Ahhh. Time for a fresh start. And you already know that your destiny has more to do with mindsets, strategies, and skill sets than the outside economy. (Yes, that’s a lesson we keep forgetting, but we also keep getting more opportunities to relearn it.)

Here are 5 things to never forget this year to create a great year of seized opportunities:

1) If you want a different result, change your strategies

Let me share this one through a real-life story.

One of our member banks decided that because they were in a shrinking market, they needed to look outside for customers. They made a decision to only do A-plus credits. Sound unrealistic? It would to most.

But they decided to ask their 100 best customers for introductions to businesses in a 50-mile radius. The result? Seventy percent organic growth in three years. They are now the top performing bank in their state with the lowest delinquencies.

Here’s to not being a victim of circumstances.

2) Get people aboard the happy bus and tied to critical drivers

Culture is the leading predictor of future growth and profitability–you want your team happy and blowing away customers, but you want more. You want to make sure you have a culture of celebration tied to the critical drivers that are most likely to drive the key results defined on your strategic plan. Every person needs to know their 3-5 critical drivers and how their results stack up against those drivers each and every week. Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate, and those needles will move quickly.

3) Stick to your knitting

Banking is fairly easy. Get tons of core deposits with the targeted most profitable customers and have an integrated marketing and sales process to make sure you get the entire relationship every time. Then target the 100 next best loan prospects in your market based on psychographics, and bring them all in using an impeccable sales system that is about never matching rate. Teach them to tell YOU why you are the best value when you are 100 to 200 basis points above all your competition.

4) Get people all about sales and service

Pay attention to the language in your meetings. If over 30 percent of the airwaves are crammed with talk about projects and “stuff,” know that your growth and profitability are about to give you a reality that reflects that.

Behaviors follow language. If everybody focuses on the projects and operational “stuff,” know that a decline in growth rates is inevitable. If instead the conversation is about clients, prospects, and how you’re going to bring them in, you will inevitably bring them in. Stay away from “big company disease.”

5) Stop whining and seize the moment

Enough with the whining, already! You can’t do a darn thing about a bad economy and regulations, but at the same time you’ve never had more opportunity to control your destiny. You will NEVER have a chance to pull away market share like you will the next two years. A good share of your competitors are distracted and have forgotten that their best customers are vulnerable. Create an integrated “give” marketing process focused on them, and get your lenders understanding the sales process that allows you to close before you propose.

Results follow conviction of the heart. Decide with every cell in your body to pull away this year and you will be a magnetic marketing machine with clients flocking to be a part of the energy.

It has been my honor to be of service to you this year. Now let’s CREATE a spectacular new year filled with success and significance!

In your service,

Roxanne Emmerich
President and CEO