Love it or hate it, many painting contractors have strong feelings about customer financing. However, we’ve also found in our poll of painting contractors that not all business owners are exactly clear on what financing is, and how it differs from other payment options. The overwhelming opinion was, "if they can't afford it, we walk.
“Setting up a payment plan is like micro-managing,” commented one painting contractor with whom APC spoke. “As a company we have enough to be concerned with. I leave those customers to other contractors. My target group doesn’t need financing.”
Well, that’s not strictly true.
Financing is when a business works with a professional finance company to offer customers a monthly payment option so that the customer can pay for a service they couldn't pay for up front in cash or on a credit card. The contractor is paid in full at the completion of the service, so there’s no need to micro-manage the payment plan as there may be with credit—this responsibility falls to your finance company.
As for working with a target group that doesn’t require financing, that’s a fair point. High-end residential is a rewarding target customer for many painting contractors. But for others, financing can be a solid way to secure more customers. It can also help you sell them the paint job they really need (prep, primer, two coats) vs. the paint job they want to pay for ("I think a single coat should be fine").
The high upfront cost of a residential repaint may seem daunting, particularly for new homeowners. A payment plan can make this massive undertaking much more manageable. For many contractors this option can prevent a certain “no” and keep the sales conversation moving forward. And if you’re concerned about wasting time with a prospect who is not eligible for financing, some financing companies offer near-instant decisions that can quickly turn a maybe into a closed deal.