In this week’s edition of HVAC Sales Training we will dive deep into the power of financing. It is no mystery why the very best HVAC Sales professionals utilize financing for a huge majority of their sales. When consumers finance their HVAC comfort systems it is a proven fact that they will invest more money and move forward more rapidly with their upgrades and purchases.
So why is it that there are still so many HVAC companies and HVAC sales professionals out there that are not embracing financing. The answer is pretty straight forward….it simply comes down to their mindset and the beliefs they have been taught or developed through their associations.
10 years ago the industry standard was to accept checks and a handful of the major credit cards used by consumers. Those that still choose to operate this way are losing hundreds of thousands of dollars out of their business, regardless of where they are located.
Let’s look at today’s consumer. There are only two types of buyers today; those that CAN afford a new HVAC comfort system, and those that simply CAN NOT afford a new comfort system.
In 2012 more than 28% of all American families had NO SAVINGS at all, while only 20% of American families had 3 months of income saved. The average checking account balance was $3,100.00 and the average savings account balance across the United States was less than $6,000.00! (Bankrate.com)
The reality is the world in which we live today operates almost exclusively on credit. That’s a big shift from the mindset of our parents and grandparents. Think about the world in which they grew up in. Generations that experienced the Great Depression developed a mindset and belief system of: “If you can’t afford to pay cash for something, than you can’t afford it at all.” Now although that sounds realistic and responsible, the mindset in America has shifted 180 degrees over the last 10 years.
Just to make sure we are on the same page here. Every time one of your customers invests in your company using a credit card, they’re financing their purchase. In addition, a very small percentage of American families have credit cards in their wallet that provide them with a fixed interest rate of less than 10%. Even fewer people have a card with an interest rate of less than 10% if you remove the cards that have a low interest rate as part of an introductory offer.
So the reality is that most of the financing options available to HVAC contractors across the country are better financing programs than the credit cards sitting in your customer’s wallet. The smartest investors always leverage their money with somebody else’s. So even if your customer has the cash in their bank account, it makes more sense for them to leave their money where it is and let that money continue to work for them or provide them with a safety net in case they experience some unforeseen expense, and take advantage of a No Interest, No Payments finance option easily available to them through you and your financial partners.
As an industry, if we simply “shift” our mindset related to financing we would soon discover that more people will say yes to our proposed solutions, our customers will invest more money than they would without the use of financing, AND our customers will give us more testimonials and referrals!
Let me expand upon those last two points. Look at your best customers. The ones that rave about your services, that write the most testimonials, the customers who tell so many of their neighbors and friends about what you did for them that those people call you to do business with you. Are they the customers who buy the cheapest products and services you offer? Of course not! These people are the ones who are investing the most money in HVAC comfort systems. So why is that?
The reason is actually pretty simple. The people who invest the most money with you and your HVAC business are the ones who are “experiencing” the most positive change to their quality of life. Their comfort levels in their home go up. The dust levels in their home go down. They experience a noticeable “shift” on their utility costs, month in and month out. The health and safety of their home has greatly improved. And their new system is non-detectable, or less noticeable as their old system.
The more “change” your customers can see, feel, smell, and hear, the more it confirms that they made the right decision by going with you and your proposal. With all these changes and them knowing they made the right decision to pick you, they actually get excited and tell other people about their experience to show everyone just how smart they are…lol, okay there are additional reasons they share their experiences, but making a smart purchase is huge.
Those that invest more, experience more! As compared to those that purchase a new HVAC system based on the cheapest price, they don’t experience many significant changes if any at all. Their new system is pretty much the same thing as what they already had and simply blows warm or cold air. This is exactly why they can many times turn into your most demanding customers. They call for adjustments and additional visits from your service department which costs you money. They can complain enough to get companies to make additional modifications to their system that were not part of the original scope of work. You know exactly which customers these are.
Let’s go back to the two types of buyers.
- Those that CAN afford a new HVAC comfort system.
- Those that CAN NOT afford a new HVAC comfort system.
Those that can afford a new comfort system are better off leveraging their money with someone else’s. These are the people who should be taking advantage of No Interest, NO Payment finance options. I would suggest that you find one program that will be attractive for these buyers and simply offer that one plan in every situation. What No Interest, No Payment program does your largest competitor offer? Match or beat their terms. I know some of the big box stores offer 12 or 18 months, so if they were my competitor I would offer a 24 month No Interest, No Payment Program.
Those that CAN NOT afford a new comfort system are simply interested in the lowest monthly investment possible. So again, pick a single program that positions your monthly investment very attractively and run with it. In some markets HVAC sales professionals have access to 10 or even 12 year terms at a fixed interest of less than 10%. That can turn a $20,000.00 comfort system into an easy low monthly investment.
When it comes to financing, keep it simple. Offer one No Interest, No Payments program and then offer one termed program at a fixed interest. Don’t provide a bunch of options here otherwise you will create confusion and probably hear the objection “I need to think about this” more times than you should. You don’t want to create any objections by overwhelming your customer; you simply want to make it as easy as possible for them to do business with you.
I realize that the programs we have discussed in this HVAC Sales training video and article are not free to you and your company. Yes, financing typically costs you the dealer a percentage of the total project based on which plans you select. Once you have identified the most valuable options for your customers, just take the higher percentage cost and build it into all your prices.
That way no matter what credit card they decide to use or what other finance option they find most attractive, you’re covered. If they choose to write you a check for the project than the price wasn’t more than they were willing to spend either, so this is a win/win. If for some reason you feel the need to provide a discount to your customers who pay cash, well at least you now have some room in your price to credit a small percentage back.
There is so much powerful HVAC Sales and Service Training material in this one video that I am going to suggest you watch it at least once a day for the next week.
If you have any questions related to any of this information or need some additional clarification, please feel free to reach out to us at any time!
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Thanks for tuning in!