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On the surface the title of this article seems like commonsense, but it is not common practice.  The question is:   “If this is simple, why is it not commonly done?”  The reality is that most bankers spend their time selling clients on the latest or coolest product.  Often, sales of these products are more heavily incentivized so bankers spend more of their time where the money is.  You can’t blame them.

Using This Approach has evolved into most bankers being more intent on sharing their wealth of banking knowledge rather than asking a few simple questions that begin to uncover what each client really needs.  Their approach is One-Size-Fits-All versus helping clients with one-to-one solutions.  What these bankers don’t seem to realize is that people don’t really care to hear about what you “know” until they know that you care! By asking the right questions, at the right time, and in the right manner, your bankers will convey to more customers that they actually care.  And this will lead to stronger relationships, discovering true needs, building trust and increased revenue.

Leveraging with Targeted Marketing is not an exact science either.  Two people, with the same circumstances may have completely different risk tolerances or preferred ways of doing their banking.  Having bankers promote a product or service from targeted marketing insights presented to them in your core banking system or CRM promotes product pushing versus relationship building.  Using that same data to ask effective relationship questions, however, can lead to the sales results you are looking for but also strengthen relationships with those clients that the product is not a fit for.  The key to making this a positive experience is using effective questions to truly get to know your client and their individual needs.

Telling is Selling, Asking is Helping.  For the last 20 years I have been helping bankers change their approach from selling products to solving customer needs.  The only way you can understand the client’s needs is by asking good questions.  Over the years we have been able to narrow the conversation to a few simple questions that help you uncover 80% of the clients needs.  Then, we share techniques to get to the remaining 20% by digging deeper with a few other simple questions.

Ask, Listen, Solve is the approach we have found that creates stronger and deeper relationships.  Clients feel like you have taken the time to get to know them before putting a bunch of product choices in front of them.  This approach simplifies their decisions because the banker makes a clear recommendation based on what they have learned from the client and what they know about the products and services you offer.  Doing things in this order puts your customers at ease, rapidly builds trust, and makes them feel as though they are actually being served vs. being sold.

The Secret to making this shift is to focus time and energy on teaching bankers how to have better conversations with clients.  While most banks are great at training bankers on Policies and Procedures to stay out of trouble with regulators, most spend very little time teaching and coaching bankers how to have quality conversations with clients.  I have found that investing in conversations not only helps improve relationship stickiness and cross-sell, but it also helps raise overall quality of service and reduces errors.

Making Relationship Focus Common Practice in your organization is not as difficult or as costly as you might think.  And the benefits in stronger relationships far outweigh the cost. The investment in your bankers’ skills will pay dividends over the long haul.  We offer customized 3D Relationship Building training that allows you to incorporate this approach into your everyday training.  And once we train your team, you don’t need us over and over again.  You own it.  You deliver it to make sure this becomes part of your organizational DNA.

If you would like to learn more about how you can make this a common practice in your organization, schedule a 30 minute discovery call with me.  Contact Us.   On that call, I’ll share with you the steps we take you through to make sure that 3D Relationship Management becomes part of your organizational DNA.  You can help your bank turn commonsense relationship building into common practice.