With over 35 years in the insulation business, USA Insulation in central Ohio has seen plenty of providers and vendors come and go. We talked to their owner, Steve Cikach, to learn why he originally chose the Wells Fargo Home Projects® program as USA Insulation’s customer financing provider, and why he’s stayed loyal to Wells Fargo for almost 30 years.
What’s most important to you and your business when you think about customer financing?
For Steve and USA Insulation, consistency is the key. “Other finance companies go up and down, or they take too long,” he explained. “They may talk a big game, but the next thing you know, the approval rates go down depending on how much business they need or don’t need — which is a big factor for us. Consistency is critical in our line of work. We have to understand what we can count on, and Wells Fargo is very consistent in everything they do.”
Do you and your team find the Wells Fargo Home Projects® program easy to use?
On this point, Steve was very clear: “This is the easiest form of financing you will ever find. You would need a full-time financial advisor dealing with some of these other financial outfits. With Wells Fargo, they do it all. You don’t need to hire someone. It’s super simple for everyone from the sales team to a secretary to do everything. It all works, and they make it so simple.”
You mentioned other financial services companies. What has your experience been with other customer financing providers?
Although USA Insulation has worked with Wells Fargo for almost 30 years, they have been approached by other providers during that time. “Other companies have come in with an offer for financing that might reach a different audience,” Steve explained. “But typically, what will happen is, they’re greedy and they want all my business, and I would never drop Wells Fargo. A lot of people talk a good game, but when it comes to production, when it comes to all the red tape you have to go through on each deal, it’s not worth my time.”
The bottom line for Steve? “I’m still here, and it’s been a good relationship. Wells Fargo is the only finance company I’ve really had great success with.”
How do your customers respond to the Wells Fargo Home Projects® program?
Here again, the support of a proven partner has been critical to USA Insulation’s success. “Name recognition means a lot, particularly in our business,” Steve said. That extends to the companies that USA Insulation chooses to partner with — their customers want to work with a name they know and trust. “We’ve been with Wells Fargo forever,” Steve continued. “It’s not some unknown company where our customers think, whoa, I’ve never heard of that!”
How have you used the Wells Fargo Home Projects® program to help build your business?
Not many business owners can say that they get recognized in public thanks to the financing they offer, but Steve gets it all the time. “In my business, I’m known as the $99 a month guy,” he explained. “On TV, on the radio, we say that we’ll insulate your house for $99 a month interest-free. I made a name on that. People will walk by me in the grocery store and say, ‘There’s the USA Insulation guy, $99 a month!’ They love it. It’s the thing that put me on the map, the thing that started it all.”
Going a little further, we asked Steve how this promotion helps his bottom line. “Of course, it costs me money to get the interest-free,” he explained, “but the volume of business has totally outweighed that cost. It doesn’t cost me a lot, and we’re able to absorb that with the increased volume.”
What would you say to another business owner who’s looking for a customer financing provider?
“It’s critical to have someone you can count on like Wells Fargo,” Steve emphasized. “Big name, good reputation, and easy for the clients and the contractors.”
Steve also let us know how working with Wells Fargo has made his life easier as a business owner: “Everybody’s happy. That’s always a good thing for an owner. If I’m hearing no complaints and hearing all good, I’m happy. All I want to hear is more business, and ease of the whole operation. And when people aren’t coming to me with a complaint or an argument, I’m a happy guy.”
Talk to the Wells Fargo Home Projects® team today to put the strength of Wells Fargo in your corner.
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