One of our credit union clients recently told us, “We need to be ‘reboarding’ existing members in addition to onboarding new ones.” Excellent Angela! It’s unfortunate that many banks and credit unions are missing significant revenue generating opportunities by neglecting long-term customers or members who don’t frequent their branches.
If you suspect your organization is remiss at “reboarding”, ask yourself these questions:
- Do our financial service reps or personal bankers avoid making follow up calls?
- Are our call nights to pitch loans frustrating our staff and annoying our customers or members?
- Are we spending too much on marketing to attract new business rather than re-engaging with folks who’ve been with us for years, rarely visit our branches, prefer electronic banking and don’t have a contact at our bank or credit union?
In this post you’ll read three real-life success stories from top FSRs who generate business through warm introductory calls to existing members.
Of the ten FSRs who shared their experiences, six of them got additional business on the initial call without ever mentioning a product!
People Are More Receptive to a Relationship Manager
Recently Barb facilitated a tele-coaching call for ten Financial Service Reps for a credit union client determined to grow organically and get an ROI from their investment in CRM. With relationship management training completed, they just began making introductory calls to their assigned, existing members that did not visit branches. The goals were to explain their role as a relationship manager, build trust, reengage, ask high-value questions and avoid mentioning products unless prompted by the member.
The key to the FSRs’ success is letting customers or members quickly know the purpose of the call is to thank them for their business and introduce themselves as their relationship manager. They’re not trying to sell a specific product and proudly embrace their role as relationship managers. That means they’re skilled in making warm introductory calls, engaging in conversation, building trust, discovering goals and using a CRM system like Synapsys to manage the relationship.
A Low-Key Approach Creates Good Will and Opportunity
Here are some success stories when customer or member outreach and CRM software are used effectively. They are comments the FSRs shared on our coaching call:
1st FSR: I notice after I mention I am going to be their relationship manager, most members want to know more. Once I explain I’m their go-to person and want to thank them for their business, they seem pleasantly surprised and feel important. One member said, ‘My bank doesn’t even call me—I’m impressed’. When I asked what questions she might have and how I can help her in the future, she then proceeded to ask me questions about loans. She actually said, ‘I didn’t know credit unions have home equity lines of credit!’ (Bob and Barb found this amusing.) Rather than getting a high-interest loan through Discover, she’s all excited about the options I offered and is coming in to meet with me. She thanked me profusely for contacting her.”
2nd FSR: I made an outreach intro call to Jason on 3/24/14. He was both surprised and pleased to learn that I would be his relationship manager. Later in the call I asked him, ‘As your relationship manager at the CU what current or future financial goals do you have that I can help you with?’ Then the floodgates opened. (Note: People are more open to discussing their finances if they perceive your staff is there to help rather than to just sell them something.) He began talking about his credit card debt and was open to my suggestion to improve his credit by consolidating it. We then did a loan app and got him approved for a consolidation loan. During the review of his credit report I found two auto loans with high-interest rates and am now in the process of getting both of them financed with us. He was so appreciative. I added quite a bit to his member profile in the Synapsys (CRM) extended tab. As I continue to work with him in the coming months and years and build a trusting relationship, I feel I’ll be able to learn about his future goals and add much more to his profile.
3rd FSR: “As soon as I started talking the member said quickly, ‘I don’t need anything’ and she wanted to hang up. I explained this is not a sales call and said, ‘I am your relationship manager and I just want to thank you for being with us for 8 years.’ At that point the member seemed receptive and proceeded to chat with me for another 30 minutes. (Notice how the FSR acknowledged the member’s loyalty.) She happened to mention she hopes to retire early and travel but is not sure if she is prepared. We agreed that I would follow up in a few months and at that time I intend to suggest an appointment with our financial planner to help her assess her readiness. This turned out to be a good first call.
Trusting Relationships Lead to Ongoing Business
Keep in mind an introductory outreach call is considered successful when you make an existing customer or member feel important, engage them in conversation, learn about them and they are receptive to future contact. The goal is first to build trust and begin re-establishing a relationship. Getting an immediate sale is secondary. Business can be generated in an initial call or materialize months or years later. Of the ten FSR’s who shared their introductory calls, six of them got additional business on the initial call without ever mentioning a product!
The most important point to remember is that by staying top of mind with personal contact and creative touch points, the odds are in your favor that you WILL get more continuing business from these relationships years down the road.
So what can we all learn from this and what can you do?
- Right now you also have disengaged existing customers or members that would welcome a warm call from your staff. Instead of immediately pitching products, have your staff focus on thanking them, uncovering their concerns, build trusting relationships and demonstrating you care about their financial well-being. Instead of just onboarding new customers, be sure to reboard existing ones! To learn how helping customer or members with their financial well-being can turn them into loyal advocates, read our white paper, The Banking Relationship Management Experience.
- Train your staff in how to develop and manage customer or member relationships, how to ask good discovery questions about future goals and move beyond the old transactional cross-selling model. We find staff get excited about this relationship approach and are quite pleased with the positive reaction they get when making warm introductory calls and the sales that stem from them.
- If you want to get an ROI from your CRM system, like Synapsys, ensure your staff is building customer or member profiles. They must capture key information with every contact, record it and most of all staff must review the profiles before making their calls. That way they are able to anticipate needs and demonstrate knowledge about the person.
Thanks for reading our post,
Barb and Bob
P.S. If you like what you read, please share this article with your colleagues.
We are interested in your feedback. In the comments section below, please tell us whether you agree or disagree with the ideas in this post. Also, what challenges or questions do you have that we can answer in this post?
How to Make These Changes in Your Bank or Credit Union
At High Definition Banking®, our goal is to help banks and credit unions generate revenue. However, we know that selling through customer relationship management beats transactional selling over the long term. To learn why, read our post, Declining Branch Traffic – Armageddon or Opportunity?
Ask about our training on onboarding, relationship building and sales leadership, and our relationship culture consulting process, and have Barb give an energizing and idea-packed presentation at your next sales meeting or employee event. Email Barb@HighDefinitionBanking.com for more information or Contact Us.
Awesome information! I appreciate the specific examples. Barbara, I saw and spoke with you at the Jack Henry ProfitStars conference in Orlando in 2013. You were fabulous! I was checking e-mails that did not make it to me last week and found this — so glad I did. Your e-mails will no longer be sent to the spam bin. Thanks for posting this!