Guest Post by Tim Thiel, Account Executive–North Region

If all outcomes are the same then easiest is best.

But if the outcomes are different, what is the price you are willing to pay for easy?

Fifteen years ago, a typical home improvement salesman left a house with not just a credit application but a declaration page for a homeowners insurance policy, credit card and auto financing statements, and any other relevant financial document we could get our hands on. We left with what one of my colleagues refers to as the “filing cabinet”. Approximately 90% of the loans were secured by a deed and the paperwork killed a tree (if not a small forest). We sold one thing and one thing only–a monthly payment. When we talked pricing we talked the cost of the product, not discounts or chops!

Today the landscape has changed, in most cases for the better but in some ways puzzling.  We have automated underwriting with lightning quick decisions, loan doc delivery, and electronic documents with digital signatures, all saving time (and trees) and leading towards a paperless process. But there are always trade-offs; even “easy” has a price.

Here’s a simple analogy using an experience familiar to many.

When you need a gallon of milk, stopping at the local convenience store can make sense.  You understand that you will pay a buck or two more but you can justify it for that single item and the small amount of time invested.  But would you do your everyday grocery shopping at that convenience store?  No!  You buy the majority of your groceries at the supermarket because of the significant cost savings and the superior quality. I think we can all agree that, when it comes to groceries, the convenience store should be the exception not the norm.

Apply this to your business.

Now apply the grocery analogy to financing and ask yourself this…where am I buying my groceries?  Am I buying them from the convenience store, paying a steep price on everything I purchase?  I don’t know about you, but with 4 children (including a 14 year old eating machine) my family chooses the supermarket because we need to get the greatest “bang for the buck”.  Why wouldn’t you do the same?

Finally, ask yourself this…if your office manager had an idea of how to make their life easier and save themselves a few minutes per day while costing you 5% of your revenues, what would your reaction be?

How much is easy costing you?