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How to Avert the After-Acquisition Customer Drain

by | Bank Acquisitions


I believe you deserve to hang on to the customers you just paid for in an acquisition.

In this episode, I’ll show you how you can avoid the customer runoff that is “accepted” as the “way it is” and instead hang on to those customers AND make them profitable.

If you’re the kind of leader:

  • Who has already had an acquisition and lost over 20% of the customers you paid for, you’ll be thrilled to know that it doesn’t have to happen ever again.
  • If instead, you already hung on to almost all those new customers, good for you! And, hang tight as we talk about how you can create a frenzy of the best customers in that new market you just acquired—all coming to you quickly.
  • If you’ve already made an acquisition and you’re still in your first 90 days, I’ll talk fast because you have limited time to seize an extremely profitable opportunity. Christmas came early for you. You will now have a way to keep and get more customers immediately following your acquisition.

There are a few challenges to keeping those best customers after the acquisition—there’s no surprise that 30% is the typical runoff.

First, they feel rejected by their current bank, and they haven’t yet fallen in love with you.

Also, they are systematically poached by the “awake and effective” competitors in the area. These two challenges can drain any potential of your acquisition, not being a money pit.

Hold tight while I give you some solutions to the painful and culture damaging customer runoff, so it doesn’t have to be the “that’s just how it is” result.

Step 1: Communicate immediately and often with the new customers. They don’t care much to hear about how long you’ve been in business, how nice your people are, or how big you will be now after the acquisition. They do, instead, want to hear from you about the impact you intend to make in their lives and why you are uniquely qualified to be the one who can deliver that impact.

Step 2: Make sure you communicate the correct unique selling propositions (USPs) to each target market such that they are THRILLED that a new bank is now speaking JUST to them and has exactly what they’ve been waiting for. Without the proper USPs, there is no reason for them to be excited about you. At our events, we show banks how to construct over a dozen USPs before they leave, so they have a plethora of unique ways to differentiate and get paid more. One CEO told me that their attendee used one, and the very next day, they pulled in an extra $300K to an account because of it—that’s right, in one day!

Step 3: Target the psychographic and firmographics of the new market with your USPs to pull in all the best potential customers in that market—beyond those who were already customers. Get everyone in your market talking about how fabulous it is that there is a new bank taking over their bank. The buzz must be very positive with a “reason to believe,” or it will inevitably turn negative.

That’s right—just three easy steps:

  • Communicate quickly and often.
  • Make sure differentiation has them interpreting you as a category of one.
  • And make sure you target the psychographics and firmographics with the right USPs, so each feels you are a unique fit for them.

Make sure you tune in next time when I’ll show you how to get your new team members not only embroidering your logo on their pillowcases but also aligned to profit and creating an ROI from their time.

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