I’ve been in banking for more than 30 years. Recently, I tried to estimate how often I’ve heard a community bank CEO say, “No matter what we do, we can’t get our NlM out of the 3s. It’s impossible.” It turns out that I can’t estimate it. The number’s so high I’ve lost count.
Whenever I hear a CEO, CLO, or CFO declare, in front of the team, that banking is a commodity, I am never surprised to look them up a few years later to see that the bank has lost its independence.
It’s consistent…The one thing that most banks do wrong is sales training. In fact, in most cases, it is a train wreck.
Most banks are screaming for loan growth. But they’re not going to get it.
They think the only way to achieve that growth is to do traditional sales training.
Never, in the history of time has that ever worked. No really…never.
In talking with top-performing bank executives every week, I’ve heard at least 1,000 executives tell me over the years something like, “We spent $400,000 on sales training…not only did it not work…it made things worse.”
It’s like the guy who tries to fix his glasses with a hammer…wrong tool.
Most bankers think that internal culture means friendly tellers, free coffee in the lobby,, and someone to greet customers as they come in the door. No, no, no! Have you ever found one bank that was able to get 100 to 150 basis points more in net interest margin with that insipid belief system?
Of course not. Because that’s not what culture is.
Culture asks, “Will your people leap over tall buildings in a single bound to make sure your client is successful in their business or personal financial goals?”
You have a strategic plan. That’s good. But does it have a life beyond the paper it’s written on? Is it driving you toward success—or is it just something you checked off a list of “Things Good Banks Should Do”?
If they’re honest, about 95 percent of bank execs would have to say “Oh well, nice try.” Most strategic plans just don’t end up making a difference. That’s a serious problem. In addition to losing the value of a good plan, your executive team can lose weeks every year drafting a 50-page behemoth that ends up gathering dust.