Ask the Magic Question and You Never Have to Talk Rate [VIDEO]

I believe banks deserve to get paid far more for what they do. One of the biggest factors in this inequity is rate matching. But the good news is, it’s preventable.

In this episode, I’m going to share with you a process to get your people to stop rate matching for good. It will be ingrained to never again give a rate when someone calls in asking for one.

Now, if you’re the kind of leader:

  • Who has been on the bandwagon for years about not having to match rate, but you still have team members who think you don’t “get it”—that they HAVE to match rate or lose the business—you’re going to love this episode.
  • Or maybe you’re someone who didn’t know it was possible to not match rate and thrive, and that there are many banks that have broken through this rate matching debacle. In fact, some are enjoying increases in their NIM of 100–150 basis points in just a few short years. If that sound like you, you’re going to love this.
  • Or, if you already have a team that, for the most part, is mastering the “no rate matching” philosophy, and your NIM is well over five already, you’re going to love this.  Just a few tweaks could take your NIM even higher and you could have even more prestige in your market as an elite bank that is worth so much more.

Let’s talk about what gets in the way.

  • Many bank executives tell me that their people grab the rate sheet the second they’re asked for the rate. As a result, they don’t even get an attempt at doing business on that piece of business—much less the 6–7 cross-sales that should have happened on that rate inquiry.
  • Others tell me they feel defeated because their people absolutely believe to their core that if they don’t have the best rate, the prospect should keep looking, because the customer should get that best rate.
  • Some banks, however, feel they’re making some good progress. Most of their people know how to convert a rate shopper into someone who would pay more. But they have a few who are lagging and don’t “get it” yet.

Here’s the dilemma: They know that the next inquiry from what COULD be your next most profitable customer could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions in lifetime value, if you don’t have EVERY single one of your people following a system that converts without rate matching 100% of the time.

EVERY bank seems be facing these same struggles. You’re not alone and it’s not your fault.

Here are three steps that will make your results dramatically different in a few short, and very happy weeks.

Step 1:

UNLIKE so many programs that follow traditional “sales training” approaches, you need one that is specialized for community banking. The sales program should NEVER feel like sales AND it should get the inquirer to stop thinking about rates and start thinking about all your business.

Traditional sales training feels icky—people hate it. It always warms my heart when I get emails from our member bank’s team members that say, “It doesn’t feel like sales. We all feel so good about ourselves. We feel like we’re helping people.”

Step 2: 

When they’re asked for their rate, educate your people to ask a “Break Preoccupation with Rate” question 100% of the time. These precede situational questions, such as, “How long will you live in the house?” or “What are your goals for this money?” The next six steps of the sales process to obtain the entire relationship (without price being brought up) can only follow IF the first step of Breaking Preoccupation with Rate is done right.

Until your people, in just one question, get the customer to realize that rate is only a small part of the buying decision and that you need to look at them holistically, they’re not going to get hardly ANY value from the other sales questions—they’re still thinking rate.

Step 3:

You need to make sure that the Break Preoccupation with Rate questions are asked consistently. Include mystery shopping, drills and practice to make sure they know how to adapt that question based on the specific product line. It needs to be an ongoing, never-ending process.

Three steps are necessary to engage the customer to get them off their obsession with rate so that it doesn’t matter, but their relationship and bringing in all of their business does. Here’s the roundup:

1) Don’t do anything that looks like traditional sales. It’s icky and doesn’t belong in community banks where we need to elevate to a more elite and helpful approach.

2) Create mastery of the Break Preoccupation with Rate™ Question part of the process.

3) Make sure the entire break preoccupation with rate system continues to elevate your result. You should monitor that by making sure the NIM and cross-sales needles continue to increase every month and mystery shop to make sure that your people NEVER miss that critical first step.

By following this three-step formula, you get back all the self-respect you and your people deserve. You earn the esteem that comes with knowing that you are the best of the best, and deserve to be paid more since you are the diamond status advisor—not just another banker.

Make sure you tune in to the next video where I’ll show you when and how to use the Positioning Questions step from the “No More Order Taking” 7-Step Sales Process.

To your continued success,

Roxanne Emmerich

Please watch the video above and share it with your exec team and board. 

P. S. Challenging times are proven as the moment to pull ahead. It’s your time to snap up low-cost deposits and seize your competitor’s best customers—but not if you have “order takers” in front of your customers and prospects. My Breakthrough Banking™ Blueprint Conference is designed especially to explore what smart banks do during tumultuous times. Register today.

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