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The Dangers of False-Attempt Sales Training

by | Deposits


I believe people don’t like hassles. Who does? Whether it’s at work, at home, or out shopping. But it’s a dangerous attitude among your people because it causes them not to put 100% into their sales conversations.

In this session, I’m going to show you how your people (like many bankers before them who couldn’t, but now do) can get 6–7 cross-sales and all the deposits in a way that never feels sales-y.

If you’re the kind of leader:

  • Who has been preaching to the point of losing your voice about the need to get cross-sales of deposit accounts to make those accounts both profitable and sticky (and you’re a bit fit to be tied at this point), you’ll love this.
  • Or, if you have some people who are getting the full deposit-relationship, but also have many who are simply “transaction” people because they’re taking orders and not “OWNING” the relationship, then this is a can’t-miss episode.
  • Then again, maybe you’re really feeling good about your team’s abilities to get deposits, but you KNOW there are much more potential profits available if you can boost your low-cost deposits as a percentage of total deposits by changing a few things, then you’ll enjoy this as well.

As always, there is some work ahead and three challenges in particular that you need to look out for:

  • Most banks have been doing internal or external sales training for years. Now, after all that money and time, when they’re really truthful, they’ve realized that it just isn’t working when they see other banks are now averaging over 6–7 cross-sales and mastering attracting large low-cost deposits away from competitors. They know they can’t give up, but they just can’t have another false attempt because the team is now doing the “slow walk” thinking management will soon give up.
  • Still others are finding that most sales training is, well… sales-y. That’s why so many people flock from the big banks to community banks—they felt the bank was inauthentic and felt violated. With that belief system in the way, their heels are dug in— they don’t want to sell. Period. That is leaving you between a rock and a hard place because you still need to fix this to stay competitive in the future against those who are “getting it.”
  • Also, many bankers lack the skill to be a trusted advisor. They do have the product knowledge, but they don’t know how to really bring the type of extreme value that is necessary to be that person’s trusted advisor. Most importantly, they lack skills and confidence, but it’s not their fault—there just hasn’t been good advice and a good system that helps them win.

EVERY bank is facing at least one of these—join the club. Now let’s work together to knock the issues down one at a time.

I’m now going to give you three steps to create an effective sales culture system program and, if necessary, change the culture at your bank. Incidentally, I don’t believe sales training works—sales training teaches people what to do; sales education teaches them how to be. You can’t expect a transformation with sales training. So, let’s get going on this so you can get some sales breakthroughs in a few short weeks.

Step 1: In “in and out” sales training, a training cycle lasts a few months, and then if there was any increase, you can count on it going away within the next few months. To generate sustained positive results in sales, you need a cultural transformation to get people winning and loving it. To do that, it needs extreme integration with a well thought out, long-term intentional-congruence system. You’ve heard the sad story from thousands of bank executives who attempted sales training only to find it didn’t work unless you define “working” as the carnage of losing a third of their teams. It’s not your fault—sales training companies keep selling it as if it could work. One sales training company actually put a client’s logo on its website after two years of losses in its sales training attempts. After just a few years of our process, they are now in the SNL top 100 performers. Sadly, unsuspecting bankers see the logo and think they created good results with their sales training. Have you ever heard a bank executive tell you that sales training’s impact was doubling or tripling cross-sales while getting dramatic growth with premium pricing on better quality customers? As they say, “said no banker EVER.”

Step 2: UNLIKE so many false-attempt sales training, you have to get your people to come from their heart space—a place of extreme caring for the customer. With that as a base, they can then learn to ask questions in the order of how people like to buy what they need.

Until they get the impact that what they are really doing is:

  • saving marriages from divorce due to fighting over money;
  • helping people retire with ease; and
  • guiding businesses to good fiscal management

…they will always feel like it is sales-y and the client will feel it too.

Step 3: Create an ever-increasing accountability and visibility system. Most sales programs end up, causing at least a third of the team members to run for the hills. That’s completely unnecessary and very unproductive.

The problem is that sales training must be integrated with a true understanding of cultural transformation at a deep level where people are learning how to be—holding each other accountable, celebrating success and learning to “live their word” by understanding that their promises and commitments are how they reveal their character.

The key is that every day and every week, as the blended learning of online, offline, coaching and practicing happens integrated with a management system and “stage appropriate” accountability, a predictable weekly improvement is imminent. Remember, you don’t have a sales training issue—you have a confidence issue.

Again, three steps to a solid foundation of community bank sales culture transformation:

1) Ongoing cultural transformation with extreme integration.
2) Get team members “at cause” to bring extreme value from transactional to transformational.
3) Develop a progressive accountability and visibility system that builds confidence.

By doing this, you can sleep at night knowing your well-educated team can “connect” with prospects and customers effectively — attracting all the deposits you need CONSISTENTLY, and unhooking from the dependence on results based on the economy or rate environment.

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