Sales Make it Happen
The Use of Lease Proposals
By Terry Winders, CLP
The difference between a professional salesperson, and an order taker, has to do with how you discover the customer's true interest and what they will accept in a lease transaction. The proposal is an excellent tool to do this if you take the time to construct it wisely and include all of the differences that set you apart from your competition plus a complete explanation of the type of transaction you are proposing.
A lease proposal when presented correctly can properly present your terms and conditions to the potential lessee, however, it requires a complete presentation of all your terms and conditions. Space here does not lend itself to present a proper proposal so the discussion will address its purpose.
Some poorly presented proposals only discuss the rental terms and the three end of the lease options. While this may be acceptable in small ticket leases it will lose you most middle market transactions where the average customer is searching for the best "deal" and only understands a little about what a lease can do for them.
A professional lease salesperson extracts as much information as possible from discussions with the customer but also knows the importance of discovering your differences, or advantages, from your competition. These differences cover a large area such as grace periods, stipulated loss requirements, late charge assessments, property tax procedures, differences in documentation, return conditions or location, and ease of doing business.
Differences are advantages if presented correctly and differences abound if you look for them.
One of the most important steps, is the last one, often over looked, and in the parlance, can be a "conditional close," if done properly:
Review the proposal with your customer to view their reaction to each of your terms or conditions.
Most professional salespeople will tell you that they only discover the customer's true interest as they review the terms of the proposal. They usually have to modify the proposal to reflect the new facts, from the presentation, and return at a later date with the corrected presentation.
One of the secrets of presenting a proposal is to only give the customer a proposal termination date that is shorter than they want. If your proposal is the best they have then they will argue with you about the date.
If the "conditional close" did not work, it may mean you are not competitive. They will disregard the date and this should ring an alarm bell in you mind. Don't be fooled that the sale is "closed."
Proposals are only a tool. They do not sell your lease--- you do.
It is common for customers to pick up suggestions from other presentations and change their minds. If you just send them your proposal thinking that it is only the rate or payment that is the determining factor, you are missing the boat.
Each day the customer is exposed to new ideals and is prone to have a new thought as to what they want. You have to stay on top of these changes if you are to succeed. Many top salesmen believe the sale is closed after the equipment is delivered and accepted, and their commission clears the bank---not when the commitment letter is signed.
Terry Winders, CLP
Lease training and Consulting