Differentiating with financing

Differentiating with financing

How small to mid-sized manufacturers and resellers can stand out.

January 4, 2022

Small and mid-sized medical equipment manufacturers and resellers face plenty of challenges, not the least of which is how to differentiate from competitors. If you are a manufacturer or reseller looking for a key area where you can create an important distinction, add real value, and drive sales, look at customer financing.

A customer of a small or mid-sized enterprise could simply go to a large bank and work with its existing program and offerings. But manufacturers and resellers that want to stand out to their customers should consider the following four ways to differentiate themselves with customized customer financing programs.

  1. Serve as business advisors: You can always simply offer customers a standard financing program. Or you can seek higher-level advisory services designed to help you and your customers on a one-to-one level. Work with a financing company that is experienced in the medical equipment sector and looks to learn business models, financial positions and goals – yours and your customers’. This will result in the development of customer financing programs that go a step beyond the norm.
    A trusted financing company whose representatives prioritize getting to know your business as well as your customers’ business can provide sound input and help that go past base customer financing. Some savvy financing companies will even help with sales training, educating on how to incorporate financing into the sale. They may even accompany reps to trade shows or customer meetings to truly become part of your team A good financing company will offer input on how to incorporate financing options into sales strategy for a new piece of equipment, a review of the pros and cons of a lease versus loan, or other – all with an eye on what’s best for your customers’ goals and your sales success.
  2. Provide flexibility in financing to customers: Many small and mid-sized manufacturers and resellers will only offer customers a one-size-fits-all financing program. Some large banks, for example, may have just a couple of programs and look to compete solely on rates. However, manufacturers and resellers can differentiate themselves with the ability to handle a variety of transactions: large-volume, small-volume, different structures – perhaps even setting up a subscription model. Working with a financing company that has the resources and expertise to develop customized programs can be a game-changer
  3. Speed financing: A financing company that has significant resources as well as an entrepreneurial mindset can lead with agility and speed in setting up programs, credit decisioning, document processing and fast payment (think 24-48 hours, versus end of the month). If your customers are able to acquire their equipment easily, and if you are getting paid quickly, you should be able to focus your energy on strategy, sales and moving inventory.
  4. Offer white-label financing programs: Also known as private-label financing, white-label financing takes place when a third party offers funding to your customers under your company name. The financing company handles the entire financing process from start to finish, working as an extension of your company. The financing company will brand itself with your company name and logo, or develop a coordinating identity. A sophisticated financing company will train personnel in your business. Those individuals will identify themselves to customers as an extension of your company, and treat your customers as the valuable assets they are.

Your customers benefit from a seamless, simple process. You simplify operations by dealing with just one contractor, you add value to your brand, and you build credibility among your customers.

Small and mid-sized medical equipment manufacturers and resellers can distinguish themselves in the market, and to their customers, with smart and creative approaches to financing. Flexible, customized programs streamline your operations and ease the path for your customers to acquire your products.

James Teal is president and COO, Vendor Services, Mitsubishi HC Capital America, a provider of customized financing solutions that meet a variety of needs for the manufacturing industry.