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DECEMBER 2013



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Choosing a Trusted Finance Partner
by Ed Testa, Regional VP, Connext Financial

As equipment dealers and sales people, you all understand the concept that the sale is not complete until the financing is in place. With that truism, you have aligned or partnered with a finance company or a couple of finance companies over the years to provide that service for you and with you. I am also relatively certain that those relationships have gone through some modification over the years, and I am absolutely certain they will change as you go forward. The lending world has shrunk considerably over the last few years with many household names exiting the business or going out of business. This trend will continue.

As if this isn't bad enough, many more lenders have exited the financing of equipment related to the printing or graphic arts industry citing sub-standard portfolio performance. As a result, your choice of a financing partner today is more critical than it has ever been before. How do you know if your partner will be in business next year? How do you know if your partner will continue to finance your equipment or industry next year or next month?

It is getting more and more difficult to answer those questions. With more and more banks and finance companies merging or being acquired, even the best-intentioned institutions can be forced into changes by their new owners. Those changes can include exiting the equipment finance business or changing their credit and/or equipment guidelines. So, now that I've laid out all of the bad news, here's some good news. There is a solution and it lies with aligning yourself with a finance specialist who has your best interests in mind and is honest enough to provide you with credible information. It's no different than the services that you offer your customers.

As an equipment dealer, it is your job to understand the printing industry and industry trends. It is also your job to learn your customer's needs with regard to industry direction, new automation, new software, and anything that can help his business grow and prosper. It would be virtually impossible for your customers to take the time required to research every product and application, so they go to you, the expert, with the confidence that you have done it for them and will offer the best solutions to them. Whether or not the customer acts on your recommendations, he is looking to you as the expert and is counting on your advice.

Your selection of a source to provide financing for your customers should be treated in the same fashion. You don't have enough time to keep abreast of the industry players; who is in, who is out, and who has the programs that match your equipment and customer profiles. That's why you should find a trusted source that has industry experience, a proven track record, and the integrity to provide you with the best possible programs. It's no longer very difficult to find a reputable source. Unlike the market a few years ago when finance companies were a dime a dozen, and everybody wanted to be in the printing market, there are few left and even fewer that do business in the printing market.

There are certainly some strong and reputable direct players left who can do the job. However, you may be better served with a company that specializes in your industry, has done the homework with regard to the players who are active in your market, and has aligned themselves with the best money sources available. These companies can align your business with the best possible lender for it. This will provide two important results for you. First it helps you sell more equipment, and second, it provides your customers with best financing that is available. That is a win-win for everybody.



Brodie



Cutter_Drill



Shinoda

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