Working in technology for the last 16 years has given me an in-depth understanding of how monthly payment options impact end-users in need of new technology.
By Jim Hocking
The current economic implications unfortunately include severe uncertainty and hesitation around utilizing cash flow. Let’s discuss how monthly payment options fit into today’s current circumstances for you and your customer (pandemic or not!).
Why Choose Monthly Payment in “Good” Times
Consider today’s trending method of consumption: Many services and products guide you to a monthly payment option. The iPhone is one of many examples. Rather than commit to a large, upfront expense, Apple provides a convenient, affordable monthly payment option spread out over multiple years. When the time comes to upgrade to the newest iPhone, it’s a rinse-and-repeat process—just like financing.
Along with convenience is another highly attractive benefit: Your customer has the opportunity to routinely upgrade to a new, more secure, and more advanced technology stack, potentially resulting in a competitive advantage and happier employee base. What does this mean for you, the technology solution provider? With customers thriving on modern, fresh, and supportable technology, your team can spend less time on service calls and more time sharing the value of an affordable technology solution!
Adjusting to the New “Normal”
A lot of the businesses you call on may be temporarily or indefinitely closed—and many are adjusting to the work-from-home dynamic. For remote workers, there’s a critical need for necessary equipment, network connectivity, and protection to work safely and efficiently.
With the recent declaration of an economic recession, many customers’ uncertainty is skyrocketing, while sales and revenue—along with cash flow—are trending downward. Cash conservation is more important than ever as projects are being put on hold and workforces are adjusting to accommodate current implications. There are outliers, of course, but this is a trend among many small businesses across industries.
How to Be the Hero Amid Crisis
Network performance and security are more important than ever as the majority of organizations are working from home and striving to continue business as usual. Your job is to provide the necessary technology needed within your customer’s budget—which is where monthly payments come in.
If your customer’s current objective is to conserve cash to continue business operations with minimal revenue flowing in, this likely means their capital budget is being cut or put on hold, potentially including your IT project proposal. By offering a full technology solution for an affordable monthly payment, you give your customer the ability to grow operational efficiency to better prepare for the future ahead.
Once a client is accustomed to digesting technology on a monthly basis, future refreshes are predictable and seamless.
What Can the Monthly Payment Include?
Our goal is to keep it simple for integrators so you can keep it simple for your customers. We can finance your standard, full IT experience, including hardware, software, and professional services. For any recurring monthly managed services, we can bill and collect as well!
Best Practices to Move Projects Forward
With many projects on hold due to financial constraints and social distancing guidelines, there are still actions you can take to empower customers to move forward.
Proactively bring up monthly payment options. I often hear customers say they hadn’t considered financing because it was never mentioned in conversation.
Another suggestion is to lead with the monthly payment option. Rather than offer it as a secondary route, save them the challenge of making a cash option work. Monthly payments won’t require them to rearrange their business budget or make sacrifices not needed. For example, say: “Once you get accustomed to the monthly model, you’re going to have that predictability for years to come and won’t have to overcome the capital budget obstacle. Plus, your technology will stay up to date and supportable.”
Let’s Take Charge of Your Customer’s Next IT Project
Be the technology solution provider that says to your customer: “We recognize the financial constraints you may be experiencing. We want to make sure you’re aware of the variety of financial solutions we offer to enable you to maximize your cash flow, protect your business, and allow you to allocate your financial resources where they are needed most.”
Jim Hocking started his career with GreatAmerica in 2011 and is currently the director of strategic accounts for the Connected Technology Group. Prior to being in this role, Jim served GreatAmerica in sales and sales mentorship roles in the Office Equipment Group and was the director of sales for our Collabrance division.
This article originally appeared in the Q4 2020 edition of Integrate, NSCA’s trade journal.