Have Your Lenders Become Sales Dinosaurs?

Have Your Lenders Become Sales Dinosaurs?

So what did the Sales Dinosaur Assessment for Bank CEOs in my last email reveal about your bank?  What new insights did you have about how your bank needs to evolve?  The bank-assessment in my last blog asked bank CEOs and Presidents twelve questions designed to expose a small portion of the antiquated thinking that currently exists in your bank. 

Why should you care about “antiquated thinking”?

Because nothing stifles progress, creativity and innovation faster than old, familiar habitual ways of thinking.  Wait a minute! Did I just suggest that our thinking is habitual?  Yes I did!  Just like our behaviors are habitual, the ways in which we think are also habitual.

Our habits of thought are like blinders.  They obstruct our peripheral vision and in doing so prevent us from discovering new ways to hone our organization.  As bank leaders, are you cultivating a culture that encourages and rewards new ideas?  Do your managers understand how valuable employee perspectives are in the quest to improve the customer experience?  Or are your executives, managers and employees comfortable with the “status quo?”

Has Your Bank Become a Sales Dinosaur?  Yes!  That is the best possible answer.  It means you’re not in denial about the fact that your lenders, relationship and branch managers are pretty much saying and selling the exact same way as your competitors.  It means you realize your sale teams continue to use the same, tired old approaches to finding and closing business as they have for the past two and three decades.  Every banker is approaching the same commercial real estate brokers, CPAs and attorneys for referrals.  What could be less original than that?

This, the second, follow-on blog is a “self-assessment” for lenders and relationship managers to help them determine if they’ve also become sales dinosaurs.  You likely will find this assessment to be very revealing.

Have Your Lenders Become Sales Dinosaurs?

Sales-Assessment for Lenders and Relationship Managers

You have likely become a sales dinosaur if…

  1. You’re still working the same types of COIs as you have for the past 10 to 30+ years
  2. When you think of a COI, you think of a “high profile” person
  3. Half or more of your deal flow are referrals from real estate brokers, CPAs and attorneys
  4. Your pre-call planning consists of discussing your call in the car on the way to the sales call
  5. You rely on your years of experience and “wing-it” on sales calls
  6. You consider yourself a “generalist”
  7. You believe specializing in an industry limits your opportunities
  8. Your goal on an initial prospect call is to get a package
  9. You receive far more referrals than you give
  10. You look for and like “deals with hair” on them
  11. You bring in more real estate deals than C&I business
  12. You often find yourself competing with 3 to 5 other banks for a deal
  13. You use phrases like “relationship banking,” “personal relationships”, “customized solutions,” “we’re dedicated to the community” and “excellent customer service” when talking to prospects and customers

Looking in the mirror isn’t easy.  Confronting the truth is uncomfortable.  The more “yes” or “possibly” you had as answers to the questions above, the more likely it is that you’ve become a sales dinosaur.  If more than 50% of your answers were yes, you’re among a dying breed.

What’s the point of the sales assessment for lenders and relationship managers?  Awareness!  To make you aware that you and your bank are undifferentiated, commoditized and antiquated in your approach to marketing and sales!

Einstein said “you can’t solve a problem with the same thinking that created it.” 

As lenders, relationship and branch managers, it is imperative we understand and acknowledge we’ve commoditized yourselves due to lack of originality, lack of a defined strategy and lack of discipline.  As a result, every banker sounds and sells like every other banker in the market.

We all know the game is changing in banking; the

question is how are you going to change with the times?

Check out BTI Growth Advisors evolutionary, new website and resources.

Would it be valuable to see your competitor’s marketing plans?  Keep an eye out for my next blog in a couple weeks!  I am going to show you the exact marketing plan of all your competitors.

Best regards,

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Has Your Bank Become a Sales Dinosaur?

As you’ve seen from past blogs, the consistent theme of the blog content we produce focuses on helping bankers and banks evolve and become more progressive, innovative institutions.

The theme of my next two blogs is Has Your Bank Become a Sales Dinosaur?  This first blog is a “bank-assessment” designed to assist bank CEOs and Presidents to determine if their bank has become a sales dinosaur.

The second, follow-on blog in June will also be a “self-assessment” for lenders to help them determine if they’ve become a sales dinosaur.  You may find this assessment to be very revealing.

