Marlin Staff Writer

Your customers expect more from you than ever before. As small businesses continue to grow after weathering the hardships of recent years, they need key pieces of machinery and technology to aid in their development. They don’t just want you to sell them exceptional equipment. They want you to help them afford that equipment without dipping deep into their savings.

Many small businesses don’t have the cash on hand to make major investments. This means customers who need your products might not be able to pay for them in full right away. So, you might be tempted to offer sales and discounts throughout the year. However, you need to make a profit, too, which means you can only lower your retail prices by a certain amount.

If you’re searching for a solution that will meet everyone’s needs, then offer equipment financing through a third-party lender. Offering equipment financing through a trusted partner like Marlin ensures your customers get the machinery, technology, and tools they need — and that you get paid upfront. In other words, you can continue to close sales and move products while also helping your customers.

Never considered offering equipment financing to prospective buyers as part of the sales process? Now is a terrific time to make it part of your sales tool kit.

What Is Equipment Financing, and Why Should You Offer It?

Equipment financing is when a buyer (your customer) works with a lender (like Marlin) to purchase an item. After submitting an application to the lender and receiving approval, the buyer signs paperwork agreeing to pay the lender back with interest over a period of time. As the equipment seller, you receive the total purchase price after all paperwork is signed. If this sounds similar to what you’ve experienced when buying a car or a house, you’re on target. Equipment financing is a specialized loan, just like an auto loan or a home mortgage.

Why would you want to work with a lending partner like Marlin to present equipment financing to your buyers? For one, many of your would-be customers might not realize that they are eligible for equipment financing. Having a lending partner and starting that conversation can open their eyes to the benefits of financing equipment in installments rather than all at once.

Another reason to have a financial lending partner is to make sure your customers aren’t forced to find lenders alone. Equipment buyers might be intimidated or confused when searching for equipment lenders on their own. As a result, you could lose sales because you couldn’t serve as the conduit between prospects and lenders.

Additionally, most prospects cite costs as their strongest objection to buying high-priced equipment, machinery, and similar tools. Educating them on equipment financing lowers their resistance and positions your team as having “thought of everything.”

Wondering what an example scenario could look like? Let’s say you’re involved in the construction equipment business. Dealers reported price increases as high as 22% in 2021, and the industry still hasn’t settled down. You also might be selling products at much higher price points than in 2020 or even 2021. However, by showing buyers that they have a secure, affordable way to cover the increased costs, you can ease their concerns and make them more willing to say “yes” to your sales team.

5 Benefits of Equipment Financing

At this point, you have a better idea of how equipment financing works on a macro level. Now, let’s dig deeper into some micro-level details to understand the many advantages of equipment financing:

  1. You can retain critical salespeople.

Keeping top talent is more difficult now than it’s been in years. Yet, it can be hard to avoid turnover in your sales department if employees feel like it’s impossible to close deals. Equipment financing can serve as a vital tool for your sellers when making conversions. Best of all, your sellers don’t have to be finance experts. A full-service lending partner like Marlin can take care of all the back-office and customer support responsibilities. Salespeople only need to know the basics so they can answer quick questions and encourage prospects to fill out applications.

Never forget that empowered sales staff who close deals are more likely to stick around. They’ll feel fulfilled, supported, and eager to continue making sales. Additionally, they’ll enjoy making more in commissions (if that’s how you’ve structured their compensation).

  1. Your customers will return for more equipment.

Customers who have streamlined, frictionless equipment financing experiences often come back to the same seller when they need more products. This makes sense: If you were moved along the car-buying journey quickly and painlessly, for instance, you would be more inclined to go back to the same dealership.

By now, most companies realize that it costs much more to replace customers than to keep them. Equipment financing can ensure that you get higher customer lifetime value from top buyers. To help this process along, keep records of when customers’ equipment financing loans are about to end. Then, get in touch. Your customers might even be ready to make more purchases.

  1. Your customers can scale their operations.

The more successful your customers are, the more successful you’ll be. This is particularly true of customers who want to scale their operations. Consider a manufacturer with plans to expand to three locations. By selling the manufacturer some equipment, you’re helping the company achieve its business plans. The manufacturer will likely come to you when it gets big enough to open its next operation.

