Triage for Bankers: Find the Pain and Fix It

Anybody who walks into your bank has got a real problem. People without problems don’t wake up in the morning and say, “Today is a good day to spend talking to a banker,” any more than they would decide to talk to a doctor for kicks. People without problems have better things to do with their time.

The very fact that potential clients are either taking your call or calling you says they have something on their mind. That’s the pain, and your job is to find out what that pain is. What pain would cause them to make a change? Knowing that will give you everything you need to complete the rest of the sales process.

If you don’t uncover your prospect’s pain, all you have is a prospect who is intellectually curious but not economically serious. Until you start poking and prodding, all you’ll get is a casual conversation—and YOU have better things than that to do with YOUR time.

Make it your main goal to discover all the things your prospect would like to be different—or better—in their current financial business relationship. Uncover ways in which their current vendor serves them incorrectly. By asking pain-probing questions, you allow them to reveal the improvements they want. This also takes the pressure off you to talk in any depth about your pricing or about why they should consider your company.

Realize that when you approach prospects about a possible relationship, the prospect sees you as an agent of change. They know you want to talk them into changing their behavior. And what do we know about human beings and behavior change? They hate it! But once the pain has been identified, you become the source not just of change but of relief.

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