Sometimes we need a reminder to send a reminder.
That’s what Richard Flournoy got at a breakout session during Pantheon, where Chris Hunter reminded the crowd of the benefits of offering financing during a financial downturn.
His message: Let’s use Marketing Pro in ServiceTitan to send an email reminding all of our customers that we offer financing.
About 30 days later, that single email had generated $44,000 in revenue.
Boom. The benefits of simply offering financing—and reminding customers that you do—had a huge impact on A-Total’s balance sheet.
“(Financing is) really the silver bullet in sales,” Flournoy said in a recent interview with ServiceTitan. “If you lead with it, it relieves stress on some customers.”
A customer might not want to spend $1,000 or $1,500 or $4,000 at once, but give them 12 or 24 or even 84 months to pay for needed upgrades and repairs, and suddenly the cost doesn’t seem as daunting. Especially if the financing includes a no-interest promotion.
ServiceTitan data shows that simply offering financing can increase business by, at the median, 30%.
“If you lead with financing and (ServiceTitan) can make it really easy for you, you can close more jobs for higher value,” said Hunter, ServiceTitan’s Principal Industry Advisor and founder of the Go Time Success Group and Hunter Super Techs. “People’s credit cards are tied up. We're seeing an uptick in financing.”
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Good for the customer
Data scientist Deanna Kawasaki, ServiceTitan’s Senior Director of Product, Titan Intelligence, said that financing is even more advantageous than discounts. “It protects your bottom line and ROI,” Kawasaki said. “And it gives the customer something that they don't have access to because they can't get the credit line that they used to have."
“(Financing is) good for the customer,” Flournoy said. “It’s good for the company.”
Flournoy started A-Total Plumbing in 2001. In 20 years, it had grown into a service and replacement business with $2.5 million in revenue in the first six months of 2021. Flournoy added ServiceTitan, the cloud-based software for the trades, in July 2020, and a year later said the software put A-Total on the path to growth and sustainability.
It matters to Flournoy. He and his wife, Felecia, are heroes among us. Their 21-year-old son, Jackson, has a rare congenital condition that requires 24-hour care and ventilator assistance. Richard said ServiceTitan helps the couple have the time they need with Jackson, which this year includes a Thanksgiving trip to Disney World, one of Jackson’s favorite places.
Flournoy is a confirmed advocate of the software, saying it can’t be pried out of his hands. He also sees the benefits of offering financing to customers, because it gives them options. The fact that financing is integrated into ServiceTitan – with more features coming – makes it seamless.
Hunter’s talk – Navigating Economic Shifts and Shifting Consumer Behavior for Success – brought the benefits front and center.
“It reminded me that you really need to lead with financing because whether someone is in a $3 million house or a $300,000 house, you don't know what someone’s financial situation is,” Flournoy said. “And think about this, if you as a customer can get 0% (interest) on the money, are you not going to do that and let your money earn more somewhere else?
“Go ahead and finance the work. It just opens up more opportunities.”
More options, all around
Flournoy always offered financing, but when he added ServiceTitan he took advantage of its integration with ServiceFinance and Turns – though ServiceTitan now also has financing options with GreenSky, GoodLeap and FinanceIt.
A-Total techs present the customer a promotion with 0% financing, allowing them to spread a big-ticket cost over time. Compared to a cash price of, say, $1,000, a monthly payment would be easier on the budget. For any job $500 or more, monthly payment plans can be as long as seven years. That may seem like a long time, but considering that 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, spreading a major expense over time can make a difference.
“Contractors are slow to adopt retail practices, but when you go into a jewelry store, you get 0% everywhere,” Flournoy said. “Or you go into a furniture store, they say same as cash for 24 months. If we really want to get better at what we're doing, we have to market more like a retailer and give our customers the option.”
Real solutions are offered by combining the financing capability with the good-better-best options in ServiceTitan. A customer may need replacement work; the immediate pain is reduced when a financing option with monthly payments is compared to writing a large check.
“We always ask the question, ‘Are you looking for a permanent solution?’” Flournoy said. “And if the answer is yes, we offer them a permanent solution. The basic permanent solution goes in the good, and enhancements to the better.”
If a toilet needs to be replaced and A-Total is aware the home has two others the same age, it can offer to replace them all – and offer the customer the option to finance. There is financial peace of mind, and the peace of mind that in-home needs were taken care of the right way.
“The peace of mind is knowing you're not going to have to call a plumber out for a long time,” Flournoy said.
A better process for technicians
For technicians who present the financing options, the integration in ServiceTitan makes an immense difference.
“They're able to just click a button and then it pops up on the screen,” he said. “They hand it over to the customer, so it simplifies the process. The simpler it is (to offer financing), the more chance you have of actually using it. The integration piece is the part that makes it valuable for A-Total and for its technicians.”
Flournoy demonstrates that value by explaining what he’d miss without it.
“We would probably lose 20 to 30% of our business (without financing offers),” he said. “Every dollar counts in this economy.”
» Get a demo of ServiceTitan Integrated Financing: Activate and use multiple providers on a single job at no additional cost.