Why Bankers Need Formal Sales Training To Increase Revenue
In today’s competitive banking industry, it has become even more vital to build long-term customer relationships at banks across the globe. The modern customer may or may not be well-informed about the financial questions they need to ask, but it is critical for bankers to understand the unique situation of each customer, such as current financial needs and obligations, financial history, long-term financial goals, and business strategy if they happen to own one.
Whether you are a sales person, relationship manager, branch manager, lender, underwriter, credit analyst, business banker, or a personal banker -you should be able to understand the true impact of credit risk. If you are unable to assess a customer’s needs, you will miss profitable opportunities, may end up providing loans that have a high risk of delinquency, ultimately placing the bank at risk.
Customers Do Not Appreciate a Typical Sales Pitch
An important task is to gather the right information from your customers, and this will happen when you ask your customers the right questions, and have engaging conversations with them so you can ultimately provide targeted solutions to them. This is what a customer’s expectation is when he walks through that door at a bank for his first appointment with an associate. Customers want the sales person to communicate with them, beyond what is known as a regular practice of giving them several different product options to choose from. While the vast amount of choices can be assumed to make a customer feel empowered this is also the kind of information they can find online.
Furthermore, customers certainly do not want to feel like they are going through a typical ‘sales pitch’ and being ‘sold to.’ A highly competent sales person at a bank, aside from being courteous and professional, will constantly raise the bar in being able to measure risk involved, while suggesting a feasible, systematic and profitable plan of action. A mutually beneficial relationship will always go a long way, leading to the customer feeling invested in, and the bank increasing its credibility as well as the quality and size of its loan portfolios.
As reflected by Laura Beaver, a credit expert and Omega Performance trainer, “customer-facing bankers with a strong foundation in credit-centric sales skills are able to tell the story behind the numbers the first time around, increasing operational efficiency and improving credibility with the back office.” The article, The Smart Way to Turn Tellers into Sellers by American Banker, discusses the basic hiring practices at banks, and how an organisation can improve the process.
Ask Your Customers the Right Questions in the Limited Time You Have
If you are a banker in a client facing role it is imperative that you continue to think of ways to add value to your client interactions by catering to their needs. By following best practices on how to strengthen your customer relationships, it is likely that a new customer who had a great initial customer experience will come back to diversify his or her portfolio with you. For a bank sales person to evaluate a customer’s requirements properly, he or she should know the type of information that is required, and be prepared to ask the right questions to uncover this information.
More specifically, bankers should confidently display judgment skills. This ability to weigh the various factors of a unique client situation and promptly deliver a customer-centric plan, will set apart the high level of customer service from competing banks. Bankers worldwide are usually provided with technical tools, customer management systems, and company processes that help them serve new and old clients – while the advantage of such tools cannot be diminished, what bankers sometimes fail to do, is adapt to their customer’s unique situation. This can result in the associate providing insufficient or even incorrect information to the customer, resulting in losing that customer to another banker who was able to sail through with his more adept bank sales skills.
To emphasize the same point, while employees will continue to learn on-the-job, to be able to maximize their sales, they need a more methodical training process. They need to learn how they can have collaborative conversations with their customers throughout the process, which will eventually define the volume and growth of a bank’s loan.
A Methodical Sales Training Process is Vital
While most financial institutions around the world provide their staff training in banking operations, compliance, regulatory systems and processes, and even product-specific training, what sets a high-performing bank aside from its competitors is when it recognizes the need to provide professional sales skills training to its customer-facing and frontline people. This boosts staff confidence, adopting a well-organized sales process that leads to a higher-quality customer acquisition model, and thereby increasing the bank value.
As a banker in today’s world, you should improve your sales skills, build your network, be able to overcome rejections and convert them into opportunities, adapt to a customer’s needs, and also prioritize your leads – thus increasing sales revenue. This training should be a continuous process where you are able to apply that learning in your day-to-day job, and test your skills by interacting and participating in real-life scenarios. Beyond learning sales skills, you must make an effort to retain and sustain these skills – thus, you should be able to discuss your understanding of conversations, and sales techniques with your manager, and set realistic goals for the overall development of your career as a successful banker.
Omega Performance Sales Skills Training Solution
Omega Performance has recently launched the new Sales Skills curriculum to train customer-facing and frontline bank staff. The Sales Skills curriculum includes five courses, available in self-study e-learning or print formats, and instructor-led Skills Application Labs (SALs). These blended learning solutions equip bank associates and their managers with the skills they need to engage in collaborative conversations and deliver exceptional customer experiences.