Relationship Selling Cultures for Banks and Credit Unions

Conventional Sales Cultures? — They’re So 1980s

High Definition Banking® helps your bank or credit union generate revenue by developing highly professional and consultative sales staff, deepening member and customer relationships and turning them into loyal advocates. However, this is not the conventional sales culture you may know. A relationship selling culture is a different animal.

The problem today is most sales training companies teach your staff transactional selling which is very tactical and generates mostly short-term business from “not so loyal” customers or members who view you as a commodity. They may or may not seek your advice for more significant, future financial needs. You become Just Another Errand.

At some point, transactional selling turned into mostly product pitching to new customers to meet cross sell goals. As a result, customers and members feel like they’re constantly being cross sold and staff feel pressure to sell. Read our blog post, Dump Outmoded Sales Training — A Wells Fargo Lesson.

The solution? We help our clients develop a relationship selling culture that engages not only customers or members who frequent your branches but also those who don’t, are disengaged and may only have one product. Our clients have found that relationship selling is more palatable than transactional selling to both staff and customers and more effective in the long run.

Here’s how a conventional sales culture differs from a relationship selling culture.

Transactional Sales Culture — result you get from most training companies:

  • Sales are mostly transactional (tactical) with walk-in and call-in customers
  • Staff predominantly engage in pitching products to fill basic financial needs
  • Staff typically sell solely to meet cross sell targets, resulting largely in short term business and competing on rate
  • Staff has little ownership in the member or customer relationship and developing future business
  • Staff dislike cross selling and view it as a necessary but undesirable aspect of their job
  • Customers dislike being “sold to” and look to get their transactions done quickly
  • Members think of your financial institution as a commodity and “just another errand
  • Customers will likely shop your competition as future needs arise
  • Departments unlikely to collaborate with one another on client interaction and miss opportunities to maximize “share of wallet”

Relationship Selling Culture — result you get from the High Definition Banking® process:

  • Business is relationship-based and often generated as a direct result of consistent follow up (strategic)
  • Staff engage in more substantive conversation to get to know member’s life events, financial goals, dreams and aspirations thereby connecting with their emotional drivers
  • Staff are accountable for organic growth with existing customers or members using relationship management skills and profiling
  • Disengaged customers become loyal advocates and think of you first when needs arise
  • Increased business is consistently generated over both the short and long term
  • Employees see relationship building as service and enjoy their role as a relationship manager
  • Members appreciate staff taking a genuine interest in their financial needs and goals and readily consider recommendations from someone they trust to have their best interests at heart
  • Staff assumes ownership of a defined number of customers for onboarding and reaching out to those who rely mostly on on-line services and mobile apps and don’t visit a branch
  • Departments collaborate to develop the full member or customer relationship


Watch Video – HDB Client, Micah Bartlett, CEO, reveals his journey creating a relationship selling culture: concept to process to results

If a relationship building culture appeals to you, you owe it to yourself to see if we can help. We’ll listen to what you want to accomplish and determine if our approach is right for your bank or credit union.