Last month we discussed Conversations and Curiosity as two of the top five Cs in trust-based selling. Here are the final three.
No. 3: Customization, This Is a 1-to-1 World
In 1993, Don Peppers and Martha Rogers co-authored The One to One Future, Building Business Relationships One Customer at a Time. Peppers and Rogers were not the pioneers of the one to one movement but they have gone a long way to perfect it. Visit their website here.
There is no way to tailor every product for every situation. It is easy to understand, however, that every buyer purchases your solutions for their own reasons. As the banker presents his or her offerings therefore, landing customized benefits into the life of the buyer creates more “yes” opportunities. Some of those buying behaviors involve gain or profit, power or control, variety or change, self-preservation or security, achievement or recognition and others.
Gaining knowledge as to “why” they buy can occur in the first or second meeting if the sales person is adept at the curious (asking great questions). The reasons for the services they currently have or believe they need, what type of a banking relationship works for them and criteria for their buying decisions should all factor into your future presentations.
Customization has never been easier to accomplish but sometimes sales people can become lazy or complacent. On-demand brochure printing, proposal software and tailored pitch books allow the buyer to see how his or her objectives match the solutions the banker is bringing to the table. The chief marketing officer can be a great partner in this arena.
No. 4: Collaboration, the Ultimate in Transparency
Some sales training I’ve seen talks about “going to war” and employing manipulative scripting techniques to get the client or pre-client to buy. In trust-based selling, it’s not the banker versus the customer, it’s the banker and the customer versus the problem.
It is important for the salesperson to determine if there is a “fit” between the philosophy and the abilities of the bank and the vision that the company has of what a banking relationship should be. If there is a mismatch, the relationship could be shorter than a Kardashian marriage.
In his book, Trust-Based Selling, Charles Green discusses the importance of transparency as the salesperson and the pre-client sit at a desk and assemble the proposal together. When the banker shows he or she has nothing to hide, more collaboration occurs and less negotiation is needed. Charlie suggests that the ultimate in trust is when the banker refers his or her best customer to the competition because the competition can do a better job on a certain initiative. That is total collaboration – a trusted advisor.
Collaboration also comes about inside the bank. Too often I hear Treasury Management professionals and other internal colleague lament that the commercial banker did not bring them into the mix soon enough to help secure a client. I hear commercial bankers suggest they rarely if ever receive a referral from Wealth Management. There are lots of reasons for these silos and trust is certainly at the core. More on this in the coming months. Bottom line is that if every organization worked together better to mine their own customer base, no cold calling, blitzing or any other type of prospecting would ever need to be done. Financial services organizations have talked about removing silos for years and put a variety of band aids on this wound. Trouble is, when all is said and done about collaboration, more is typically said than done.
No. 5: Coaching, Sustaining the Culture
None of the first four C’s occurs without an ongoing commitment to reinforce the process. Great sales coaches understand they manage numbers and lead people. In his classic book, Go Put Your Strengths to Work, Marcus Buckingham suggests: “Our people aren’t our greatest asset. The strengths of our people are.”
There is a fallacy that working with sales associates solely on their deficits helps them improve and, therefore, they get better and sell more. While that can certainly work over the long term, a great sales coach recognizes that that working with a colleague on a key strength can pull the culture, careers and client growth to the next level. Bank CEOs, executives and team leaders should ask themselves:
In lending, the 5Cs are nonnegotiable when deciding whether to make a loan or not. When the 5Cs of trust-based selling are interwoven into the fabric and DNA of your organization, you will cease having to worry about the competition, you will become the competition.
Widely known as the "Professor of Prospecting," Jack Hubbard has shared his passion for what it takes to build trust-based sales initiatives for more than three decades. He has helped build more than 100 Performance Management Cultures from Maine to Florida, Texas to California and all points in between. With more than 67,000 bankers personally trained and coached, Hubbard is one of America's most sought after facilitators. An author, lecturer and classroom instructor, Hubbard's expertise and out-of-the-box thinking put him in great demand when the subject matter is sales and sales management in business and commercial banking.