Saturday, May 19, 2007

Bank sales training - Product Knowledge

The first line of attack
Within every organization you have a certain group of associates who are on the front line and they ultimately become the first line of defense. In other words they determine the level of success your organization is going to experience while trying to accomplish its mission. At restaurants it’s the cashiers or the employee handling the drive through window.

At a grocery store it’s the clerks and the cashiers. Within a car dealership it’s the salesman. This same principle or concept applies for tellers at a bank. They set the stage for on going relationships with customers and future transactions which ultimately translate into cash. That’s why it’s so important to establish rapport by delivering world class customer service. Actually nothing else should be acceptable. If you have two establishments and both have identical products it’s the customer service received that can sway their decision to buy or not. This is what determines if them will frequent your organization or your competitors.

Remember a dissatisfied customer may not always voice their opinion they just won’t return to your establishment to do business. Not only that they will tell everyone they know about the displeasure they experienced.

If a teller is not giving outstanding customer service or becomes rude with a customer there is a good chance you may lose that customer to a competitor. Or they will never purchase another product from your organization even if they need it. This definitely affects the bottom line. Or along the same lines what if the tellers are not asking probing questions that will determine the needs of customers which can help bring in revenue for the bank.

What if rapport is not being established. Once needs are determined the correct product can be offered to your customers. The more of your products and services that a customer has the least likely they are to leave your bank. That’s why it is so important to maximize every single opportunity.

Customers should come to depend on you as their banker or consultant who has their needs and best interest at heart. If a customer determines that you’re looking out for their best interest they will be more likely to do all their banking with you. Some where down the line this can lead to as many as three or four different products that a customer has with your bank. And that’s the ultimate goal.

It’s not the Tellers responsibility to sale a product to the customer, but they must make the connection, establish rapport through probing questions, determine a need and refer the customer to the platform staff for the actual sell. Therefore it does require that they have some basic product knowledge. And it all starts with a great attitude accompanied with a great smile. If your staff of tellers have a great attitude half the battle is won. A great attitude can do more for referrals than you can imagine. Some customers will be referred even if they don’t have a need for a product based on a tellers superior attitude, ( Of course we always want to do the right thing and it’s up to the platform staff to determine if a need does in fact exist) .
So it starts with a great attitude which comes with a great smile.

When you put the customer at ease with your superior attitude it is far easier to establish rapport. Customers will more than likely want to be converse with you. They will look at you as someone that can be trusted. This opens the door to determine the customers needs.
So now it’s time to recognize the customers needs . How do we that? They always give clues. Just listen to the customer and they will tell you in so many words what product or service they need.
Be on the lookout for customer needs --- they always give clues.

Example: customer: My checking account is overdrawn again ---- answer: offer the over draft protection. The first time you use it it will pay for itself. Let me get someone to speak with you further.

Example 2: customer ---- these bills are keeping me from enjoying life I have to mail ten checks per month ----answer: offer the home equity line of credit. Mr. Johnson we can offer you the home equity line of credit and consolidate all your debts. At the very least we can offer a credit card with a promotional rate which can save the customer money on one of the credit cards at least. Perhaps we can refinance the first mortgage and consolidate everything. How about the online banking service. This will save the customer time and money. No longer will the customer have to write out checks.

Example 3: customer: My mortgage payments are too high so is the interest rate. Answer: offer to refinance the first mortgage and the customer may want some cash as well --- or maybe there are some other bills to consolidate.

Example: 4 customer: I just retired. CSR: How are you going to handle your 401k or retirement money.
Those were just some of the many examples of how customers give us clues to their needs.
When you talk to your customers today what needs can you uncover.

This will serve to increase your product offering per customer.
Now lets talk abut Customer Relationship Management and some key statistics. Consider these facts.

Customer Relationship Management is important because the more products and services
from your bank that a customer has the more likely they are to stay with your bank.

A customer with four of a banks products and services is more likely to stay with that bank
than if they only had one product or service.

That's why it is so important to continuously engage the customer to see if another need

So you can see why it is critical to build those relationships and increase your product offering per customer.

Put your game plan into place:

It starts with a superior attitude accompanied with a smile.
You have to have the rightAttitude
You need basic Skills in place
Knowledge ( a basic knowledge of the products and services offered)

How do you get more referrals

Getting those referrals
Be enthusiastic and sincere
Believe in the products
Know that you are truly helping your customers

So as a teller it’s always a good idea to stay mentally sharp so that you will be able to recognize the needs of the customers which puts you in a position to respond to the customers needs and make recommendations for the customers .And finally you are able to refer the customer to the appropriate platform staff for the sell.

Recognizing the customer needs always centers around several key items. First the customer has a problem that needs to be solved. We live in a microwave society people want things done better and faster so there is definitely a need for convenience. What product or service can you think of that provides convenience for the customer.

Practically every customer has a need to save money whether it be in a checking, savings, CD, IRA or whatever type of savings vehicle you can think of.
Also customers have a need to borrow money. We live in a credit based society therefore we use credit to finance large ticket items like homes, cars, boats, RV’s, vacation home, vacations, consolidation of debts etc.

During your encounter with customers it’s a good idea to actively listen for the words that can trigger a need.

After recognizing the need you want to relay the features and benefits to the customers. Always mention the benefit that is most important to the customer. Then try to bring or mention the other benefits that the customer will derive satisfaction from. The more benefits you can give the customer the better, of course you don’t want to overload and overwhelm them.

Now you want to put yourself into the equation. Show how you understand the problem and how you can help provide a solution . Use phrases that show you are concerned about the customers problem and you are ready to help.

Example: It looks like you will need help consolidating those debts.
Or, I can help you get that 401k moved over into an IRA.

Benefits Vs. Features
Credit card with a promotional apr Feature --- This card will save you money
Home equity line of credit $10k ---- feature ---- saves money with low Apr --- tax write off ---
Save time by consolidating.
A good selling point is to point out the benefits. Stressing the benefits help you to relate to
The customers needs better.

Send the customer to the platform.
Here are some good phrases to use when you send a customer to the platform:
Example: Based on what you have told me I think it is very important for you to speak with John or Marilyn they are the experts for that particular product. Always build the credibility of your team members. O r this is a great idea…. Let me get someone for you to speak to.

Role play with someone. Pretend you are the teller in a situation then switch it around and be the customer.

Objections -
1. If there are objections you may have to clarify some other things with the customer
2. You may have to provide more information
3. Don’t take rejection personal
4. Stress the benefits
Common Objections:
Objection: I don’t need any more credit

I don’t want to pay any fees

I keep my savings and checking accounts
At another bank.

I don’t have the time --
I don’t think I will qualify

Overcome the objections:
1. First acknowledge you heard the objection
2. Clarify the objection --- this may call for you to paraphrase ---
3. Then take action with the referral

I understand how you feel Mr. Johnson…..
Many of my customers felt the same way…
However, after trying it out, they found that they could save a lot of time
Feel Felt Found.

Role play to overcome objections
Put together an action plan to put the information into action.
Celebrate your success.

All of these activities help to build wealth and increase profits and revenue with your bank.

To Your Great Success

Mel Richardson

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