Many banks that have been struggling to gain customers in the wake of the financial crisis are looking into new ways to compete. Financial institutions have been lowering fees and interest rates and Bank of America has been urging employees to improve customer service. But something that many may be forgetting is a simple solution: sales. Compared to other services, sales can be tricky. While a house and car are tangible, an auto loan and mortgage is not. However, one American Banker article explains why strong selling skills is vital to keep a bank's business alive, and what can be done about it.
Most often, the article explains, banks go towards cutting costs instead of adding customers when looking to profit. As a result, financial institutions often don't value the skills of a salesman as much as other industries, such as the real estate or auto market, where an actual product can be seen. To change this attitude, author Andrew Kahr suggests looking at data to see what makes customers choose a bank.
"To do better, gather and analyze facts. At call centers, recorded calls are evaluated for legal compliance. Seldom are they monitored intensively for effective technique, sales results, and to see why so many terminate with no sale, or with too small a sale."
In addition, using customer management software can also help. By using software to keep track of what customers want and what their expectations are, employees can have a better grasp on what is needed to make a sale, whether it be for opening a bank account or originating a loan. With case management software, what is needed by customers can be communicated better to financial professionals, making being a "salesman" more achievable.
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