I’ve got a question for you: are your people really selling?
You see in a snow storm, all the plows are busy. The snow plowing companies answer their phones, they take jobs that competitors can’t do because they’re too busy, and everybody thinks they are selling, but they’re not really selling—there happens to be a snow storm.
Right now there’s a bit of a snow storm in banking. Times are relatively good, so people are calling you and asking you to do business. There’s a danger in that and the danger is your people are not doing what they need to be doing. What they need to be doing is calling on your next best customers, as opposed to being reactive, dealing with the ones in front of them, that are coming to them just looking to see if perhaps you would do business with them. Those walk-ins end up wanting to negotiate rate, they tend to have other banks that they’re looking at at the exact same time, and oftentimes they are not the key prospects and the only sales job ever really done is when it’s taken to credit committee to say, “Can we do this deal, only if we meet these parameters?”
That’s not what selling is. Selling is not quoting, selling is not matching price, selling is not negotiating price, selling is not order-taking. It’s a proven process that creates loan growth with premium pricing, and brings in all the business. All designed for A+ quality credits to be brought in the door. That’s what selling really is. It’s a complete integration of a sales system. If you’re still managing sales people, as opposed to a sales system designed to make sure that the conversations they’re having are with the right people in the right order, covering the right things that create extreme differentiation for you to bring in all their business…unless that is being managed, the chance of you having really good sales results are slim to none. Pay attention to make sure that you are not just being responsive to what’s walking in the door, because the second it stops walking in the door, all bets are off.
Think of it this way—ask your lenders this: “In the morning when you wake up, are you busy?”
They’ll say yes. Then ask them, “Well, what did you skip this morning? Did you skip brushing your teeth or did you skip putting on your deodorant?”
They say, “No, I always do both.”
Well, great, we need to do two things at once here. Handle the current customers walking in, also handling up the clean-up that we have, and handling the right activities to bring in our next best customers. Unless we have disciplines to do those right things, nothing significantly good will happen over time.
Jim Rohn always said, “There are two pains in life: the pain of discipline and the pain of regret.”
The good news is you get to choose. Choose well to make sure that your sales system is designed to give points for calling on the right people in the right order, and get the premium pricing, and no points for taking orders.