Should you offer payment plans to your customers?

When speaking with our customers, a large number of companies are telling us they’re finding it harder to close sales as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty that remains.

This is a challenge that businesses across the country are having to contend with and find ways around. While some are in the fortunate position to be sympathetic with the pressures on customers and offer discounts or flexible payment terms, others need to secure payment quickly to support their own business’s cash flow.

One solution that is becoming increasingly popular at present is payment by instalment plans. When it’s clear that a customer can't or doesn't want to pay in full upfront – whether they’re unable or unwilling to – sometimes it can be really helpful to break the sum owed into more manageable chunks over an agreed period.

So what are the key considerations around payment plans? Who do they benefit, and should your business offer them?

Why offer payment plans?

Payment plans can be a great negotiating tool when faced with a customer who is trying to justify the investment in your product or service.

While they may not be able to afford pay in full, paying a smaller amount over several months can be far more manageable and ensure that cash continues to be available in their business.

Offering a payment plan can also help to cement your relationship with your customer. If they’re struggling themselves, they’ll understand the pressure on your business too. But by being sympathetic to their situation and working with them to agree an instalment plan, they will no doubt appreciate this stance and serve to strengthen the relationship going forward, which could lead to repeat business and added customer loyalty.

Should you decide to go ahead with payment plans, Halo Corporate Finance can deal with the entire process on your behalf. You simply pass over the contact details of your customer and we will find a suitable finance deal for them.

The best part about this is that you will get paid in full upon issuing your invoice, with no further risk to your income. The finance provider lends the money to the customer and collects all the repayments.

Should your business offer payment plans?

Given the economic conditions at the moment, one potential approach would be to offer instalment plans customers who genuinely need more time to pay. You can continue to take payment in full from those that can afford it, this just offers another option to help you close those more difficult sales.

Given the effect of the pandemic is likely to last many more months, it’s highly likely that payment plans will become increasingly common in the coming months as businesses struggle to manage their cash flow. The key thing is to ensure you do what’s best for your company and your customers. 

Halo Corporate Finance is here to support you throughout this challenging time. To discuss this or any other business finance options, call 0345 450 1966 or email sales@hcfl.co.uk

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