After our salespeople go through their replacement or upgrade pitch, they ask customers if they are interested in financing. Most people say yes, and we offer them zero-interest financing. If they feel they can pay it off after the 12- or 24-month period of that contract, then it’s a great option, and we encourage it.
If they aren’t comfortable doing that, we can provide longer-term financing for five to 10 years with additional interest. We then ask which one they prefer. We find that 70-80% of customers choose the zero interest options. The most important thing is to provide customers several options to choose from so they can decide what works best for them.
Even if the purchase isn’t an emergency, we encourage them to take that zero-interest option because it’s free. For us, we have the financing costs built-in to our price.
The team at Total Comfort offers financing 95% of the time, and customers use it around 80% of the time. The other 15% either pay with a credit card (so they can get points) or by check. Every once in a while, the customer pays in cash too!
I find it interesting that so many of our competitors either don’t offer to finance at all or don’t push it when they do. To me, financing is foundational to closing a sale.
“The team at Total Comfort offers financing
95% of the time, and customers use it
around 80% of the time.”
If you are ready to add financing to your service offerings, my recommendation is to start with your manufacturer. They have the resources to show you how to use financing the right way. Then be patient. Commit to making financing work in your business. It’s just like anything new: If you don’t commit to it, you could get frustrated, and it won’t work.
Final point: By offering financing options, you will increase your sales. Don’t do financing for free. You can’t do it and lose money. Build in the costs into your pricing, and people will buy from you.
Gary Katz is the CEO of Total Comfort, Inc., Minneapolis, MN. He has grown the company from $3 million in gross sales in 2000 to the nearly $18 million company it is today. He has always been a strong believer in marketing and sales. Despite many ups and downs in the business over the years, Total Comfort remains a solid and vital HVAC company today. You can reach him at ncilink.com/ContactMe.