It’s really easy to be unsuccessful – just keep on doing what you’ve been doing.
If your job title is relationship manager or acquisition manager or business banker or something like that, probably one of your key responsibilities is to grow your customer base or to extract more value from your existing customers, so you have a calling programme and you either visit your business customers on a regular basis or you call prospective customers to try to arrange a visit, or maybe you only contact customers via the telephone.
When you do actually get to talk to a customer you ask them about their business, try to get them to buy a product they don’t really want or need and then tick off the visit on your activity report so you can tell your manager that you made the call.
So far, so very average.
Think for a moment what it is that your competitors are doing with these same business customers.
Exactly. The. Same.
In most cases a robot could do what most bankers do because, in reality, the process is very much the same for every customer, every day.
To be successful in the business banking environment you have to be different, do something different, say something different. The question is, what?
Here’s a suggestion; think from a customer perspective. What does a business customer really need? Advice? Support? Empathy? Someone trying to sell them a credit card because this month the Bank has a credit card sales campaign?
Most bankers are trying to get the customer to fit into the bank’s process. And then the customer becomes just a target – a user of products or services from which to extract value.
What if you talk to a customer with a view to helping that customer reach their own goals – not to sell to them? What if you offered advice from experts, a shared group in which business advice from the top global providers could be shared, created a space for customers to ask questions, seek help when they need it?
And if you did that, would customers ask you for products and services that would enable them to be successful? Of course they would, because they would see you as their trusted advisor – sharing a wealth of information freely and with no ulterior sales motive.
But you won’t do that will you? It’s too far out of your comfort zone isn’t it? You’d rather check what your Facebook friends had for lunch than build anything your customers would find useful.
Until you choose to become different, do that different thing, say those different words, you’re going to have to be happy getting what you always got.
But hey, that’s okay because your competitors are doing exactly the same. Or are they?