Highlander Computing Solutions, has been “making IT uncomplicated” for businesses since 1995. The Sheffield-based company initially focused on providing computer support and repairs for local university students, but today they are an end-to-end provider working with businesses all over the UK. Through cloud services, hardware, software, helpdesk support, and project work, Highlander’s growing team can service companies with anywhere from 5 to 6,000 users.
Highlander is one of our partner companies and is one of an increasing number of businesses proactively offering their customers the opportunity to pay via finance, not just when the customer requests it.
We caught up with their sales director, Owen Hanley, to find out why and how they offer finance to their customers.
1. Keep it simple
“Highlander has a desire to uncomplicate through connecting with people, fixing problems and improving outcomes is rooted in our passion for family – not just for our brilliant team and their loved ones, but the entire community of customers we serve and local organisations that we’re proud to partner with. That’s why we like to keep finance as simple as possible whether talking about the potential benefits of finance with minimal jargon, or using clear, indicative quotes to illustrate how our customers could spread the cost of their IT investments.“
2. Include finance on every quote
“Every quote we produce for our customers includes an indicative example how financing with Bluestone could help them to spread the cost, as well as any other financial benefits or tax savings they might unlock.”
3. Make your finance provider part of your team
“It is important that our sales staff are knowledgeable about finance so they can explain the potential benefits to customers. That comes from training and from having access to support and guidance from a finance provider. Our Bluestone account manager, Ben Howe, will sometimes base himself at our offices so he can work alongside us and train the sales team on the benefits of offering finance to all customers, including those that are cash-rich.“
4. Get your finance provider involved in deals ASAP
“Our Bluestone account manager, Ben Howe, is like an additional salesperson in the business. If a customer is interested in finance, we simply wheel Ben in and he does all the heavy lifting from there. We know that our customers are in safe hands with Bluestone, that they will help the customer to make the best financial decision for them, and we will get paid in full upfront. It’s also good to know that if our customers need to fund more than IT, such as a complete office fitout, Bluestone will be able to organise the finance for that too.“
5. Get your finance provider involved in your plans for the future
“Bluestone can arrange finance for just about any asset or growth project, so it’s worth keeping them in the loop when it comes to your own plans. For example, at Highlander we are planning to scale the business in the coming years, including the implementation of a new sales structure, so that we can reach a wider market with our service. Bluestone will certainly be a big part of making that happen.”
Why your business should offer finance
Do your customers have problems paying for their assets or projects? Do you find that customer deals fall through for due to their cashflow or budgetary constraints? Whatever your business, partnering with Bluestone Leasing will give your customers an alternative to paying upfront in full, spreading the cost of their assets over time, keeping cash in their business, and potentially unlocking tax savings.
While this is great news for your customers, it also has some perks for your business too. Offering finance enables you to overcome customer cost objections (£300 per month sounds much more appealing than £10,000 upfront) and in some cases can increase order values as much as 30%. You can also boost your cash flow as payments are typically made within 48-72 hours of the agreement being made live. Plus, finance removes the risk of not being paid by the customer as you are paid by the lender upfront.
For more on the benefits and process of offering finance to your customers (in any sector), take a look at our article When a Tech Provider Meets Finance: A Love Story.