How this business frames consumer financing as a value-add — not a last resort

Wisetack Team
March 29, 2022
min read

At Wisetack, we love sharing the success stories of our customers to make it even easier for more businesses to offer transparent, friendly payment options.

We spoke with Branden Sewell, owner of Florida-based Seal Pro Painting, to share his expertise with other business owners. With over five years of experience in the residential painting industry, Branden had a ton of great insights, and we’ve distilled them down below:

1. Streamline your operations.

As a busy business owner, Branden knows it’s important to streamline his day-to-day operations as much as possible so he can focus on growing his business. “I'm big on efficiency, systems, and keeping things really simple,” he explains.

One of the ways he accomplishes this is by ensuring his various tools and systems work together. For example, when he was looking for a consumer financing provider, he knew he wanted a system that would seamlessly integrate with his business software, which he uses to give quotes to customers. “Using Wisetack was a no-brainer especially since it integrated into a tool we were using. All I had to do was go to in-app marketplace, choose Wisetack, and get integrated.”

Not only was the setup process easy, but the integration also makes showing customers their financing options a cinch. “When we provide a customer with a quote for their project, Wisetack automatically shows up as an option and they can see the various rates and terms they qualify for. It’s really simple to use, they don’t need to go to an outside source to apply, and it’s a quick approval process. This makes it an easy sell. Customers go, ‘oh, this is an option and we’re approved — let’s do it.’”

Best of all, Branden doesn’t have to worry about any part of the financing process — Wisetack handles everything behind the scenes. “Before I used Wisetack, I was looking at different options for financing and was skeptical about what would happen if customers didn’t pay — I didn’t want to have a debt collection issue. With Wisetack, we don’t have to worry about that as we get paid upfront. There’s no reason not to offer it.”

2. Offer consumer financing on every job — you never know who will want it.

During our chat, Branden shared how consumer financing helped him win a bigger job.

“We had a family who had just purchased a new home and wanted to repaint the entire interior. As they had moved from out of state, which involved a lot of expenses, they had a set budget in mind and the husband asked if he could get a separate quote for the downstairs, which was their priority, and the upstairs, which they’d go with if it fit in their budget,” Branden shares. “I sat down and worked up a quote, and when I showed them the numbers, they said the entire job didn’t fit in their budget, so they’d hold off and just do the downstairs paint job for now.”

“That's when I brought up Wisetack,” Branden explains. “I said, ‘well, I just want to let you know that we do offer financing for customers and this would be a great option for you to be able to do both projects now. You'd just have a small upfront cost, and then you can finance the back end of your project. And this would enable you to get it all done at once and get it out of the way before you completely move into your home and get super comfortable. Let's just get it done for you now.’”

“Sure enough, the husband stepped away and talked with his wife, and within minutes they came back out and said, ‘let’s do the whole thing now,’” Branden continues. “It was literally as quick as them stepping away to have a conversation, checking their loan options, seeing that they were approved, and then coming back and saying let's do it. It was really quick and easy and enabled us to get work that we wouldn't have otherwise.” 

While Wisetack made it easy for this couple to afford the job, Branden makes a good point that financing isn’t always a last-resort option for customers. “Some people like financing because if they can get 0% or low interest on a project, instead of paying all this money now, they can pay a little upfront, use the money for something else, and pay off the balance over time.”

Because of this, Branden proactively offers financing to every customer — not just to those hesitant about committing to a job after getting a quote. “We give every single customer that wants an estimate a folder that has info about Wisetack in it. After all, who am I to determine how my customer wants to handle their financial situation and make decisions? It’s not the best fit for all customers, but it helps us tap into the customer base that wants to use financing. And if it aligns with how they want to do things, I’m all for offering it.”

3. Frame consumer financing as a value-add — not a last resort.

Consumer financing can have a bad rap, and sometimes business owners feel awkward about offering it because they don’t want to offend their customers by implying they can’t afford to pay upfront.

However, it doesn’t have to be an uncomfortable conversation. “In my conversations with homeowners, I don’t approach financing from a negative ‘oh, you can’t afford this — here’s another option’ angle,” Branden shares. “Instead, I'll mention that we have multiple payment options — we accept cash, card, or check, and we also offer consumer financing.”

As Branden explains, your attitude toward financing as a business owner will directly shape how your customers perceive and react to it. “If I come in with a negative mindset, that’s what I’ll give off. But if I think of financing as a positive — another option for my customers — it’s bringing value. By offering financing, my customers simply have another way to use our service.”

4. Sometimes you need to spend money to make money.

It’s understandable for business owners to be wary about wasting money — after all, they work hard for every dollar. However, sometimes spending money is the best way to grow your business. “People have to get over that fear of spending money to make money,” Branden says. “There are costs to doing business. You can’t stop hiring or marketing just to save money. You have to double down and continue to bring in clients if you want to grow your profits.”

With this in mind, Branden has no problem paying the transaction fee when customers decide to finance their purchase — especially since offering financing often helps him upsell or win new jobs. In fact, in the case of the family who wanted separate quotes for their upstairs and downstairs, it helped more than double his revenue on the job. “There may be that small percentage that’s a fee, but if I let a small fee hold me back, I would’ve missed out on doubling my revenue. Offering consumer financing helps me secure business I wouldn’t get otherwise, so I’m not losing money by using it — it’s nothing but a value-add.”

The math checks out. “If my average job size is $4,500 and offering financing helps me upsell a job so the final bill is $6,500, I pay a couple hundred bucks to increase my revenue by $2,000. So I could either settle for a $4,500 job and lose out on an opportunity to offer customers additional services they want but can’t afford at the moment, or, for 3.9%, I can offer financing, win the job, and enable customers to afford the work they want done — it’s a win-win.”

Branden’s message to other business owners is clear: don’t let small costs distract you from the bigger picture. “Tools like Wisetack are there to help grow your business — not hurt it. You can cling to that 3.9%, but you’d miss out on the opportunity to add more work and bring in more revenue and profit.”

5. Don’t let your fears hold you back from growing your business.

Branden acknowledges there can be some uncertainty when trying something new in his business. “We have a lot of fears as business owners. But if we let these fears hold us back, we miss out on opportunities. I know if I want to grow my business, I have to step out and take risks. The reward is there — it’s just about stepping out, overcoming my fear, and taking action.”

And of course, he’s not blindly making decisions — it’s all about taking calculated risks. “I’ve been in business five years and know my numbers. I know what we’re able to do and what we’re able to produce, and this helps me make educated decisions and turn risks into reward.”

Branden applies this mantra to many facets of his business. For example, during Professional Development Day, he advised a fellow business owner to not be shy about offering customers additional work they weren’t expecting — which is a great way to increase your average job size. “Don’t just assume a customer only wants what they originally came to you for — offer all of your services. If it doesn’t fit, that’s fine, but who are we to decide what the customer wants?”

And of course, it’s also how he thinks about consumer financing. “Offering financing may sound scary and expensive, but from my own experience, it’s been nothing but a value-add. I was scared to move forward with it, but now that I’ve done it, I can’t remember what I was so afraid of and wish I had implemented it sooner. If you’re thinking about it but still unsure, take the risk and implement it. You’re getting business you wouldn’t have otherwise, so you can’t lose offering it. It’s a value-add for us, it’s a value-add for our customers, and it’s a no-brainer to offer.”

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