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Differentiation Value that Drives A+ Quality Credits in Your Door

by | Sales & Marketing


I believe that high-quality customers love high-quality attention.

In this session, I’m going to show you how our client banks are transforming their safety and profitability by creating the kind of differentiation that attracts the highest quality credits and makes price irrelevant. If you’re thinking that the best customers get the best pricing because everyone wants them, then you have to watch this episode, because it can and IS being done.

  • If you’re the kind of leader who feels overwhelmed because your team is stuck—they’ve done the same thing year after year, had the same results, but don’t know how or what to change—but you know, deep down, there’s a way to get the best customers in your market and get them to pay more, you just don’t know how…you’re going to love this!
  • Or maybe you’re the kind of leader who has already rallied the troops to focus on the best quality loans, but you still have several who believe they need to lure them with rate and then when they do, they squeeze all the profit out of the deal. If that sounds like you, you’re going to want to stay tuned.
  • Or maybe you’re a worried about how you’ll get your entire team to buy-in to the idea that they CAN get the best quality credits and at the same time get substantial premium pricing. You’re going to love this, because I’m going to show you how to overcome the mountain of evidence your team leans on to hold up their “old” beliefs.

I know you’re thinking, “Who wouldn’t want top-shelf pricing on top-shelf customers? But it’s not that easy or everyone would be doing it.”

That’s right.

First, you have team members who have been doing their jobs well for decades, creating an ok result, but they’re not tapping into the real goldmine opportunity. It’s NOT their fault. They’re doing everything they learned to do at conferences and lending school. It’s just that they’ve been told wrong. 

They really don’t feel that what they have to offer is different or worth more than the bank down the street, so they may timidly ask for 20 or 25 basis points more—tops.

And they’re probably right. They DON’T have a game changing Unique Selling Proposition that shows the extreme and unique value that you offer. In this episode, I’m going to cover how to create the types of USPs that are a permanent game changer.

Step one: Forget all the “powder puff” attempts at USPs and get your people to stop saying them.
“We have good people…”
“We have great service…”
“We’ve been around for 89 years…”

Really? Who cares? They EXPECT you to have great customer service, great people and experience. That’s just the ticket to the dance! Never in the history of time has a person said, “Oh, GREAT. You have good people. I’m switching everything—oh, and don’t worry about price. Charge what you want.” Right???

Step two: Build USPs that matter to the customer by definition, a USP has three elements:

  1. It must matter to the customer.
  2. It must be dramatically different.
  3. It must be stated as an explicit benefit (to the customer).

Now, I’ve seen well over 500 banks dump a few HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS on “branding.” Sadly, after all of that, they get one really weak Level 1 USP, when what you really need is at least 40 USPs. And those A+ quality credits we want flocking in, are NOT going to flock in until you give them Level 3 and Level 4 USPs—the kind where they tell you, “That’s worth $100,000 to me yearly—I CAN’T live without you. Let’s get everything switched over right away.”

Oh, did I mention, they didn’t even ask your pricing. If you have three or four USPs that total up to be worth over 10, 20, 50 times more than the amount of additional fees or interest you charge, I’m guessing they are pretty good at math. That is HOW they got to be an A+ credit.

And you deserve extreme premium pricing! When you deliver that kind of value, it’s not too good to be true, it’s just too good to be free.

Step 3: Start by developing Level 1 USPs for each of your top 3 target markets

(Oh, and make sure you’ve optimized your target markets for maximum profit first—I’m teaching how to do that at our next event.)

I believe the best way to get something accomplished is to get some small wins fast. So, start with Level 1 USPs and get about 20–30 of those in place. Level 1 USPs are the ones that PROVE you have differences that matter to the customer. When I teach my events for elite banks and their ambitious executive teams, we go through exercises together to get this done right there at the event. That way the executives carry home 20–30 USPs that are JUST right for their bank. AND we make sure they state them as an explicit benefit.

In an hour or two, we’ve made more progress than they made after six months and $200,000+ of branding. (Don’t blame your marketing department—it’s NOT their fault.) They just haven’t been exposed to a better way.

Step 4: Optimize how you use your USPs

That’s right. USPs do no good whatsoever in a binder. Although they can be transformative to marketing results when used correctly in your marketing, the real magic is in the sale process. The magic happens when your team uses them in the right type of question format that allows for the prospect to tell you how much it is costing them not to have your USPs. Oh, that’s so much fun. (It’s like printing money—legally!)

I had a bank who, on their first deal after they learned this, nailed a $5.4 million loan without the prospect EVER asking how much. Their CEO said they charge 150 basis points more than any of the 100 banks located between that prospect and that bank. Wouldn’t you like to do that all day long, every day? What’s it costing you this month, with your current pipeline, to know you’re missing on 50, 100, or 150 basis points on every deal?

Step 5: Do a back flip 

Once you figure this out AND get the system in place to do it over and over, you should do a happy dance because you just protected your bank from the ups and downs of the economy—which means that while other banks that will be crushed by their belief that NIM compression is a “thing,” you will be there to pick off their best customers. It’s supposed to be fun, isn’t it?

Stay tuned. Next week we’re going to talk about HOW to get the fly wheel spinning and get more A+ quality credits coming to you.



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