I believe people want to trust their banker and count on them for guidance on making good financial decisions. In this episode, I’m going to show you how to not only recover from the damage that was done to the industry when a megabank was called out on sales practices that caused improper cross-sales, but to deal with the potential skepticism that each customer will have going forward when a banker is recommending a product in their best interests.
There are a few challenges:
First, your employees may take the media impact and use it as an excuse to never sell—thinking they are taking the high road, when, in fact, your customers REALLY need to buy, and it requires them getting over that belief.
Another challenge is that from now on, your customers are going to forever wonder when a banker makes a recommendation if it is really a good recommendation for them or another path to a higher cross-sales number. AND the real problem is that although the number one reason a customer leaves a bank is indifference after the sale, the second and third are tied and seem to be at odds…”I didn’t know my bank HAD that item” or “I felt sold to.”
EVERY bank is going to be facing these three issues going forward. I’m now going to give you 3 steps that will give you some immediate results that can happen in just a few short weeks.
Step 1. Contrary to most sales training that CAN get you in trouble—because it WILL trigger feelings of “can I trust this person?” within the prospect—you need to have a much more elegant sales process that NEVER feels like sales. Nobody wants to feel manipulated, …and especially from their bank, for goodness sakes.
Step 2. Unlike most plans that ignore what happened—hoping that by not talking about it, it will go away—you need to go into the eye of the needle. Tell your team that what happened regarding cross-sales at Wells Fargo was not okay, and you don’t endorse it. Then, tell them that it doesn’t change the fact that the average customer has the need for 16 products and services and that if you have only 4, you’re not really their banker. Let them know it is not an “either/or” issue but a “both/and” issue. You can help people buy all they need to optimize their finances AND never have it feel like sales. I’ll never forget an adorable personal banker who answered the phone one time when I called for the CEO, and she asked if she could have a few minutes of my time. She said, “When you taught us how to make sales at your event, I thought, ‘Oh Gosh, I don’t know if I can sell.’ But now that we’re doing it, we all feel so good about ourselves…we feel like we’re helping people.” Bammm…THAT’S the ticket! She got that it’s a “both/and.”
Step 3. Follow the right steps of how people buy, so it never feels like someone is selling them. Proper education is necessary. Notice I didn’t say training. Training is what to do—education is how to be. They have to learn how to “BE” with a customer so that the customer feels the LOVE and the concern for their situation.
Just three steps…
- implement a “no sales” sales approach
- address with your team that just because the big bank bad press on sales news hit does not mean that you don’t have an ethical obligation to help them buy everything they need and that cross-sales is a measure of trust
- educate them about how to be with the customer—to be able to elegantly ask and listen to a client such that the prospect or client never assume nefarious intent of someone trying to get a commission but instead feels as though they are blown away by the help they received
By addressing this issue well, you can keep the pride within yourself and for each of our team members that what we do in community banking is profoundly of need in the world.