In times of economic decline and in the rush to secure stronger bottom lines, your customers are likely to cut spending on new equipment and technology. For dealers and manufacturers across the spectrum of asset classes, creativity is a must to stimulate maximum demand. Here are three ideas to consider as you seek alternatives to drive sales when sailing against the winds of economic uncertainty:

1. Incentives

Bundled sales promotions that include services, installation, maintenance with financing were 2.3x more effective following the financial crisis than asset-discounts alone.

Buying incentives are most commonly associated with deep margin discounts. While some discounting may be in order, there are a few proven and creative ways to offer incentives without cutting profits too far. If you’ve never offered it before, bundling higher-margin services, installation, and delivery with the asset sale for a single low monthly payment might offer many a more natural path to purchase.  You can also work with your customer finance program provider to provide 60 or 90-day deferred payments.

2. Pent-up Demand

If you believe as most do, demand for equipment will resume as the economy resumes more regular activity. If your customers wait to act on equipment or technology needs until everyone gets back to work, the associated rush of demand on the supply chain may leave them without the tools they need to resume work as planned. Reminding your customers of this potential and likely issue for many asset classes might drive opportunities sooner.

Companies acquiring new technologies in 2011 had lead times that averaged 6.2 weeks longer than companies acquiring new technologies in 2009.

3. Marketing

Many dealers scale back on marketing communications during times of economic decline. The need for marketing doesn’t change in a downturn, but the messaging does change. By keeping or enhancing marketing activity compared to pre-recession levels and evolving the message to be less promotional and more about helping them recover, you’ll be better positioned for sales activity even in times of cash conservation.

Through the financial crisis, equipment sellers that maintained or increased their marketing budget saw an average of 35% less margin erosion than sellers that cut marketing budgets.

When looking for creative ideas to restore sales, you can trust LEAF. As a leading provider of customer financing, we have a long track record of helping equipment sellers stimulate sales in all economic conditions.