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4 min read

Vendor Financing Programs: 5 Critical Things to Look for in a Partner

Vendor-Financing-Companies

Are you an equipment vendor?

It can be hard to find the best financing partner for your customers. 

Here's the deal:

If you sell equipment, you know that your customers rely on you to offer financing - but selecting which company to work with can be difficult. 

In helping dealers, distributors and manufacturers offer financing to their customers, we've found that most are looking for the same 5 key ingredients to make a relationship successful...

 1. Vendor Leasing Companies With Integrity

vendor-financing-programs 

Let's address your #1 biggest concern first:

Will your customers be treated honestly?

Let's face it - you've heard horror stories about equipment vendors unknowingly sending their customers to unscrupulous players.

We recently brought on a truck seller who had unwittingly sent several of his customers to one of the bad guys.  

Several of his customers had given large ($5,000+) deposits based on phony proposals and then were unable to get their deposits back after the company bait-and-switched them, giving them proposals with much higher terms than originally stated.

Not only did the vendor feel bad for leading his customers into a shark's mouth, but it reflected very poorly on him and his business for recommending someone who ripped his customers off.

Here's What To Do:

Thankfully, in the 2020's there's pretty much no place to hide.

All you have to do is look the company up on the Internet. Go to your favorite search engine and look the company up, and add a word or two at the end of the name such as "rip-off" or "complaint" and the bad guys will be as obvious as rotting cheese.

PS- While we do not have any complaints anywhere, virtually all companies get one or two people whining about them eventually, and one day we might very well have someone cry on the internet about not getting an approval or some other nonsense.

Whether you're looking up us or any other company, the important thing to check for is a pattern of complaints - most of the bad guys have dozens - we'd hate for you to think poorly on your provider (if they're a good guy) because they had one or two crazy people decide they were treated unfairly.

2. Success of Dealer & Manufacturer Financing Programs Depends on Good Communication

equipment-financing-companies-communication 

There's 2 crucial components to a successful partnership between a seller and an equipment vendor financing company:

They should be willing and able to communicate with both you and your customers.   

Here's the scenario:

Often we hear from our vendor partners that when a customer is declined, or has a high rate (which they sometimes expect you to communicate - putting you in a spot) that they get a 3 word explanation.

application-rejected

That's not very cool, right?

 

Let's talk about both components of the communication process.

First let's talk about communication with you, the equipment seller.

The truth is, some of the applicants you send to an equipment financing company will either be unable to qualify for financing or may end up with higher rates than they would like.

There's all sorts of different ways a company can communicate with you, but the way we would handle this if we were to work with you is the following:

1. If your customer gets declined, we would tell you why but in the unlikely event we could not approve someone who could have a reasonable chance of getting financing elsewhere we would suggest another resource for them.

2. If your customer is going to be offered much higher rates than they expect we would not expect you to have to have an uncomfortable conversation with your customer about rates.

3. The Customer is YOU

communication-customers 

Do you know what happens if we approve your customer but they decide to buy somewhere else? 

Yeah... 

They'll have to go find another financing company. 

The only exception is if YOU give us permission to let the customer use their approval with us elsewhere.

 

(Some sellers want to earn referral fee if they were going to lose the customer anyway...)

Wait... what? 

I almost forgot...

If you're marketing to get customers... and send your customers to us... well we should pay you. 

Right? 

On all qualified referrals - we pay up to two points on the funded amount - so if your customer needs $50,000 for equipment, when the deal goes through, we'd pay you $1,000

(Like most cool things... they stop being cool in the state of California. They hate businesses. If your customer or vendor is located in California, we can't pay.) 

 

 

4. Equipment Financing Programs With Wide Credit Windows

equipment-financing-programs 

If you only sell new equipment and all your customers have 700+ credit scores, quite honestly Smarter Finance USA may not be the best choice for you.

Larger companies such as GE Capital have the "A" credit space pretty well covered and you can just send them an application and have everything taken care of - fast.

However, if any significant portion of your customers are:

  • Buying older equipment
  • New in business
  • Don't have perfect credit
  • Need someone who can get creative to make a deal work

That's when you'd want to look at a company like ours, who can be very competitive in the "A" credit space, but also work with startups, challenged credit situations and cover an "A-D" credit window.

Most of our vendor partners see a wide variety of situations and don't want to play musical chairs every time they have a customer who needs financing.

Note: There are situations we can't help in, for example, we'll often talk to people trying to start a business with no money and poor credit - and the truth is no finance company can help everybody.

However, in virtually any situation where a sane person would lend someone money, we can find a reasonable solution.

5. Making it Easy on You and Your Customers

easy-financing 

One of the things we find working with equipment buyers is that different buyers prefer to apply in different ways.

In the course of an average week, we'll be asked each of the following questions from buyers:

  • Can I apply online?
  • Can you take my application over the phone?
  • Can I fill out the application and fax it to you?
  • Can I email the application to you?

 The answer to every one of these questions (for us) is yes.

 

If you feel we may be a good fit to finance your customers, please give us a call at (866) 631-9996 or click on the picture below.

equipment-vendor-financing

 

 

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