As a home remodeler, you get all sorts of pitches from financing companies willing to offer loans to your customers. And it’s about time. For the past few years, it’s been difficult for remodelers to offer good financing choices to their prospects.
And while offering financing to homeowners can certainly help you close more sales, I recommend resisting the temptation to offer credit to your prospects before your sales rep is in the home and have met the homeowner. Specifically, some remodelers are trying to capture qualifying information from their prospects on their Web sites via online forms, even before speaking with homeowners.
Theoretically, what they’re doing makes sense. Why not capture as much information from the homeowner as you can while you’ve got their attention?
The reality is that qualifying someone for financing online is a tricky process, and that it’s much better left to your salesperson:
1) Sharing personal financial information online is a scary proposition for many homeowners;
2) Bringing thoughts of financing into homeowners minds too soon before they’ve decided to purchase can stimulate second thoughts about the purchase itself;
3) Knowing too much about a prospect’s financial situation can negatively affect how a sales rep approaches an appointment. If a homeowner’s credit score is marginal, the rep may not sell as hard or even find an excuse to not show up at all;
4) Forms that look long and complicated can frighten homeowners from completing the form. That will raise your abandon rate and lower your conversion rate; and
5) When filling out a form, homeowners haven’t agreed to buy anything from you – they’ve just indicated their interest. Asking for financing information before you begin a relationship sends a poor brand signal.
Your sales reps really understand your financing alternatives, and they are best suited to present those choices and take credit applications. But they need to do this in person. In fact, many financing companies these days provide credit approvals over the phone in under five minutes, so your sales rep can still wrap up the entire deal during the appointment.
So don’t go to the time and expense of collecting this info from your Web site. That’s putting the . . .
. . . cart before the horse.