Cash – in hand
People want to invest in their homes, but cash is tight. We talk to Listers MD, Roy Frost, about how the national fabricator is supporting customers with sales in a tough market.
Despite threats of a downturn, and the nagging fear that leads are going to run dry, the latest evidence points to confident homeowners investing in their properties and not being deterred by rising interest rates and stubbornly high inflation.
According to the latest Business Pilot Barometer, leads were 19.8% higher in June 2023 than they were in June 2022, suggesting that where people have the means, they are looking to spend money.
Business Pilot’s senior analyst, Neil Cooper-Smith, said: “The Business Pilot data suggests we should be less concerned with the overall market conditions, and more focused on those opportunities that cross our door. With the average conversion rate up to 42.5% – one of the highest figures we’ve ever posted – it looks like homeowners are doing more research before contacting fewer companies for quotes.”
So, how do you make the most of those opportunities, especially when cash is notoriously tight?
“I’ve always said that there are some quick wins you can do to make the most of the opportunities that come your way,” says Listers MD Roy Frost. “Improve your marketing, and offer a product range that will meet the needs of the modern home. For example, traditional aesthetics, energy efficiency, security and sustainability are key things that will engage homeowners.
“But there is another tool that is increasingly being used to seal the deal, and which could put you on the back foot if you don’t offer it: finance.”
For many window companies – especially smaller ones – offering finance has never been a consideration, according to Roy. But there is no real sense to that frame of mind.
“If homeowners come to you with a potential order, then they have already decided that they can afford it, even if they don’t have the money up front,” Roy says. “Why see that lead go to the company down the road just because you haven’t got a finance option ready to go?
“Also, by offering a finance option, you can give your customers a route into that sale where they may have hit a brick wall elsewhere.”
This, says Roy, allows companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors who don’t offer similar financing arrangements.
“Also, customers who see you as accommodating and supportive of their financial needs, may be more inclined to choose you over others,” he says.
Listers has partnered with Kanda to offer a simple, hassle-free finance service for their customers. Once enrolled, they can be offering your customers finance deals within five days, who will learn within 30 seconds if they are approved, and the full application only takes five minutes to complete.
“Via Kanda, you can offer your customers a range of products, including ‘buy now pay later’ (which will cost window companies just 4.25% of the order value),” Roy says. “You can also choose the size of the deposit, which is typically anywhere between 10% and 50% of the total order value.
Roy also believes you can also build a long-term relationship with customers through financing, and you may find that you can get repeat business off the back of it.
“These satisfied customers are also more likely to recommend you to friends and family,” Roy points out.
Most significantly of all, Roy argues, if homeowners are using finance, they may not feel so restricted in terms of budget, and increase their order value as a result.
“For them, the focus would be on the monthly payment, not the overall value, which will drive profit margins for you,” he says. “And offering finance through an established financial institution could enhance your credibility as a retail brand, even if your customers decide not to go down the finance route themselves. They may feel more secure buying from you simply by knowing that a reputable financial institution is involved.
“Plus, with finance, you get paid up front, allowing you to invest money back into the business.
“We searched long and hard to find the right finance partner. Kanda is simple to use and has an excellent reputation. Also, the more window companies that sign up to the scheme, the better the discounted rate will be.”
Visit https://tinyurl.com/yc57h32c to sign up to Kanda, or call 0800 634 3110.