by Jeff Rendel, Certified Speaking Professional
Know, like, and trust: the main ingredients for sales and service success. As bank professionals, we’re tasked with building deep customer relationships in order to provide outstanding service and seek opportunities for customers to consider new products. Looking for a relaxed way to develop relationship-building skills into your daily habits? Acknowledge that when others know you, like you, and trust you, they’re more likely to do business with you. Here are ten ways to add to your skill-set right away.
- Be a name dropper. Introduce yourself by name first. Ask your customer’s name. Use their name during and to close your conversation. It’s a great way to show you care about your customer, making his or her experience more personal.
- Smile and be open. Smile at another and they’ll smile back (well, most of the time). Keep good eye contact through your conversations. Face your customer so you don’t seem to be turning away. Be fully present for your customer as a display of your interest and commitment.
- Adjust to your customer’s style. Every transaction and interaction is different and requires you to “shift gears” professionally and personally. If your customer is in a rush, today’s all about business. If she needs more time, slow down. Commit to one customer at a time.
- Find a personal point of connection. A lot of business is gained when discussions aren’t about business. As you visit with customers, you’ll learn about kids, grandkids, sports teams, schools, churches, vacations, and more. Take an interest in what interests your customers. Your customers will open up and allow a meaningful relationship to develop.
- Be clear with your questions and answers. Listen for your customer’s exact need. Pause for a second before responding (your customer might have another thought). Ask your customer if your answer was helpful. Continue the back and forth nature of a good conversation to provide your customer the right information for a successful experience.
- Explain exact benefits. Details matter, but results matter most. How much money will your customer save? Will dealing with the bank be easier? How does your customer win with a new product or service? Remember, it’s all about the customer.
- Get feedback from your customer. What is your customer’s opinion about the new product you’re discussing? What do they like? What hesitations might they have? What would cause them to say, “Yes?” Your customer’s answers help you provide the right service and guidance.
- Be confident in your skills. Your customers expect you to be the expert in financial matters. They want your professional recommendations. When you see a chance for your customers to earn more, save more, or do business a little more easily, tell them. They will appreciate your leadership on their behalves.
- Serve first, sell second. Relationships take time and you won’t close a sale at every encounter. However, you can expand a relationship every time with a commitment to serving your customer first. When their time and situation is right, your relationship will a major factor in their decision-making.
- Say, “Thank You.” It’s simple, powerful, and all too often overlooked. Thank your customer for being a part of the bank. Thank them for their new business. Thank them for their continued business. Thank them for considering your bank. They are responsible for your bank’s growth and success: Thank them.
It’s been said that the highest level of business is an act of friendship. All things equal, people do business with people they like. Be a friend to every customer by committing to becoming the kind of professional they know, like, and trust.
© 2015 by Jeff Rendel. All rights reserved.
Jeff Rendel, Certified Speaking Professional, and President of Rising Above Enterprises works with financial institutions that want elite results in leadership, sales, and strategy. Each year, he addresses and facilitates for more than 100 financial institutions and their business partners.