Gearing up after a disruptive crisis such as we have endured will be challenging. But history tells us that better times will come – they always do – and garnering the support to get those first quick wins out of the gate is vitally important.
A trusted lender gives customers confidence
Where can you turn for the kind of support that will make these wins possible? Working with rock solid partners – such as a trusted lender – can offer you not only support, but flexibility and stability. This, in turn, gives your dealers the confidence to do business with you – even in a less-than-ideal economy.
The last thing you want is for your dealers to get frustrated by the finance partner that you have provided. The good news is, by picking the right partner, you can set your course for success.
Finding the right lending partner is a multifaceted effort
An ideal lender who can offer your dealers appealing payment options, while helping you build your brand, is out there, but you have to know what to look for. Many factors come to play in this process.
Here are some top tips for finding the right lending partner for today’s environment:
Is the lender a Member-FDIC bank? Does it have sufficient capital to fund your loans on its balance sheet? Has the bank you’re considering been around long enough to have withstood multiple economic downturns? If you answered no to one or more of these questions, consider that the lender may lack the necessary elements and safeguards to be right for you and your customers – particularly in uncertain times.
Does it cater to a variety of industries or focus primarily (or even solely) on the home improvement sector? Working with an entity that understands the ins and outs of your specific industry will help ensure success. The generalist dabbling in many sectors will pose a far greater risk.
Cool features and impressive sales pitches mean nothing if a lending program isn’t built to meet your specific needs. A great partner values your work and input, and shows it by allowing you control over who gets into the program and opening up revenue-sharing options.
Do some research with the Better Business Bureau and other review websites and inquire directly about the lender’s practices. Will they provide customer support throughout the journey or only at the time of set up? This is important to understand going in.
Some providers offer their best pricing only during seasonal promotion periods. You should also ensure that there are no hidden processing or merchant fees.
Be sure to ask for the provider’s specific complaint rate and what exactly happens when a customer lodges a complaint. Some providers are required to debit the dealer’s merchant account for the amount of the disputed transaction until the customer’s complaint has been resolved or determined invalid.
Customization is key, as it will allow you to create a private label loan program addressing your industry and/or product needs. A program such as this puts your company in the foreground, while placing the lender in the background.
Working with a lending partner should be all about you–with your brand on loans and unrivaled support for your teams. It’s a pivotal partnership that could help your business put this crisis in the rear view mirror and emerge stronger than before.