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One Percent Sales: Opening is the New Closing (Part 2)
Friday, May 10, 2013 8:20 AM

As covered in yesterday’s LoneStar Leaguer, Jeff Rendel, president of Rising Above Enterprises, talked about recognizing traits and skills to ensure sales success at your credit union.

So, how does a credit union sales and service professional boost his or her odds of closing while still at the opening? Rendel suggests you include these three proficiencies in your sales acumen:

Be ready to sell from the get-go. We are all busy, especially the members who are stopping by your credit union (live or online) with specific business to conduct. Customer relationship management systems, predictive analytics and smart selling are accommodating. Based on a member’s relationship, what relevant product or service improves their relationship with you? Present that product in a manner that makes your member’s association with you more efficient and appreciated. No one has time to squander, and we have to concede that fact and display an understanding for it.       

Lead your sales conversation with a message of value. If it’s a deeper retail relationship you seek, an example could be: “I invested some time in seeing how your current loan balances elsewhere compare with our loan products. You’re approved and a simple transfer will save you $102 per month. Once you’re satisfied that this is the right move forward, I can begin the process this afternoon.” If it’s a new business appointment you seek, add something like this to your initial message: “I have two ideas that are helping medical practices similar to yours produce better results in cash flow management and payroll services. I’d like to share them with you and leave you with some ideas you can use to produce better results in your business now.” In the end – and regardless of what the member chooses – your leadership actions are focused on results for your members.

Invest in a philosophy of Member Capitalism. In 2010, Roger Martin of the University of Toronto wrote an article titled “The Age of Customer Capitalism.” Succinctly, Martin argued that capitalism has shifted further than the models associated with managerial science and shareholder wealth creation. An advancement, customer capitalism (let’s call it member capitalism) insists that a primary focus on member profitability leads to sustainable results. In practice, it focuses on ensuring that each member profits more in a relationship with your credit union. Lower fees, better interest rates, relationship pricing, and greater use of e-services lead to more profits (cash flow and ease) for a member. This individual sales focus, multiplied across all credit union members, creates more revenue and profits for your credit union.

In any relationship, first impressions matter most. Our opening opportunities with members – in business development, establishing new accounts, and nurturing loyalty in existing relationships – are no different. If opening is the new closing and leadership from the start is expected from our members, consider including these add-ons to your marketing, prospecting and onboarding systems.