How to Incorporate LED Lighting Retrofit Financing into Your Sales Process

David Ingram | Jun 4, '21

How to Incorporate LED Lighting Retrofit Financing into Your Sales Process

An LED retrofit may seem like a no-brainer to you – it’s easy to calculate how quickly your customers will pay back the expense in cost savings. But large capital expenditures are often wrapped in red tape no matter the energy savings or ROI, especially for larger organizations.

LED lighting retrofit financing offers you a way to get your foot in the door with cash-strapped (or spending-shy) organizations so you can save them money in the long run.

So, let’s talk about how you can work financing into your sales process.

Roadblocks to Sales

In any sales process, it’s important to understand the hurdles in getting to “yes.” And right now, there are some significant hurdles: The pandemic impacted the financial picture for many customers by limiting operations, liquidity, and capital resources.

Business owners in the commercial and industrial industries may feel that such a big expense is a risk they’d rather not take, with the recovery still in its early stages.

Some customers may simply lack access to enough capital to fund the project cost initially, or they may decide staying liquid should be the priority for now.

The retrofitter may be facing some of these same concerns. Offering financing could be an extra complication to an already complex sales process. This will be especially true if you don’t already have a financing partner to handle that side of the deal.

Getting past these roadblocks calls for smart positioning during the sales process, like including LED lighting retrofit financing in every proposal.

If you could use help building your case for ROI during the sales process, don’t miss our blog, The Truth About Lighting Retrofit ROI: Part 2 - Meaningful Metrics

Why Incorporate LED Lighting Retrofit Financing?

While there may have been a time when customers were flush with cash or had a budget allocation for an LED retrofit project, funds are likely being allocated for other things these days.

This means now is the time for your sales team to become comfortable talking lighting retrofit financing options with customers.

Here’s the good news: The ability to provide your customer with cash flow they didn't have before is a serious game changer. We strongly recommend showing the customer their potential for additional cash flow from day one. Here’s how:

  • Deliver a cash flow analysis in every proposal. The financing for just about any LED lighting upgrade can be structured as cash flow positive. That option should always be presented to the customer.
  • Include financing options in every proposal. Even if the customer has signaled they will handle financing themselves, providing multiple financing options—including one that is cash flow positive—allows them to consider more options, potentially getting them over any capital spending hurdles.
  • Do the math for the customer. If the monthly payment is less than their projected monthly savings, show the customer the money they will be making from day one. Giving the customer hard (and in the case of large commercial spaces – eye-popping) numbers with a cash flow analysis makes a compelling case for doing the retrofit project now.
  • Offer the rebate in cash. The rebate does not have to be ploughed into the project. It can go directly back to the customer as an immediate cash flow benefit. Any customer concerned about cash flow will take a second look.

With such good options to present, any sales team should be comfortable talking financing, especially to a risk-averse prospect.

Related Content: Watch Our Clean Technology Financing Webinar

Strategies for Incorporating Financing into Your Sales Process

Now that we’ve established the value of financing in making a project possible, let’s look at who could provide the actual LED lighting retrofit financing.

You can leave it to the customer

While this requires the least amount of work on your part (because you wouldn’t actually be incorporating financing into your sales process), you could be shooting yourself in the foot, competitively.

When you leave the entire burden for securing project funding on the customer, they may not realize cash flow positive financing is an option. If another company comes in with that cash flow analysis work done for the customer, they are more likely to get the job.

You can offer in-house financing

If your company is financially able, you can offer to provide the financing yourself. While this may get that deal closed, it can also limit your own available cash flow.

Self-financing is a complicated and risky option that puts you in the business of collecting on that debt, which may not be a be a core competency for your company.

You can work with a financing partner

You’re a lighting retrofit specialist, so you can appreciate the value of working with experts. Partnering with professionals can make it easy for you to offer financing without the headaches and paperwork of having to manage it yourself.

The SnapCount team has a strong relationship with DLL, the largest vendor finance partner in the clean technology sector. Many SnapCount customers have found how easy it is to deliver a compelling proposal that integrates cash flow positive financing from DLL right up front.

Even if you’re already using financing, you can leverage DLL’s expertise to sharpen your skills and arm your sales team with the tools to close sales. Their process is paperless, fast, and convenient, so it won’t slow your sales process down.

LED Lighting Retrofit Financing Puts Projects on the Fast Track

Today’s capital-strapped and risk averse customers will appreciate you bringing a complete, ready-to-roll project proposal to the table that includes LED lighting retrofit financing. As the economy recovers and the retrofit market heats up again, you’ll want to be ready to deploy this competitive advantage to close more deals.

Make your proposal process faster and more efficient with SnapCount. You can conduct audits, create proposals, and implement projects up to 70% faster! Check out our Savings Calculator to see how much you can save.

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David Ingram

Written by David Ingram

Dave has an over 32 year career in the equipment financing industry, the last 20 with DLL in a number of commercial business development and relationship management roles. Since 2009, Dave has been the Commercial Leader of our Clean Tech business unit and has helped position DLL as one of the industry leaders in vendor project financing in the energy efficiency space. Dave and his team work with energy services companies, manufacturers, contractors and developers of renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions and helps customize a financial solution that enables the end-user customer to initiate a project with no out of pocket costs and enjoy the numerous financial and environmental impacts. He is also one of DLL’s Master Facilitators for the Commercial Academy and has facilitated sessions for DLL commercial members in various DLL offices internationally.

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