Imagine walking onto a used car lot and telling the man in the plaid jacket that you’re interested in a vehicle.
Without hesitation he says, “We have this nice Corvette, or we have this suburban, or this Mini Cooper, or this tricked out van, or this station wagon …”
What a waste of time, right?
That’s what folks get when they walk into your branch and say that they’re interested in a checking account.
Without hesitation, your crew launches into, “We have free checking – that’s what most people get. Or we have interest checking, but you need to have a minimum balance. Or we have a checking where you need to keep $5,000 in it.”
“Well, my balance regularly falls under $5,000.”
Unfazed, “You get free cashier’s checks and money orders with that account, and you get free check orders…”
“But, my balance regularly falls under $5,000.”
“And, you get to shake the CEO’s hand, you get to pet this puppy…”
Y’all, I wish I was kidding. This happens … ALL THE DAMN TIME!
I’ve shopped hundreds of bank and credit unions branches from all over the country and this is the second most common interaction (In the MOST common, they just hand me a brochure and let me walk out. That’s why we say, “Trash your Paper Brochures”).
See my experience from 30+ branch shops that I did last week, here.
So how do you fix this non-sense?
Well, what would you want the car dealer to do? Ask:
- What type of car are you looking for? Sport, van, sedan, SUV?
- How will you use the car? Are you driving a ton of miles? Hauling kids to soccer? Short commute?
- Do you have a price range in mind?
- Do years and mileage matter, or are you looking to keep costs down?
All you are trying to do is narrow the focus. Filter out the unnecessary and hone in on the real need.
Make a darn recommendation!
What can your team ask?
- Where do you bank now?
- What kind of balances do you typically carry?
- Do you write a lot of checks?
- How often do you manage your account on your computer? What about your phone?
- Do you use your debit card a lot?
- What about ATMs?
- Do you travel often?
- How far from this branch do you live?
- What else is important to you?
By answering questions with questions, you learn. Then, you can talk-up the most logical product AND differentiate against the competition.
“You travel a lot? We have an ATM network with more than 100,000 ATMs.”
“You never walk into a branch? I love our online banking and mobile banking. I use them all the time … and I work in the branch!”
“We have more local branches than anyone. If you like the face-to-face, we’re the one’s for you.”
This isn’t just a checking thing. Look at your website … you have a ton of products and services!
When someone is interested in you, take interest in them! Ask questions. Learn about what they need and make one or two recommendations. Don’t info-dump.
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