Chief Investment Officer
Commercial Loan Automation
banking insights from a sales star
I got lots of positive feedback on my
customer attrition article,which implied to me that perhaps it's time
to write more about sales and sales management. The article below is
certainly on that topic.
My travels have taken me to the east
coast and Texas the past two weeks, so I know spring is finally here
across the country.
Enjoy it,for it's always too short and
summer hits us before we're ready for it.
synopsis:This is a great time to remind all bank sales forces of what
it takes to be an effective needs-based seller.
BANKING INSIGHTS FROM A SALES STAR
It took all but 5 seconds to know that
Carolina is the Kobe Bryant of bank sales. No sooner did I
place myself in my chair did she say, "Anat, I am Carolina.
How can I help you today?". Sounds banal, but I knew I was
in the presence of greatness.
Carolina is an experienced
banker and has been with the bank for 8+ years. Interestingly,
she resides in an in-store branch, but her customer base is very
stable and her sales stellar. People know she is there, and
seek her out to take care of their financial needs. They trust
her and beleive she is on their side.
investigation Carolina told me she learned much from her Disney Store
supervisor, where she worked for years. While she's, without a
doubt, a "natural", her insights were nonetheless telling,
and I'd like to share them with you.
Here's what she said:
Always use the customer's first name. The first
Disney rule is, immediately memorize the customer's name and use it
Find out what the customer wants. Too often we
have something in mind we want to sell (deposits?), and we're too
busy forming our "spiel" to listen to the clues and cues
the customer gives us. Find out something personal about the
customer, something you can remember and relate to in the future.
Make sure you listen well to what they say and respond to their
Be excited about the product. Are they Pooh
fans? Is Ariel their child's heroine? Whatever the
customer is looking for, even a Free Checking account, show your
excitement and caring about the product itself.
Your goal is to sell the customer two more things
than what they asked for. At Disney, Carolina would mention
another product, a "special", or just point out something
the customer might like. In banking, her minimum cross-sell is
three, since all customers clearly need more than what they ask for.
Feel ownership. When I listened to Carolina,
she spoke of "her branch", "her ATMs". It
was obvious that she was emotionally invested in the bank and her
specific branch. She took pride in the organization.
That pride and overall enthusiasm shine through and are infectious;
customers love that!
Love people and love to sell. Sales is no job
for a non-people person. If you enjoy human interaction at all
levels and you're comfortable with it and with the activity of
selling, you'll win.
Believe in the product. Your confidence in what
you sell is what the customer sees and buys. If you don't
believe in the product, it won't sell (remember credit insurance?).
Talk about future "specials". Even if
today the customer isn't buying anything else, they might appreciate
knowing that a CD special is coming out in a week or two, or that a
loan sale is in the wings. Seeding future demand is a great
way to stabilize your sales flow.
Carolina is a "natural", but it doesn't mean that her
wisdom can't be equally effective with others. The insights she
shared are valid for all sales jobs and all products. In
banking, it is not the rate that differentiates one product and one
bank from another. Is it YOU! Capitalize on that power to
better serve your customers and fully meet their needs. Don't
they deserve to be served by you fully and to benefit from your
professionalism and comprehensive product line every day?