The media seem to be doing their level best to keep folks jittery. So it’s not surprising that consumers are sitting hard on their wallets, convinced that the monsters of recession and depression will suck the filling out of them if they so much as crack them open.
And what are banks doing? Most are seeing the fearful hype as a huge problem, setting their alarm clocks for spring, and hunkering down to snooze through a long financial winter.
Let ’em sleep. The rest of us can tiptoe out of the cave and take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Here’s how:
- Earn the trust of your prospects with a believable and powerful message. Demonstrate your trustworthiness in meaningful terms. Be up-front with your customers and prospects. “We don’t have any sub-prime mortgages in our portfolio” and “We have 50 percent more capital than is required by the regulators for a bank our size” are examples of the detail that will make your message believable.
Get personal. The number one reason people leave their banks is that they feel under-appreciated. How much would a customer love a bank that reached out regularly with advice and information—a bank that gave some indication that it actually cares how things are going?
Have your people call every customer to assure them that despite the media frenzy, their funds are secure with you. While they’re on the line, see what other funds they might want to bring in and whether they have friends or family whose financial boats might enjoy your safe harbor.
- Distribute the calling list carefully, putting your more experienced salespeople in touch with your “A” clients, while those less qualified in converting to sales can deal with your smaller accounts.
You MUST move quickly. Fortunes are made during recessions and depressions by those who pull ahead by knowing how to capitalize on the opportunities.