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Between budget constraints and employees performing multiple functions, it can be difficult for financial institution staff to feel confident and prepared when speaking to members and explaining financial products. Here are some proven tips to help your institution's employees feel more self-assured, speak more knowledgeably, and recognize the right products for each member.
When members say no, ask open-ended questions to find out why they object and what needs your product doesn't meet. Your genuine interest in helping them might be enough to make them reconsider. If nothing else, you'll learn some objections you must overcome in your next sales discussion.
During your second discussion or meeting with a prospect, be sure to relate the discussion back to your first meeting. Prove that you remember what the prospect said last time and highlight additional product benefits. This is the perfect way to see if the member has any additional questions or concerns that you may be able to overcome to complete the sale.
There's no such thing as being too prepared. Before every presentation, you should prepare with various points to outline to the member, so that you can be ready to reference those points during the presentation.
Take time to understand your prospects and their financial situations. Demonstrate how your institution's products will protect their assets and make their lives easier. Don't just speak about random features of the product that don't fit your prospects' goals.
The best salesperson is one that is not on your company's payroll. Use the experiences and comments of satisfied members to show prospects the benefits they'll enjoy if they, too, become members and customers.
Think about and explain what would happen if the member did not purchase adequate financial protection products. For example, owing on an auto loan after a car is totaled is something most borrowers wish to avoid.
Few things are more compelling than cold, hard facts with numbers. Research statistics on the likelihood of theft, accidents, and other events that your members could face; then explain how your institution's products protect against the financial effects.
Many products may sound expensive to you but not to members. Do not hesitate or avoid talking about a product due to your feeling that the price is too high. Allow members to decide their own price ranges and what value they find in the product, then alter the products to fit their budgets.
Graphs, charts, and infographics are great ways to convince members of your products' value. Use visual aids to highlight benefits and your most important points, and use posters and other media to remind members about all the products you sell. Prospects will be more likely to pay attention and retain information if they see and hear it.
Sometimes a perfect prospect doesn't want to take the time to listen and just says, "no." Ask the prospect open-ended questions to determine if your product would be a good fit, then explain the product's benefit in a single phrase or sentence.
Explain the product as clearly, directly, and succinctly as possible. If the prospect has agreed, simply stop talking, reassure your prospect's decision, and get started!
When you find a sales practice that works, keep using it. Consistency is key to doing anything well, including making sales.
Consider the impression you'll make on somebody meeting you for the first time. Make sure you are organized, informed, and prepared. You want prospects to recognize you as a knowledgeable professional before you even speak.
We all misspeak and make mistakes. As soon as you realize you made a mistake, acknowledge it, apologize, and correct the error so you can get the focus back on your member's needs and how your products meet those needs.
If you're not legitimately excited about your products, it's hard to imagine a prospective member will be. Smile and show enthusiasm—it’s priceless and costs nothing.
Chasity Monk is a training and performance specialist for SWBC's Financial Institution Group. Prior to joining SWBC, she worked for a credit union for 4 1/2 years, and her experience and knowledge of credit unions enabled her to quickly become the regional trainer for her division. She is a certified sales trainer and is responsible for improving our financial institution clients' sales communication. Chasity graduated from Sam Houston State University 2010, where she majored in mass communication with an emphasis in public relations. She also minored in speech communications.
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