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One Percent Sales: Opening is the New Closing (Part 1)
Thursday, May 9, 2013 6:30 AM

Over the past year, specialists in sales success have recognized sales traits and subsequent skills that predictably deliver results. Simply put, experts, consultants and closers reliably produce superior outcomes in sales. Experts know their products cold, consultants recognize the right fit for each product and circumstance, and closers ensure that accounts are opened and loans are closed. Hire and train to this skillset, and you will witness surplus sales at your credit union, according to Jeff Rendel, a certified speaking professional and president of Rising Above Enterprises.

“Members’ perspectives have changed. They know they have choices and recognize they have sway, and they can select and fulfill their wishes at the click of a mouse or the tap of a screen,” says Rendel. “If we, as sales and service professionals, wish to establish, enrich and expand relationships with our members, the real opportunity lies with beginning inputs to the sales process, rather than the expected ends.”

Opening is the new closing, according to Rendel. The opening is about results – made-to-order for your members and beneficial for your credit union.

“It is no revelation to claim that over the past decade, the credit union industry and financial services market have undergone far-reaching adjustments – with competitors, member expectations and ease of disintermediation,” Rendel observes. “Each of these ups and downs created a powerful influence on how we sell.”

Rendel suggests that credit unions keep the following in mind:

1. Our competition is not limited to banks. We compete with finance companies, insurance multinationals, big box retailers, and other credit unions – and that’s just the beginning. It is a dog-eat-dog marketplace, and when there are more entities contending for our retail and business members’ commerce, it is challenging to tell us apart.

2. Members have increased their understanding of financial matters and insist on top value for every purchase. Price matters – always has, always will – but value matters more. “Sell me,” a member might say, “On why I should do business with you and what’s in it for me.”

3. The Internet transferred the balance of power between members and credit unions, presenting members added access to additional knowledge, selections and occasions to begin, modify, or leave financial relationships.

Read Friday’s LoneStar Leaguer  to read the rest of the story from Jeff Rendel.