Eight Skills Your Staff Needs To Grow Your Business Organically

By Bob Romano and Barbara Sanfilippo

More revenue and profit from banking relationship management

To illustrate a solution to a common bankers’ dilemma (not having enough organic growth from existing customers and members), we hired a Washington, DC think tank to come up with a very sophisticated, scientific formula:

Building relationships = organic growth7 = a whole lot of revenue10

Ok, so it’s not that complex but to put it into terms even Bob and Barb can understand, the position of relationship manager has been a staple in business lending for years. Now more and more retail staff with relationship management skills are regularly turning disengaged customers or members into profitable advocates. This includes people who may not visit the branches. That was us! (see our previous blog post about that).


Banking relationship management is the next level of sales and service culture development

In our last blog, Cross Selling’s UnintendedLady on ladder with briefcase Consequence , we outlined some differences between a transactional sales orientation and a banking relationship management orientation. Based on our 20 years in business helping banks and credit unions develop their sales and service culture, we feel a banking relationship management orientation is the experience many customers and members want and what really turns them into profitable advocates (see our white paper).

We bet you’ve done a good job in training your staff to recognize a cue and cross-sell a service. Let’s face it—this is basically a transactional sale. While this is certainly progress, we still see way too much product-dumping going on and too little banking relationship management training.

Training class - Relationship management skills help banks and credit unions grow organically.On-boarding and following up with new customers is certainly a smart thing to do. However, if we want to grow organically in this difficult environment, we’ve got to build trust, go deeper and discover the pain and dreams of our customers and members, especially those that don’t visit our branches. It’s time we move beyond the basics and offer customer relationship training or member relationship training. Following are some skills and competencies your staff needs to acquire to excel at relationship building. Of course, it’s no coincidence, you will also find these in our Banking Relationship Management Training program:

Eight banking relationship management skills and competencies

  1. Understand what customer or member relationship management, profiling and managing a book of business are in relation to cross selling.
  2. Confidentially reach out to disengaged customers and members that don’t visit a branch, introduce yourself as a relationship manager by phone, and engage the customer or member in a conversation that builds trust.
  3. Consistently use a profiling form to capture key facts, hobbies, needs, goals, dreams and update in your CRM system.
  4. Advance the customer and member relationship by tying important life events to specific solutions.
  5. Do pre-call planning before a call to anticipate a customer’s or member’s needs, look up current services, review previous conversations, plan your approach and formulate key questions to offer solutions to discover customer life events, goals and dreams.
  6. Use transition statements and key open-ended discovery questions to confidently recommend a service at the appropriate time.
  7. Maintain the relationship with a variety of touch points.
  8. Complete an action plan with an assigned list of customers or members to begin the process.

Sales leaders have their own set of skills and competencies including accountability for required sales activities and results. There is also structure and processes that must be instilled. These topics will be included in future blogs.

As you can see, banking relationship management skills go way beyond cross-selling and customer service training. To grow your bank and credit union organically, offer customer or member relationship management training and boost staff confidence and results!

Some Questions to Ask Yourself

  • Does your staff understand the difference between cross-selling and relationship building?
  • Are you confident they’re comfortable in engaging customers or members they don’t know in conversation about their goals and dreams?
  • Are they trained in how to build the relationship in addition to cross selling?

Agree or disagree? Do let us know what you think by scrolling down and commenting below.



Rate Your Organization on Banking Relationship Management Basics

boxes-clipboardIf you’d like a preview of the 12 areas we’ll be covering that impact building banking customer relationships or member relationships or you would like to rate your bank or credit union on 12 key areas to build customer and member relationships and trust, create loyal advocates and increase referrals and business. Just click here.

Read How To Increase Revenue and Profitability Through Relationship Building and Creating Advocates: Get Our Complimentary White Paper


The Banking Relationship Management Experience – A Strategy for Becoming a Trusted Financial Partner and Increasing Revenue and Profitability


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