How the good ole “benefits of leasing” may be hurting more than helping. #equipmentfinance

Wanna talk through how an insight like this can impact your company?

say-what-internet-jargon

  • 100% Financing
  • Preservation of capital
  • Maximize cash flows
  • Tax Benefits
  • A hedge against technological obsolescence

“Hedge against technological obsolescence.” In the interest of full disclosure, one of my first jobs in the business was in technology leasing. I used that phrase in front of the CFO and CIO of a household name parent of well-known quick service restaurants. The CIO said, “Kid, I’ve been in technology since IBM made typewriters and I have no idea what you are talking about”. CFO begins to laugh hysterically. When I explained that leasing keeps them from difficult upgrade cycles and the associated financial implications, the CFO gently smiled and said, “Yeah…we got that one figured out.” Ahh the humility of sales. I learned pretty quick that I needed to speak the language of those I’m selling to and leave my finance geekiness at the door. I also learned that being master of the obvious is not helpful either.

In this year’s survey of equipment finance decision makers (vendor, small business and middle market) more than 70% of the combined respondents told us that touting the standard pillars of leasing will get you basically nowhere. In the middle market is was an astonishing 97%.

If a mortgage company is marketing the cash flow benefits of a 30 year over a 15 year and that rates are still low…would you rush to their office to meet with them?  Of course not. You already know that stuff and so does everyone else. If more than 80% of all businesses are employing leasing or equipment finance of some sort…then odds are they understand the basic benefits by now.

That leaves most equipment finance companies telling the market that you have great people, deliver great service, offer great solutions to meet their unique needs and have great competitive rates. One problem…that’s not great. Who doesn’t say all that stuff?

Your market wants to hear why to do all that 100% financing, tax advantaged, cash flow optimizing stuff…through your company. What makes your company unique? No, really. Have an honest moment, ask yourself the question then ask yourself who else can say the same thing. If we have done our job at this point we have backed your pride down and have you at the point of accepting that more than half of what you think is unique…really isn’t. So, now what?

It’s not WHAT you do in this business that is massively differentiating, it’s HOW you do it. Tell stories. Offer ideas. And when you are finished do it all over again. And again. Telling the story of 100% financing through a success story. Telling the story of section 179 through a brief interview with a customer’s accountant on how they made it work. Telling the story of great customer service by illustrating a deal that was falling apart in the doc stage and your heroic, experienced team was able to creatively make things happen. Give the market an opinion about what’s wrong that leans into why your view might be right. Offer an opinion on the challenges the decision maker faces and offer a potential solution.

Be a thought leader. Be a story teller. And watch the game change for you in ways you had never imagined. If you ever wanna talk…give us a holler.

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