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December 1, 2009updated 12 Apr 2017 4:29pm

Really understand your customer’

If there is anything positive to come out of the pain and subsequent shake-out which the industry has been through, it is that it has highlighted the fact the quality of the vendor and broker will always determine the quality of the resulting portfolio.

By Jason T

So said Rod Barthet, who certainly has enough experience to offer advice to lessors. After spending 12 years working for Schroder Leasing, Barthet became sales director at Siemens Financial Services in the UK, a position he held for eight years until he left to join the UK’s largest ICT dealer, Annodata, in 2008.

Now that he has worked on the other side of the fence, as a vendor, Barthet believes lessors need to change their models if they want to stay ahead of the competition and capitalise on the opportunities that exist as the market and products develop.

“Lessors should be concerned if they are not genuinely engaging with key vendors and brokers. Lessors need to focus on the quality of their services and how these translate into products which add value to the vendor and broker,” Barthet said.

“Opportunity to take substantial market share exists where lessors work to understand the sales process that occurs and, importantly, what and how financial products and services are being sold, and then tailor their products accordingly,” he added.

Be selective

The key, according to Barthet, is for lessors to become more selective about which vendors they do business with.

“Most lessors already consider they are being selective, but the reality is unless the lessor develops a relationship with its introducer, its products will always be open to abuse,” he said.

Barthet believes that there is an increasing conflict between vendor and lessor, as lessors tend to see the asset and the service as entirely separate items, while the vendor's product is sold primarily as a service solution.

This leads to an “immediate conflict between what is being sold and the products that the leasing companies are providing. This dilemma can be successfully bridged, but only where there is a genuine understanding between the vendor and lessor and if products are tailored accordingly”.

“Much of the pain felt by the lessor community was driven by an insufficient focus on why brokers were writing a lot of business with vendors that would typically be rejected for a direct funding line,” Barthet added.


In terms of standing out of the crowd, lessors should be more intelligent about using automated services, Barthet said.

Most mainstream lessors pursue a strategy of increased automation which results in commoditised products, he said. Lessors should not count on getting a competitive advantage through three-hour decision processes because “everyone does it”.

“Work hard to really understand your vendor and customer.,“ Barthet added. “If you can do that, there is a real opportunity for increasing market share while developing successful, long term relationships.”

Jason T Hesse

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