Follow This Step-by-Step, Play-by-Play Guide to Transform Your Salespeople into Cross -Sales Superstars—Emmerich Can Help
For decades now, the average in the community bank industry for cross-sales on new accounts has hovered around 2. Many banks don’t even measure—but when they do, it’s always about 2.2. Fascinating how that works.
The typical customer today has a total of 16 banking-related products and services. If your bank has fewer than 13 for any given customer, you really can’t declare that you are “their bank.” Unless you’re at that level, you don’t own the relationship and haven’t earned their complete trust.
Having spoken at over 500 C-level banking events over the years, I can tell you cross-sales has been a hot topic for almost three decades now with virtually NO improvement. Mind-boggling!
Given the immediate and profound impact cross-selling has on your efficiency ratio and profitability, how is it possible that this hugely important needle could remain essentially stagnant industry-wide despite massive effort, CEO rants, and a pot-load of training dollars?
Banks have spent BILLIONS on sales training with NO change at all in cross-sales—not even a little. And too often it’s been done with great disruption to the culture and a mass exodus from people who have been traumatized by the “big bank” cross-sales process and refuse to ever relive that scene.
With mobile banking driving customers out of the lobbies, you need to prepare your salespeople for the proactive conversations they’ll need to initiate. We can show you how to help them add value so they can average at least 7 cross-sales per account and have customers practically begging to do more business with your community bank.
The easiest and most profitable sales you’ll ever make are the added cross-sales you make to the customer or prospect who’s already sitting in your branch. You know it’s true, but if your salespeople aren’t averaging 5 to 7 cross-sales per new account, then they’ve bought into a dangerous lie.
The lie is that selling means convincing someone to do something they don’t want to do.
Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact…
If It Feels Like Selling …Your People Are Doing Something Wrong
The new skills of selling (and cross-selling) are more about collaborating than competing. These new skills are based on the premise of caring enough to find out what the customer needs to be successful and then finding ways to help them accomplish that success. It’s about getting on their side of the desk—and staying there.
It’s also about having customers and prospects gain a clear understanding about the financial and emotional impact of each of your Unique Selling Propositions—those ways you differentiate to make your community bank their obvious one and only choice.
To do that, there are seven critical steps that must be followed in order; that’s the psychology of how people like to buy. For now, let’s explore the three with the most direct impact on cross-sales:
Critical Cross-Sales Success Step #1: Break the Preoccupation with Rate
Imagine you’re walking onto a car lot. You ask the salesperson, “How much for a car?” and he or she immediately starts to list the price of every car on the lot. Ridiculous! But that’s the way most banks’ salespeople answer the phones.
This selling approach can only end in one of two equally unattractive results. Either the customer or prospect won’t like the rate and they’ll move on OR they’ll like the rate, and your salesperson will have succeeded in landing your bank yet another of the 87 percent of customers you’ll lose money on.
What your salespeople need to succeed in cross-sales is a technique to transform the discussion away from rate and toward value. Without that, they have only a slim chance of getting profitable business—and no chance to ask the questions that can suggest 7-10 or even more cross-sales products and services that meet the account’s identified needs.
Critical Cross-Sales Success Step #2: Ask Good Questions
This is the part of cross-sales where community bank salespeople fail again and again.. The only questions they typically ask are “situational” ones—those questions strictly related to the product or service the customer or prospect requested.
They don’t ask carefully crafted questions customized to capture the interest of person in front of them.
They don’t ask questions that lead the customer or prospect to acknowledge and act on the emotions behind the need.
They don’t ask questions that help the customer or prospect understand the pain they’ll experience by missing out on the special services, approach, and focus that set your bank apart.
And they don’t know in which order to ask the questions based on the psychology of how people buy.
And worst of all, IF your salespeople ask any questions beyond situational ones, they don’t know how to keep from the “bada-bing bada-boom” approach of overwhelming the customer or prospect with a litany of every possible product or service your bank offers.
That REALLY feels salesy.
After sending their executives to a seminar we presented on the process, one community bank client of The Emmerich Group recently followed up by having a personal banker attend who had never had more than two cross-sales.
One week after the banker attended the seminar, I received a handwritten note that said,
“I have never had more than 2 cross sales in my life, and with the very first prospect who walked in the door, I had 13 cross-sales! AND it never felt like sales! This is so much fun. I felt like I was really helping people.”
Critical Cross-Sales Success Step #3: Listen Intently… and Listen for Intent
The more your salespeople hear about a customer’s or prospect’s needs, the more they can help with them. But unfortunately, most retail salespeople are busy talking and quoting rather than listening. Have you ever heard this conversation from your team members?
Prospect: “What are your rates on CDs?”
Salesperson: “Our current rates are 0.5 percent for a 3-month, 0.75 percent on a 6-month, and our special of the week is our 13-month CD paying 1.0 percent.”
Prospect: “Thank you.”
Salesperson: “And thank you for calling XYZ National Bank.”
When The Emmerich Group surveyed banks and credit unions for one of the bank associations, we found that this is what happened 97% of the time. People who called to invest money were given rates and then hung up on… politely, of course. If the salesperson had been listening intently and listening for intent, he or she would have asked the caller, “What is your goal for investing this money?” It seems crazy, but that’s what you’re up against in your efforts to boost cross-sales.
The 3 critical cross-sales success steps above are only a portion of the step-by-step, play-by-guide The Emmerich Group has created to double your community bank’s cross-sales in 90 days GUARANTEED. Grab the free training to discover EXACTLY how to transform your salespeople into cross-sales superstars.