 

Has Your Bank Become a Sales Dinosaur?
Bank-Assessment for CEOs & Presidents

Your bank has likely become a sales dinosaur if…

  1. You still believe hiring seasoned lenders who promise to “bring over their book of business” works out favorably for your bank
  2. You believe the past production of a lender is a predictor of future production
  3. You believe a seasoned banker is an effective banker
  4. You believe a seasoned banker doesn’t need further training and development
  5. You believe your lenders are unique in the market
  6. You believe your lenders communicate and sell differently than your competitors
  7. You have lenders who met their sales goals their first year being employed at your bank but haven’t met their sales goals in their second and third years
  8. Your lenders rely heavily on referrals from real estate brokers, CPAs and attorneys for most of their deal flow
  9. Your lenders are still using the same strategies to find and close business as they have for the past decade or more
  10. Your lenders negotiate harder with your credit committee or credit administrator than they do with their customers
  11. Your bank has merged in the last several years and you believe you have a united and aligned sales culture
  12. You believe your bank has a united sales culture that’s consistently deployed in all regions and all offices

Looking in the mirror isn’t easy.  Confronting the truth is uncomfortable.  The more “yeses” or “possibly” you had as answers to the questions above, the more likely it is that your bank has become a sales dinosaur.  If more than 50% of your answers were “yeses,” you’re bank is among a dying breed.

What’s the point of the CEO / President bank assessment?  Awareness!  To make you aware that your bank and your lending teams are undifferentiated, commoditized and antiquated in your approach to marketing, sales and hiring!

Hall of Fame hockey player Wayne Gretzky said “I skate to where the puck is going, not where it’s been.”

As leaders in your bank (you can be a leader without having the title) it is imperative we understand where the proverbial “puck” is going in banking and skate in that direction.  We all know the game is changing in banking, the question is how are your employees and executives going to change with the times?

Keep an eye out for my next blog entitled, “Have Your Lenders Become Sales Dinosaurs?

Best regards,

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Evolutionary Business Planning For Lenders – Part Four – Final

Which Would You Prefer, To Be Uninspired or Inspired?

Confident businessman runs a successful business project. Business icons and growing arrow on the background.

Confident businessman runs a successful business project. Business icons and growing arrow on the background.

Its 8:51 Saturday morning and I just sat down with a hot cup of tea to write the final blog in the Taking an Evolutionary Approach to Business Planning.  I am feeling very peaceful and grateful for my life.  Before I get into the subject of business plans, I want to discuss how important it is these days for us to find ways to feel grateful in our lives.  Our world today is filled with threats, chaos, turmoil and injustices.  Our lives are pressure packed and exhausting.  There are so many things in life that deplete us emotionally, physically, spiritually and energetically, it is imperative we find ways to fill ourselves and to feel grateful.  Any activity that is connected to a personal passion brings us joy and gratitude.  When was the last time you allowed yourself the time to enjoy something you are passionate about?  Sometimes we can connect to our gratitude with the smallest, simplest act such as when we look at our children sleeping soundly in their beds, or when we take a moment to really take in the beauty of nature just outside our window.

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Evolutionary Business Planning For Lenders – Part Three

In this, the third blog in our educational series, Taking an Evolutionary Approach to Business Planning, our intent is to help your lenders modify their 2016 business plans, based on what they have learned from the analysis of their 2015 activities and results.

Plan Your Work; Work Your Plan…Why Don’t More Lenders Do This?

Production Process on the Mechanism of Metal Gears.

Production Process on the Mechanism of Metal Gears.

At the start of every year, an extremely high percentage of business plan conversations take place between sales managers and lenders beginning exactly the same way.  The conversation begins with the lender telling their sales manager, ”I want to bring in $ X,000,000 of loans” or “My goal this year is to bring in $X,000,000 of loans and deposits.”  Wanting to produce a result is great, having a goal is important.  The real question becomes how are your lenders going to produce the specified result?  For many lenders there is a vast difference between what they say they are going to do in their business plan and what they actually do blog in and blog out.  Why is that?  Why don’t more lenders follow their plans?  The answer is fairly obvious, no accountability to the business plan by either the lender or their sales manager.  Much of the responsibility for lenders not following their business plans falls on the shoulders of their sales managers.

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Evolutionary Business Planning For Lenders – Part Two

If you’ve been reading our blogs you’re beginning to recognize that we advocate taking a more thoughtful and strategic approach to every facet of sales.  In this, the second blog in our educational series, Taking an Evolutionary Approach to Business Planning, our intent is to leverage the insights learned from the recommended actions laid out in our last blog.

What Insights Were Gleaned from Last Week’s Analysis?

arrowOliver Wendell Holmes said, “A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.”  Wow, that quote certainly sheds light on the value of reflecting.

In last our last blog we laid out a process designed to help your lenders discover insights on how to be more efficient and effective in their sales efforts.  The goal of this process is to develop stronger 2016 business plans and stronger 2016 results.  The steps we discussed were:

  1. Be Intentional
  2. Discover Your Numbers and Closing Ratios

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Evolutionary Business Planning for Lenders – Part One

We’re excited to begin discussing lender business plans as part of our four-part blog series on Taking an Evolutionary Approach to Business Planning.

It doesn’t matter if your lenders have completed their annual business plans or are in the process.  I promise that the things we will be shedding light on over these next four weeks will measurably improve the quality of your lender’s business plans and dramatically increase the odds of them hitting their annual production goals.

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