Pay As You Save

This is a phrase I picked up today whilst driving from a radio report about the latest UK government ‘green energy makeover’ scheme. Those households less able to fund the initial new equipment outright are to be offered a ‘pay as you save’ option.

I’d never heard such a form of words before and was immediately struck by its potential impact.

Flexible payment terms are rapidly becoming the norm in our credit crunch recession. Spreading such payments, hopefully to truly align outlay with payback, are becoming an essential closing tool.

Old leasing ideas are morphing into genuine rental. Fortunately they are now without many of the famous sharp finance practices of yore. These include an extra Quarter’s payment tagged onto the end, a disguise of the true rate (like by blurring Cap and Op Ex boundaries), larger deposits or final settlement payments conjured up and initial period discounting.

Similar phrases are part of the business lexicon. In the UK, we’ve had PAYE to soften personal tax obligations (pay-as-you-earn). And for several years now many industries have been moving towards a kind of pay-per-click model, which folklore suggests Xerox pioneered, adapted for virtually any pay-as-you-use situation.

What I like about the “save” element is the obvious linkage with cutting costs. Solution sales are often about enabling buyers to make money. Yet this type of pay-as-you-make-money slant I feel many people would find tricky to happily attribute realistic results to. Whereas focusing on the savings could be simple, especially for any outsource or new process sale.

In which case, when you initially present your prices to a new prospect, rather than headline the slide or sheet something safe and “professional”, or even politically correct (like Investment Schedule), why not instead label it in this eye-catching way?

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