Order taking is not generating much organic growth for you
Imagine I walk into your bank or credit union and inquire about opening a checking account (an expressed need). Sally your friendly FSR explains my options, opens the account and also suggests automatic savings with overdraft protection. We assume most of your staff have gone through cross selling training and are skilled at filling these basic transactional needs. This is the core source of revenue your front line staff generates but, in our opinion, it’s as unproductive as “dialing for dollars” and has a marginal ROI for the effort.
To get a bigger ROI on time spent with customers or members and to grow organically, your staff must engage them in more meaningful conversation to get to know them better. This naturally leads to their being more willing to open up and share information that can help you match them with additional products and services that never get to the point of conversation. (You may be saying your people already don’t have enough time to serve all your walk-in business. No need to worry – building a banking relationship management culture is a stepped approach starting with a core group of select front line employees).
They won’t mention or discuss a need because they don’t have a trust relationship
What Sally doesn’t know is I’m shopping around for a financial planner to help me evaluate my insurance needs, when I can retire and if I should consider an annuity. I don’t need a product – I need advice and a solution. However, I choose not to mention this to her (unexpressed need). Why? First of all, I’m unaware that your bank or credit union can help me. But what’s more significant is I don’t tell her because I don’t know Sally very well, I don’t feel I have a banking customer relationship with her and she hasn’t built up a very high trust level with me.
The bad news
Here’s the bad news: every day your customers or members have unexpressed needs they just don’t mention to your staff. You may have a few people who can skillfully transition the conversation to my future concerns, uncover my need and refer me to your wealth area. That’s great, but from our experience, we know the number of front line people who are this perceptive is not what you’d like and they’re leaving money on the table.
The good news
But here’s the good news: there is something every bank or credit union can do capture this business. Here’s a hint – ask yourself what percentage of your frontline staff this statement applies to: Our staff is comfortable with going beyond simply recognizing a cue and pitching products to engaging customers and members in conversation, recognizing life events and uncovering their goals, dreams and aspirations (rate your organization on the other 11 statements).
Being able to engage in this way enables your staff to get to the next level of relationship mastery: perceiving both unexpressed and unrecognized needs.
Is your organization leaving money on the table? Banks and credit unions that have trained their people to engage customers or members in banking relationship management skills are able to build the relationship and trust that encourages them to open up more not only about their unexpressed but also needs they don’t even realize they have – unrecognized needs. We’ll cover that in our next blog.
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