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How to Use “Positioning Questions” to Boost Cross-Sales Ethically

by | Get More Cross-Sales


I believe that people like to pay more for someone who provides a unique benefit that is valuable to them. In this episode, I’ll show you how to win all of the business of your prospects without them ever asking about rate or fees. REALLY. I know it sounds crazy, but in our seminars, I hear people tell me all the time that they’re now averaging 7-8 cross-sales when they never had more than 2 in their lives. If they can do it, your people can too.

If you’re the kind of leader who:

  • Knows you have some great unique selling points, but you’re frustrated they don’t seem to be getting sold and you’re not getting paid more for them, then you’re at the right place at the right time…I’ll show you how to make that consistent.
  • Has people that are already averaging 5 to 6 cross-sales on new accounts, but you think there might be more available AND you think there is still some room to get pricing out of the equation more often, you’re going to love this…
  • Feels like your people are mostly still order-takers despite your attempts to fix this recurring problem, you’re going to be able to exhale when we finish because I’m going to offer you some help from this pain.

There are a few challenges to getting paid more for your unique selling propositions…those things that make you worth more…

1) Some banks still struggle to nail down at least 40 USPs—maybe they paid a branding firm hundreds of thousands and at best, get one fairly weak Level 1 USP after all that expense, so they’re not even knowing it can be done.

2) Even if you have some good USPs, your people aren’t telling customers about them—and telling ALWAYS feels salesy, which is NOT what you want because they don’t know how to use these as positioning questions.

3) You have great sales managers—good people who get it—but you just don’t support them with ongoing, holistic education, and a “don’t run them out the door but grow them” accountability program to help them create the breakthrough results that they can’t possibly create without the proper support.

Every bank complains about these same three. I’m now going to give you 4 steps that will make your results dramatically different in a few weeks.

Step 1. Stop blaming your head of retail. It’s not their fault. Without support and tools, you’ve set them up to fail. If you fire and replace, you’ll just have a Groundhog Day situation where you keep setting up another person to fail.

Step 2. In contrast to sales training that doesn’t address the confidence issue—built from them KNOWING they are worth exceedingly more and having the exact right approach so they always feel like a competent trusted advisor instead of a salesperson—you want to START by first nailing the unique selling propositions. You want a whole bunch and they must be good.

Selling a trip to the Caribbean is easy if you’re the only provider who has down comforters on cushy beds and your competition all have tents with mats, right. Don’t even start sales training until you have at least 20-30 great basis USPs. If you haven’t started on these, get a bunch of your executives to one of my seminars and you’ll walk away with plenty.

If you have created USPs but they aren’t working, bring that same team along so we can polish that stone to make sure you have USPs that work. Don’t spend hundreds of thousands on branding…instead bring your team for a two-day seminar and you’ll get this solved once and for all. I LOVE helping banks get this part nailed. Nailing this is important so that you can feel the pride of knowing you are always the best choice.

Step 3. Once you have your USPs in hand, know that people buy very scientifically and the sales system you use must follow the right steps in the right order. Now, unlike most sales training which involves rote questions, your people need to instead learn how to use good reasoning skills to ask the right positioning questions at the right time. The positioning questions come before the recommendations start because they make the prospect sell you on why they need you….in contrast to you selling them. Ahhhhh, you’re back in the “professional expert” status instead of the vendor status, so you can feel the pride of knowing you are adding great value.

Step 4. The refinement process begins. Getting your team members to be elegant about knowing how to choose which positioning questions to use, takes repetition of learning. Use blended learning that combines virtual learning, drills, seminars, and training joined with increasing accountability to make sure the exact right steps happen at the right time. Although I’ve had personal bankers who have attended our seminars who had never had more than 2 cross-sales, who then had 13 the very next day they went back, that isn’t the norm. Most need a tremendous amount of ongoing repetition of learning to move from 2-5 cross-sales, then to 7, and then beyond. Even after you get it up, you want those numbers to stay up, so education must happen from now until the day they retire so that that cross-sales numbers remain over 6-7.

Let’s repeat: 1) Stop blaming your head of retail when you haven’t set him or her up to win, 2) get your special positioning concepts in place with at least 20-30 USPs, 3) put the positioning questions in the right stage in the sales process and build a system to make sure your people don’t deviate from what scientifically works, and 4) build the ongoing advancement and refinement process.

By doing these steps, you can command respect in your market. Not only do your people not ever have to match a rate again, but they should easily cross-sell an average of 6-7 and more products and services consistently, and build their faith in themselves that they are masterful at what they do…going home at night with the confidence gained from doing meaningful work and truly earning the trust of their customers.

Make sure you tune in to the next episode where I’ll show you how to build a system with the right order and the right interconnectedness of visibility, accountability, and motivation to keep cross-sales metrics moving up consistently.

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