It’s not hard to see how this relationship could come full circle again and again. You never know how this type of bond can pay back down the road, either. A key player working alongside your manufacturing customer could also experience growth, prompting them to approach you as well.

  1. You can lessen the impact of rising prices.

Nothing is quite as frustrating as having to increase your prices. Even if you’d rather keep them as low as possible, you might need to raise them to keep up with inflation.

When sticker shock affects your prospects, you can explain how equipment financing stretches the cost over many months. As a result, your buyers can take their time paying off their equipment while still using it right away. So, even if you’re forced to raise the total price tag because of inflation, customers won’t feel the impact as much as they would if they had to pay in cash upfront.

How to Offer Financing to Customers With Marlin

Interested in equipment financing but not quite sure where to begin? Partnering with Marlin for equipment financing is simple and convenient. Remember:

  • You don’t have to be a financing expert. That’s Marlin’s role!
  • You don’t need to handle any paperwork. We’ll take care of everything from applications and onboarding to payment processing.
  • You don’t need to submit any money to us. You receive money when your customers’ applications are approved and signed.

So, how can you get started? Follow these four steps:

Step #1: Talk to someone at Marlin.

You can expect your initial conversation with a Marlin representative to take about 20 minutes. During this meeting, we’ll introduce you to our tools, technology, and offerings.

One of the strongest differentiators between Marlin and other equipment financing lenders is that we want to learn about your business. The more we understand about your processes, the products you sell, the experiences of your sellers, and your range of prices, the more we can help.

Step #2: Become a Marlin finance business partner.

Once you’re ready to start providing Marlin’s equipment financing to customers, you will get access to our proprietary system. From there, you can see all the transactions coming into your account.

Because you’ll get your funds about a day after approval, you can work with your customers on the best ways to get them the equipment they need.

Step #3: Talk about Marlin’s equipment financing with customers.

Once prospects enter the sales pipeline, your sales team can talk about equipment financing as needed. Not all customers will require financing, but you might be surprised at how many of them rethink how to pay for your products after hearing about Marlin’s quick, no-fuss application and approval process.

You’ll want to remind all your customers that they won’t just get flexible financing — they’ll get the guidance they deserve. We aim to be attentive and informative, so your customers will get all the support they need.

Step #4: Get money from Marlin when your customers are approved.

Forget about tracking down customers to get payments, dealing with rejected credit cards, or waiting for large checks to clear. Marlin sends money right away to partners like you. Now, you can have money in your account without having to perform any of the back-end accounting and collections functions that eat up staff time and resources.

Marlin’s Unique Equipment Financing Resources

Plenty of our newer partners wonder how we can promise so much and keep delivering. The secret isn’t a secret at all. It comes down to our equipment financing digital tools and resources:

  • Online Partner Toolkit

Our Online Partner Toolkit is a library of resources we created for our dealers. It has a lot of helpful content, including up-to-date marketing materials, an IRS Section 179 deduction calculator, and more. It’s an unparalleled asset for sellers who partner with Marlin to offer equipment financing.

  • MarlinNet

If you anticipate that a lot of customers will use Marlin for equipment financing, then you’ll find yourself using MarlinNet frequently. MarlinNet shows your entire portfolio of contracts at a glance. You can even generate reports for complete transparency.

  • fa$tTrak™

Financing applications shouldn’t be daunting. Our fa$tTrak portal makes applying for equipment financing quick and easy. Each application goes directly into Marlin’s credit department queue, where it’s handled swiftly.

  • What’s Up With My Deal?

This program was inspired by a dealer who used to call Marlin and ask, “What’s up with my deal?” It allows you to see customers’ pending application approvals in real-time, so keeping up to date on all the potential sales in your pipeline takes no time at all.

Move More Equipment and Wow Your Customers With Marlin’s Equipment Financing

At Marlin, we’re always looking for ways to help sellers (like you!) achieve their objectives. If you’re constantly hearing, “We’d like to buy, but we don’t have the capital to make a move yet,” then now is the time to offer equipment financing during the sales process. Your customers will have fewer reasons to walk away, and you’ll have more reasons to celebrate.

Ready to stop losing leads and start converting more prospects? Our Marlin representatives are ready to guide you through the application process. Set up your 20-minute conversation today by filling out our contact form or calling us at 888-479-9111.