To grow your bank or credit union, it’s important to have big goals, targets and tracking in place to monitor your progress. The trouble begins when staff goals prompt behavior that annoys customers or members. An example is goals that result in product pitching. After a member hears, “We have a special loan promotion!” from three different employees, it takes a lot of patience to not say something sarcastic to the unlucky third employee!
When we interview prospective clients about moving from a focus on a transactional cross-selling culture to more of a banking relationship management culture, we often hear many frustrations. Management tells us that despite the sales training done for staff, they still don’t ask the right questions and they continue to pitch product. Their staff tells us they feel excessive pressure.
Certainly, your employees need to sell, and they need sales goals, but you need a balanced approach that motivates staff, builds member trust and still gets results. So here is the first of what we see as the top pitfalls or offending behaviors.
#1 – Avoid setting aggressive sales goals when onboarding new customers or members
The purpose of onboarding is to create a special welcoming experience for your new customers or members, build trust and develop the relationship. Certainly, you want to take advantage of this opportunity to sell more services as appropriate. However, think of a customer’s first visit to your branch as a first date. For most people, the next contact is way too soon to “meet the parents.”
In a budding social or financial relationship, you want to make a good impression, build trust and leave the door open to future contact and developing the customer relationship further. Remember, with structured onboarding you have at least two more follow up calls scheduled to introduce other services.
In our onboarding training the focus is on building trust first and being patiently persistent, knowing that this approach will be more valuable for business in the short and long term. Many of our clients’ personal bankers and FSRs have successfully used the soft approach to develop more business with a new customer during and after the 90 day onboarding period.
Be sure to check back next month for the second pitfall to avoid!
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?