4 Myths of Creating a Sales Culture

Banks and credit unions assuming that implementing a sales culture requires huge shifts in strategy and execution. Not true.

1. A sales culture takes a lot of money to build and implement

You will make money with a sales culture. One of my clients increased their income from insurance from $1,600 per month up to over $13,000 in one year’s time simply by installing a service/sales culture. The sales culture didn’t cost them money, it made them money. The challenge with credit unions and banks is that they don’t ask for the business. Once employees are shown how to have a conversation with the consumer, then positive sales results occur. While branch traffic is down, the question to ask nowadays is, “What is our phone volume?” Flat or up? Learning to sell over the phone is very important.

2. It requires a shift in strategy

This is obvious. Rather than have your tellers and frontline employees answer the phones why not teach them to answer the phone and ask the consumer what else they may need from your financial institution? This is a shift from the traditional strategy of being a passive financial institution to being a proactive financial partner. An ancient Chinese Proverb says, “If we do not change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed.” I do secret shopping for financial institutions all over the country and have discovered that one in six times front line employees never ask me to do business with them. Increase your odds of success by changing your strategy.

Wells Fargo has been incredibly successful installing a sales culture and building their brand. Credit unions and banks want to emulate Wells Fargo’s approach. You can’t call a Wells Fargo branch and not be asked to add a product or service to your current mix. Call them and test my theory. Yes, they have a website and a web presence, but they have much more. They have one of the most successful sales cultures ever created.

3. A sales culture out of step with trends of consumer behavior

Consumer behavior has changed Yes, consumers are using tablets and smart phones. But consumers still call financial institutions, they still use the drive up, and they still walk into the branch. Branch traffic nationwide is down 25% over the last five years — decreased but not disappeared. You still have opportunities to connect to your consumer. A sales culture is not the only answer but it is part of the answer.

4. A digital strategy is a better solution

Yes, a better online presence will help your financial institution, but it is not the only answer. A better financial presence online and having a well-trained and coordinated sales effort will significantly improve your financial results. Look at Vital Credit Union and Mission City Credit Union. Their numbers are up and growing, with a strong and successfully installed service/sales culture. For these credit unions a sales culture was the answer. And it can be the answer for your institution too.

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