most customers are more likely to buy, and more likely to buy more.
That’s why we have prepared 10 tried and true tips for your sales team – to help them, and potential customers, see the very real benefits of asset finance.
1. Lose the sticker shock
Sticker shock is what happens when you know what you need, but when the price is revealed, you nearly collapse with shock. If you are in the business of selling high value equipment and/or services, sticker shock is a phenomenon you and your clients may well be familiar with.
This is where asset finance comes in. Even if your customers have the means to pay for your equipment upfront, if the cost is substantial, cash reserves will be depleted and lines of credit tied up. With asset finance, the cost is spread over a fixed term which you can determine together with your client, and which can be structured to match cash flow expectations and budgets. At the same time, lowering the focus on price allows customers to focus on the features and benefits of your equipment rather than the total price.
2. Give your customers options.
There are many ways of structuring asset finance, and each has pros and cons depending on the needs, budget and structure of your customer’s business. Rather than just proposing asset finance in theory, encourage your sales staff to understand which structures will appeal most to different customers and business structures so that they can suggest which will be the most suitable.
3. Up-sell … without the hard sell.
Additional features are more affordable if you pay for them little by little as part of an asset finance agreement. Make sure your sales staff can calculate quickly what the cost of additional features will be – with a focus on how small that number can be when added to a lease.
4. Offer flexible terms – including skip payments.
For most small and medium businesses cash flow management is far and away their biggest challenge, and for many, in particular those with seasonal peaks and troughs, the option of delaying payments for a couple of months during the lean periods of the year can be a substantial benefit. These delayed payments are known as skip payments – and can make a substantial difference to your customers’ cash flow, without negatively affecting yours.
5. Frame your questions to encourage a sale.
Asking opinion-based questions can often be the best way to encourage your client to think seriously about purchasing. For example, asking “would a monthly payment work better for your business than an upfront cost?” will elicit valuable information about your customer’s cash flow cycle and allow you to start a conversation about how best to structure the lease payments.
6. Encourage regular upgrades
If you structure asset finance to reflect the technological life of the equipment you are selling, then as the lease comes to an end, customers will naturally be looking to upgrade to the latest equipment. And the good news is that in most cases, the new equipment won’t mean substantially increased lease payments.
7. Help your customer match costs with revenue
In most cases, you customers need your equipment to generate revenue in their own business. Yet paying for the equipment upfront means substantial outlay, before any revenue is earnt. Leasing allows for the cost of the equipment to be matched more closely to their revenue cycle.
8. Asset finance never lost anyone a sale
If you don’t offer asset finance, chances are you have already lost sales, and will lose more in the future. On the other hand, no one ever walked away from your equipment because you quoted a lease payment.
9. Demonstrate the value of your equipment
If you can show your customers how your equipment and/or services will improve their business – in particular how newer, more efficient equipment could decrease costs and increase output you should be able to demonstrate how the cost of the equipment will be more than offset by gains in earnings.
10. Become your customer's partner
If your customers know that you really understand their business, and can structure finance for them accordingly, they are more likely to see you as a partner, rather than simply a company which sells them something.
For more information about the different ways in which Eclipx Commercial can help you offer asset finance which will increase your sales, download our complete guide to asset finance here:
About Anthony Roberts
As Managing Director of Eclipx Commercial, Anthony is a true asset and equipment finance expert, having specialised in this area for over 20 years. Anthony’s role encompasses sales leadership, business development and strategic growth for Eclipx Commercial. He is passionate about delivering smarter, more innovative finance solutions to the market and empowering both staff and clients to achieve greater success.
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