How to Get The Right Players in the Right Seats


I believe that quality loan growth is one of the top three drivers of sustainable profitability for banks.

In this session, I’m going to show you how you can increase your productivity per lender by 30-40% or more within 12 months by restructuring your lending department.

If you think your team is kicking butt and taking names in securing quality loans at premium pricing, and you’re sure it’s because of your team’s execution of a predictable success system and not driven by the competition’s recent mistakes or the economy, you have a great foundation in place. You’ll love this series because it will show you how to get even more traction within weeks.

If your team is not quite getting the traction you want in pulling in the very best credits at premium pricing, you’ll love this series as well. You’ll see how others who had the same problem transformed regular lenders into business development ninjas.

And if your folks are doing some of the business development activities you want, but not enough and not in the optimal way, stick tight, because I’ll give you some ideas to get that pattern turned around quickly.

Every time a bank “gets serious” about transforming their lending team, they seem to hit one or more of the same four problems.

  • First, they start strong with a new initiative and then it fizzles out within weeks.
  • Second, they put in a new incentive program and set goals and hope that works—but it never lasts for more than a quarter.
  • Third, they try to hire a superstar or two—but often that “star” is a nightmare in the making and creates your next asset quality issues.
  • Fourth, some of your people “get it,” but many do not. Such as those who expand the unimportant—they never quite seem to have time for their sales calls, but their paperclips are sorted by color. Everything else expands to push out time for sales.

If you’ve experienced any or all of these, join the club. This has been the pattern for almost all banks for decades.

I’m now going to give you three steps that will dramatically change your results in a few weeks.

Step 1: Most hiring tools can be “cheated,” provide a representation of how individuals see themselves, or try to convince you it’s how they see themselves. In contrast, emotional intelligence testing has reliability studies that show its ability to predict who will win at sales and who will not. Also, who should manage accounts and who should hunt for accounts becomes obvious. If you are like most banks, you have at least 30% of your team in the wrong slots.

Emotional intelligence is the thinking at the core of behaviors and is therefore very difficult to change… you can’t coach height, right? Personality assessments do not have the powerful correlation to success by position that emotional intelligence assessments do. Research on thousands of lenders shows that a low-risk sales profile will outsell a medium-risk profile by 400%, on average. What would that mean for your bottom line, to quadruple production per lender?

Step 2: Most sales training gives everyone the same training and expectations, but you need to get people into the right slots. Realize that only 6% of the population has a “hunter” profile—so you absolutely have to pull your hunters out of busy work and loan renewals and get them leading the teams of account managers who will keep relationships going. A good account manager hates business development, while a good business developer can’t be kept behind a desk.

Step 3: Once you know how to put everyone into their areas of excellence, you can create the process and the different responsibilities. You can then determine when the baton should be passed on a new loan to an account manager so that the client feels more love, not less. All of that takes a solid system.

Then, manage the system.
So three steps. First, assess emotional intelligence, the only reliable way of knowing who your hunters and farmers are. Second, assign the right responsibilities to hunters. And third, create your “team” selling system. Team selling has replaced independent selling in all industries except banking, but the very best community banks are all about this method, and they know how to do it the right way.

By revamping your sales approach, getting people in the slots where they can win, and giving them a game plan that sets them up for success, you can transform your loan growth quickly, and more importantly, predictably.

Make sure to tune in next time, when I’ll show you how to normalize big wins fast and help your lenders win better deals.

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