sales-training-bankersWhy Almost Every Bank is Dead Wrong About Their Need for Sales Training

Thousands of bank executives are waking up today saying, “SALES training! Of course! It’s SALES training we need.”

Yeah, well, we all mumble crazy things when we first wake up. Sales training is fine, but it’s NOT what you need to solve your problem and create a sustainable solution.

You don’t have a sales training issue…you have a confidence issue.

How many thousands of banks have spent a half million or more on the pipe dream of sales training, only to wake up in the same shape or even worse than before?

Sales may go up for a month or two, but when they go down again—and they usually do—they often go down even more. That’s when the real tragedy happens. Your people feel like trained monkeys whose act is getting old. They don’t want to sell.

And the customers feel violated by the “salesy” approach anyway. Nobody’s happy.

Now what? You can’t do sales training again because you don’t dare make things even worse…so you’re stuck.

What’s going on here?

A few slick tricks called “sales training” slam head-on into two belief systems your people hold unconsciously: they don’t want to sell…and they don’t want to risk rejection. It all adds up to a confidence issue.

What are the telltale signs that you have a confidence issue? Your salespeople don’t block time to be out on calls. They’re always too busy doing the low-return activities.

Why You’re Dead Wrong About Your Need for Sales Training…

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When met with a competitor’s pricing, your lenders have no confidence to defend your value, so they ask to match the pricing.

Personal bankers don’t have the confidence to call on large core deposit accounts, so they stick with little blue-haired ladies’ CD accounts all day every day.

Let’s go to the underlying reason why people who are fully capable of making a shift don’t shift.

Ready for it? It’s because people are scary.

That’s right. People are really, really scary. They reject. They are unkind. They act like you are a friend and then bid you out against others to put you into the “vendor” category.

What lender hasn’t had a business owner tell them “beat it loser—you turned down my great granddaddy McCoy and there ain’t no way we’re doing business with you slime balls.” Too scary. So instead, the personal bankers sit in the office all day long feigning exhaustion from the paperwork of opening up CDs, and the commercial lenders are busy creating files for loans that are B and C quality in the hopes that something will make it through the credit committee.

The sad part is that they’re so busy churning out a level of unproductive work that they actually start to believe their beautifully crafted “story” that they are too busy to do the most important parts of their jobs.

It doesn’t even occur to them that they should have a full pipeline of A+ quality credits and that any activities other than closing those are just noise.

So, how do you build confidence? In layers, and through integrated systems. Let’s cover layers.

Remember UCLA coach John Wooden, the NCAA’s winningest coach? He took the top-gun hotshot recruits in the country and told them they needed to learn how to tie their shoes first. It was genius. He helped them master the basics, then gradually gave them more and more challenging projects… always making sure mastery happened because mastery builds confidence.

There are 42 steps to getting the sales process to stick for good…and the first step is the equivalent of tying your shoes. 

That’s why having some trainers come on site never works. It’s NOT about the training. It’s about all 42 steps…starting with Step One. Nobody wants to start with the shoes. But when they skip the basics and go right into the rim-hanging jump shot, they’ve lost any chance of real, sustainable mastery.

Just as important is having integrated systems. Sales skills by themselves are worthless without identifying and warming top prospects, management skills to hold people accountable, clear deployment of the key initiatives to build further value, and a system to keep it all visible that ties together a process where every element incorporates the magic four: motivation, accountability, visibility, and follow-through.

All those layers have different strategies and levels of sophistication. As your lenders get better, your Top 100 and Top 1000 strategies need more segmentation and sophistication.

Bottom line: Don’t solve the wrong problem! You don’t have a sales training problem, you have a revenue problem.

Address it as such, then watch the revenue flow.

Case Studies:

Legence Bank Case Study
Hardin County Bank case study
The Farmers Bank case study

More Strategies:

a-quality-loan-growth
commerical loan sales approach
loan-a-credit

Solutions:

resources
books
seminars