How to Close More Deals With Reverse Layaway For in Home Salespeople
You’re probably aware of the significant drop in consumer spending in the last 30 months along with the changes in consumer behavior in the United States. The rules and tools of selling at the kitchen table have changed. Businesses that don’t adapt to the new climate and start selling to their customers in the way that places high value on their customer’s economic situation based on macroeconomic conditions are doomed to fail. It’s time to evolve or die.
When you implement the technology to finally sell to the 58% (according to CNN) of Americans without enough credit or cash to make a $500 purchase today, you change the game in your favor and you can easily beat any competitor without the same Reverse Layaway Technology. First mover advantage in a given market is powerful.
American consumers absolutely hate debt and credit card usage is down 25% year over year from 2007-2008 (Source: Javelin, “Credit Card Spending Declines” study, March 2009). Americans are watching what they spend and they are far more likely to pay cash or use a debit card and if not given the proper flexibility, only the most well-to-to prospects will do business with you. That’s all well and good when times are flush, but in a market where competition means something and pricing can mean the difference between earning your customer’s business or going out of business, you need every advantage you can muster.
This article is going to be focused on the in-home salesperson. It doesn’t really matter what you sell: roofing, siding, windows, plumbing, flooring, HVAC, landscaping, concrete/blacktop, decks, skylights, or any number of home products and services–you can sell more fast with Reverse Layaway. Reverse Layaway is perfect for the automotive, medical, dental, furniture, wheel & tire, plastic surgeon, and any specialty retail or B2C business that sells a product for $500-$5000, but this article is about the in-home salesperson selling a product or service for the home.
As you are probably already aware, things are tough out there for people with unemployment being where it is and many still feeling the heat from the real estate bubble–there’s a million+ people being foreclosed on this year. Credit isn’t like it used to be. It is not as useful as it once was and some banking experts predict that only 20% of consumers that have credit have good enough credit to be approved by most banks in 2010.
With Reverse Layaway there’s no credit check. Reverse Layaway technology examines a consumer’s check-writing history among numerous other factors at the point of sale to determine approvals. Reverse Layaway is approving 92% of applicants on average–far higher than any bank or credit card program.
The main reason businesses love Reverse Layaway is: once a customer is approved, the total amount of the purchase is guaranteed to be deposited in the merchant’s account electronically. There’s no trip to to the bank with Reverse Layaway technology.
In order to understand the power of Reverse Layaway, here are a few of the program parameters you need to know before we illustrate an example closing scenario. Reverse Layaway requires the customer to have a job, an ID, and a checking account. The customer must put at least 15% down and sign a simple 1-page agreement outlining their repayment schedule. It’s so simple a teenage clerk can do this. Once they are run through the system and you are given an approval, you simply keep a copy of the customers documents in a file while their payments are ongoing, then shred it.
For illustration purposes, we are going to use a furnace salesperson as an example, but it could be any of the above trades outlined above, and the same concepts of features/benefits/efficiencies over time apply almost universally: the more you spend on a furnace/water heater/windows/insulation/etc, the more it should save you over time due to higher efficiency, so a higher up-front cost can be justified in lower ongoing maintenance/operating or energy costs. If you’re in sales, you know what I mean.
Here’s how to upsell with Reverse Layaway technology.
The scenario: Mr & Mrs Homeowner have an old, old furnace and need a replacement at some point in the near future and they have received a number of bids and have an idea of what it costs now and are very price sensitive. Price will play a big part of their decision but they want to sell at some point in the next 5 years too (but aren’t because of the market being down), so resale value is a point they have brought up. This is a good situation if you have Reverse Layaway implemented. Here’s how it goes down:
Salesperson: ” So it’s obvious we need to spend some money to get this problem fixed, right?”
Salesperson: “The question is, do you want to go with the 70% or the 97% efficiency unit? The 97% unit will save you $x per month in costs, so over the lifetime, it’s actually far less expensive, and when you sell, it will be a feature that can be highlighted an can help fetch a beter price, and we all know we need all the help we can get when trying to sell in today’s market, right?”
Salesperson: “The 70% unit is $2000 and the 97% unit is $3500–does that help you help you make a decision?”
Homeowner: “We want the 97% unit but we only have $2000 and the other guy has it for $3400.”
Salesperson: “So if we can get you set up with the 97% unit at $3400, you’d want to get started?”
Homeowner: “If we had $3400, yeah, but we don’t.”
Salesperson: “Here’s an idea: our Reverse Layaway program. There’s no credit check and it’s really simple. What we’ll do is take a $2000 down payment and get started on the work right away for you, then you can give us the $1500 balance in 90 days–you can save up $500 a month, right?”
Homeowner: “Yeah, we can do that!”
Salesperson: “Excellent, sign here!”
That’s the power of Reverse Layaway. You can sell to the people that don’t have all of the money and/or no/bad credit. You can almost think of it as “gap insurance” for the salesperson. You know they have SOME money, just not all of it. With Reverse Layaway, you give them the rest of it, with no credit check.
And the best part is: once they are approved at the point of sale, the total amount of the sale is guaranteed to be deposited into your bank account. You never have to go to the bank with this program and everything is done electronically. If one of your customer’s future payments does not go through, your funds will still be deposited into your business’ bank account on the 5th or the 20th. Reverse Layaway eliminates your payment risk.
When you run into the price conscious shopper versus the value buyer, you can now sell them the better (more profitable) product every time. They may not buy the more expensive product, but you got in the door and earned their business with Reverse Layaway, didn’t you?
At times, it seems like it’s all about price, but is it? If a 97% efficient furnace costs $1000 more up front but saves $5000 in energy costs over its useful life, it’s obviously a far better value. Cost is always important, but value is the “real deal” for a value-conscious buyer. If you as a merchant can find a way to make the initial cost difference a non-issue, you now have a customer that can make the most educated buying decision that is not restrained by their budget today. You allow them to tap into their income over the next quarter of a year and you make yourself the hero with the solution for their problem and give your customers exactly what they want. They’ll tell others.
If your business hasn’t evolved and you think you are going to remain competitive, you are wrong. If you can’t–or won’t–sell to the majority of Americans, your competitors will dictate the rules of the game you are playing. First mover advantage is powerful. It’s 2010–what are you doing to stay competitive?