I have the opportunity to work some of the largest technology resellers in the country and so I asked some of my most successful sales reps how they position their technology solutions as monthly payments. They told me selling monthly payments starts during financial discovery with their clients. This is the best time to plant the seeds about monthly payments. If you don’t bring them up until the end, it’s too late.
The top reps I talked to, who sell 50-60% of their business or more on a monthly payment model, are asking at least one or more of the following questions to their customers during the discovery stage.
3 Questions to Position Selling Monthly Payments
Question #1: “How are you consuming your current technology? Why?”
This is a great financial discovery question that will really flush out their acquisition strategy from a financial perspective. You are really listening for a couple of things in their response. If they are talking about owning it, capitalizing it, or depreciation then you’ll follow up with questions to drill down on why those things are important to them.
Response #1: “I want to own it for depreciation”
Acceptable answers sound something like “we want to own the asset to get the benefits of ownership, mainly depreciation, to reduce our taxable income.” This is a good chance to inform that on a $1 buyout lease, the end user is viewed as the owner of the technology. That means they’ll get the benefits of ownership, like depreciation, and reduce their taxable income while conserving their capital.
Response #2: “That’s how we’ve always done it.”
On the other hand, answers to challenge when you ask how they consume their technology sound something like “that’s how Grand Pappy did it” or “that’s how we have always done it.” The famous quote from Henry Ford always comes to mind when I hear these responses… “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Customers aren’t always right and you as a technology advisor and sales professional know what is best for them. This is the reason for the financial discovery in the first place; to better understand which financial solution best addresses their short term and long term goals and needs.
Question #2: “Do you want to own the technology, or do you want to use it?”
Again, chances are they will ask, “What do you mean?” and then you have a chance to respond.
“Let’s face it, having up to date technology that creates efficiencies in our business and allows us to utilize it as a competitive advantage is a must. In this day, we have to have it. However, it is a depreciating asset that whose value will decline overtime. The value of depreciating assets is not in owning them, but in using them. ”
With this question and the conversation that follows, you are gauging their potential interest and laying the groundwork for them to think about monthly payments and its benefits. This will warm them up to the option when you bring it up later.
Question #3: “What percentage of your monthly revenues do you want to dedicate to leveraging technology as a competitive advantage?”
This final question is a mouthful and most companies won’t know the answer to this (if they do, you know you’re working with an extremely savvy company!). Although it seems complex there are three reasons to ask this question.
Reason #1: Consistently Mentioning Monthly Payments
First, you’re shifting their mind frame to thinking about monthly payments.
Reason #2: Show Them Technology is a Competitive Advantage
Second, you’re giving them a chance to think of technology as more than just a means to an end. You’ve positioned their technology as a competitive advantage, and they'll be grateful to you for thinking that way.
Reason #3: Discover Cost Savings
Finally, their response will help you discover what their old technology could be costing them because they don’t have your streamlined solution. Oftentimes, the cost of downtime, issues, and lack in productive is less than the monthly payment for your solution. That makes it a money-saver!
Plant the Seed for Monthly Payments
Once you’ve planted the idea of the monthly payment early in the discovery, you can continue to water it throughout the rest of the sales process. Instead of being surprised by a monthly payment proposal at the end, your customers will expect it because you've already set the stage throughout the sales process.
13 Questions to Differentiate Your Sale & Position Financing
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