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Answering Customer Questions to Approve More Sales through Second Look Financing

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The busy season is in full swing! Are you capturing every sale possible? Did you know that each state in the U.S. recorded a warmer-than-average year in 2017, including 32 states that posted a top-10 hottest year on record? By now, successful HVAC contractors have cracked the code to higher sales in the summer without added effort simply by incorporating a second look financing option to help customers across the credit spectrum.

As reports that more than 43 percent of Americans have credit scores below 700, the hot season months make replacing or repairing broken A/C systems a costly, yet essential purchase for homeowners. On the flipside, urgent purchases like these also create a nearly unmatched competitive landscape as companies compete for the boom in business. Gaining a competitive advantage by having an experienced second look financing program to consider buyers who were initially declined is the first step, but what comes next? Contractors enjoy a sales boost by approving 30 to 50 percent of customers who were previously declined by their prime provider, yet today’s consumers often want answers about credit offerings before committing to financing their much needed A/C purchases.

Below are a few questions contractors may receive in the field, along with answers to help drive your customer to make the important decision to purchase through you with the financing solution that works for them.

Why should I apply for second look financing if I was already declined by a prime provider?

While prime credit providers use strict factors like FICO scores to qualify customers for credit, second look providers review information beyond credit scores to approve more buyers. Customers with a less-than-prime credit score of approximately 700 could be declined, yet leading second look providers are able to approve applicants with scores below 500. This creates a far broader approval spectrum and increases the odds that your customer won’t face another decline.

What type of second look credit option would most benefit me?

Because HVAC systems are costly and require ongoing servicing throughout the life of a unit, revolving lines of credit with a higher limit can be especially beneficial. Higher credit limits give customers more flexibility, such as allowing them to replace units versus continuing to make minor repairs to an outdated system. Financing provides customers the ability to purchase better systems, making their home more efficient while saving them money in the long run.

Will It hurt my credit to apply again with Fortiva Retail Credit?

No. Fortiva accesses a “soft” or “promotional” credit report with no negative impact on the customer’s credit score, meaning there is no risk when the customer applies for credit. A 2017 survey by Vyze found that 10 percent of respondents had chosen not to apply for credit out of fear of being declined, making the heightened chances of approval vital to communicate to customers who are hesitant about another application.

How difficult is it to apply?

Extremely easy. Today’s technology allows for instant decisioning with no additional paperwork to complete.    Minimal information is collected from the applicant and decisions are provided in less than 10 seconds.

Are there any promotional terms?

Approved applicants often receive a choice of deferred or non-deferred interest options with repayment terms up to 5 years, sometimes even longer for more qualified customers. There is also no pre-payment penalty for paying it off earlier.

Why is a revolving line of credit more desirable?

Regardless of the initial purchase price, revolving lines of credit are particularly valuable for the customer by establishing a source of funds for current and future purchases without having to go through the application process again. Revolving lines of credit drive customer loyalty, giving them peace of mind knowing they can fund future services exclusively with your company. Contractors can even proactively invite customers back to take advantage of seasonal specials or other services knowing credit holders have an easy way to pay for service upgrades and products.

What if I don’t feel like taking the time to fill out another application?

In many cases, contractors can work with prime and second look providers together within an integrated process that automatically triggers a second look application for a customer who is declined for prime financing, allowing for  a frictionless decision. Financial software platforms are becoming more prominent as they offer the ability to bring multiple providers together within a contractors’ points of sale system to further streamline the sale and financing process.

As a contractor, how can I be more empathetic to my customer’s concerns?

Vyze’s 2017 survey also found that respondents cited aversion to disclosing financial information to a store representative (26.9% of respondents) and a long application process (15%) as reasons they opted not to apply for retail credit. Therefore, communicating a paperless, instant and private application process can ease concerns that may prevent them from committing to the application.


The Federal Reserve recently found that 40% of Americans could not cover a $400 emergency expense without borrowing or selling something. This means that financing options should be made available to as many customers as possible while we work through another busy, historically hot summer.

To close more sales, it is important that contractors and sales reps are prepared to answer questions customers may have about credit options, including second look financing. Knowing program benefits and information related to the lending process affords contractors the ability to provide an easy, consultative in-home sales experience.  Giving customers access to higher spending limits, combined with an easy application process plus the lasting convenience of a line of credit to return for future service and upgrades, is a fantastic way to bolster customer satisfaction.

Make summer more comfortable for customers and contractors alike by offering second look financing. Closing more, larger ticket sales without additional service calls while benefitting from higher commissions and increased customer loyalty sounds like a great way to be COOL this summer.

Bob Maisel

Posted In: Money

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