The Sure-Fire Way to Stop Disorienting Your Best Salespeople—and Help Them Massively Succeed.

sales-trainingIt’s consistent…The one thing that most banks do wrong is sales training. In fact, in most cases, it is a train wreck. Most banks are screaming for loan growth. But they’re not going to get it. They think the only way to achieve that growth is to do traditional sales training.

Never, in the history of time has that ever worked. No really…never.

In talking with top-performing bank executives every week, I’ve heard at least 1,000 executives tell me over the years something like, “We spent $400,000 on sales training…not only did it not work…it made things worse.” It’s like the guy who tries to fix his glasses with a hammer…wrong tool.

When you bring in outside sales trainers, they historically disorient everyone and cause more harm than good.

Most “sales training” misses the boat—causing lenders and everyone else to lose their confidence and, quite frankly, feel like they need a polyester plaid jacket. Enough already…it is not about quotas, dealing with objections and number of calls. It’s about calling on the right people, having the right conversations—the ones whereby the prospect falls in love with you and what your unique selling propositions will do for them whereby they’re willing to pay you 50 to 150 basis points more and a fee…and switch […]

The Seven-Step Formula for Creating a Franchisable System


So you’ve built your bank into a thriving, successful business. Nice work! But now you’re looking to expand—sending other branches out into the world like beloved children. Can you give them what they need to succeed? Not unless you’ve created a franchisable system to help them duplicate your success. Here are the seven crucial elements of building a franchisable system in your own bank:

1. Critical Drivers

In every business, there’s a checklist of goals and targets that—when reached, surpassed and improved upon—continually drive revenue into the business and drive up profits. We call these targets “critical drivers.” They drive the revenue and bottom-line numbers more than any other numbers. Every position has them.   Identifying, tracking, measuring and meeting the critical drivers defined for each position of your bank will make it a top-performing institution.

It’s safe to say that most banks either don’t have defined critical drivers by position or, if they do have them, have critical drivers that worked (barely) when parachute pants were all the rage. Drivers like “number of calls” get you nowhere fast. What you really want is “aces on Top 1000 prospects” to know that calls are going to the right people—and following a Profit-Rich Sales™ system, instead of one where you get dragged into matching rates.

(What? Are you […]

Bank Culture: The #1 Predictor of Future Growth and Profitability

bank employee strategiesMost bankers think that internal culture means friendly tellers, free coffee in the lobby and someone to greet customers as they come in the door. No, no, no! Have you ever found one bank that was able to get 100 to 150 basis points more in net interest margin with that insipid belief system? Of course not. Because that’s not what culture is.

Culture asks, “Will your people leap over tall buildings in a single bound to make sure your client is successful in their business or personal financial goals?” “Will you go beyond bank “product” to create Unique Selling Propositions that rock their world and cause hundreds of thousands of dollars of impact for them? And will your people have fun doing it so that your system is sustainable?

Culture is a system—and if you don’t think this way, you will never have a good culture.

In fact, “system” is everything—from the selection of your employees…to the rewarding of your people…to the celebration of critical drivers…the one-page strategic plan creating focus, the tying of the critical drivers into the key strategies…and even how you deal with dissidence (including teaching your team how to have healthy dissidence and inviting them off the bus when they don’t).

Culture means everybody’s […]

Mergers and Acquisitions: If an Opportunity Falls in Your Lap, Are You Ready?

bank strategy for mergersThe coming bank consolidation isn’t a surprise. It’s been predicted for years. In fact, the next 18 months are destined to be a major “shake out” period when weak banks will be acquired or closed—and banks that are in a position to capture the best customers in town will become stronger and more profitable. If an opportunity like this landed unexpectedly in your lap…would you be ready? Most banks wouldn’t be. Unfortunately, they’ll suffer years of pain, lost productivity and even reputational damage from what was previously viewed as the opportunity of a lifetime. Here’s what I know from decades of guiding banks through acquisitions: You have no business doing one if you’re not ready. Of course, it’s commonly known that 70 to 80 percent of mergers and acquisitions fail to meet expectations—in fact, they’re often economically a disaster. Robert Holthausen of the Wharton School of Business cited a recent study that puts the failure rate as high as 83 percent. Why? Because of the two years’ worth of “us-vs.-them” conversations… past and present behaviors…crazy-making by “the new guys”… and the fact that your team will be so pre-occupied with the conversation around the acquisition (as well as cleanup and culture clashes), that they’ll barely be able to focus on their own jobs. Compound those […]

The 5 Biggest Marketing Traps Almost Every Bank Falls Into—and How to Avoid Being One of Them

Bank Marketing Ideas If your marketing department is like a lot that I’ve seen, it’s filled with “creative” types. They make things that are pretty, produce lots of “stuff,” and throw great parties. But when it comes to quantifying ROI, well…who wants to talk about that uncreative stuff, right? Where did they get that attitude? They learned it in marketing school. But quick, name a few marketing professors who’ve made a fortune with their marketing strategies. (Cricket, cricket.) It’s not that they aren’t teaching anything. It’s just that they are usually setting their students up to succeed brilliantly in 1992. They teach branding, creativity, how to build slogans, how to order paraphernalia with logos on  “stuff,” how to do campaigns and product launches. All fine things that haven’t seen an ROI for well over a decade. Unfortunately nobody’s updated the teaching, so most banks get a negative ROI on a serious investment of resources. So should you fire the people in marketing? Not at all. They just need some reschooling about what is working now. It’s not their fault. But, let’s get this rolling in the right direction right now. No reason to wait. So, what are the biggest wastes of marketing dollars today?

1. Branding—The “snake oil” of marketing

There is an inherent problem here. Everybody is spending ridiculous amounts of money […]