Who Dreams Up a Sales Training Company During Their Honeymoon?
Bob Romano and Barbara Sanfilippo Did
Hi. We’re Bob Romano and Barbara Sanfilippo. Back in 1988 we had no idea our “chance” meeting at McArthur’s Park restaurant in San Francisco would evolve into a successful sales training, consulting and motivational speaking business AND a marriage partnership that has lasted 25 years. We don’t believe it was just chance.
Our careers in sales at Xerox and Bank of America became a great springboard for doing what we still do today, help bankers sell in one of our largest niche markets: banks, credit unions and other financial services providers.
Here’s how High Definition Banking® got started. We married a year after we met and while on our honeymoon in Greece (in between all the things you do on a honeymoon), it occurred to us we could be a great team and make a difference in the business world helping bankers sell and generate more revenue. So at the seaside café in the picture above in Mykonos, over a dinner of Moussaka, Spanakopita and Ouzo we decided to start a company that really does change behavior and really does improve sales and service performance. Some people conceive children on their honeymoon; we conceived a business.
“As a result of your outstanding structured process including workshops, follow up and tele-coaching, I am receiving three times the number of referrals before our bank began our Managing Customer Relationships program with you. In addition, of our 38% asset growth last year, at least one quarter to half of that growth was due to the additional referrals.”
– Raymond James Financial Advisor
Bob was fortunate to have received exceptional sales training at Xerox Corporation, where he worked for ten years, and account sales experience at a premier training company that’s now part of Achieve Global. When he and Barb met, Bob was consulting on sales and service.
Meanwhile, Barb was busy delivering keynote speeches on building a sales culture at sales meetings, conferences and leadership retreats as well as doing motivational speaking on her book, Dream Big – What’s The Best That Can Happen? (and still does). What led Barb to speak on these topics was her background as a loan sales rep and then a VP and Regional Sales Manager helping Bank of America develop their sales and service culture in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Pairing the need in the market with our experience, we formed Romano & Sanfilippo LLC in 1989 and created a two and a half year, completely unique sales training and consulting process to help banks and credit unions develop their sales and service culture.
“I learned more about business development, making consultative sales calls and attracting SEG’s in 1.5 hours than in the past nine months in my job. Barbara’s ideas on pre-call planning, infiltrating a niche and adding value are amazing and her enthusiasm is contagious.”
– Virginia Credit Union
The “Secret Sauce” Was a Competitive Advantage That Set Us Apart
(and why you might consider us today)
What was true when we started our business is still true today: people are “trained” but their behavior doesn’t always change. The statistics are horrendous. We had to do a better job to be successful and were confident we could. While other companies were merely delivering training, we took our entire first year to create a sales methodology that would deliver consistent results.
Today we use an enhanced version of this proven process to help our clients improve their sales performance by first creating a relationship-building culture.
Our processes and coaching methodology achieved a critical goal: employee buy-in. Most training skills fade quickly but we created a way to make them stick. Eureka! It was essentially a Xerox sales and service culture tailored to financial service providers with a healthy dose of motivation. We use a similar process today with CEO’s and executive teams at financial service providers. Our clients have assets from $250m to the billions. We have worked with hundreds of companies both inside and outside the financial services industry.