Growth is a challenge for today's credit unions. We are reminded of this fact just about every day.
If you want to grow your credit union organically you can either get there by attracting more members or selling additional services to your current members. Statistics in just about any industry indicate that it is easier to sell new products to existing customers than to acquire new customers. Consider the following general sales statistics:
- Repeat customers spend 33% more than new customers.
- Referrals among repeat customers are 107% greater than non-customers.
- It costs six times more to sell something to a prospect than to sell that same thing to a customer.
All of these statistics point to the fact that the best way to boost sales quickly is to focus on your existing customers. And before anyone runs off and thinks we're talking about customers here instead of members – just remember that a member really is a customer. Your products and services are competing everyday with those of your competitors – who may or may not be credit unions!
Focusing on growing sales with your existing members/customers is a wise move – and it might be easier than you think. Check out these four simple ideas to tackle the issue:
1. Keep track of which products/services each member already has
You are probably saying you already do this. But is it instantaneously available to the MSR, teller or other staff member that just came into contact with your member? If not, try developing a short list of key products/services that each member should have – and then place this information at the immediate disposal of your staff.
2. Find a way to deliver specific offers to avoid impersonal blanket offers
Every consumer is interested only in the things that interest them at this point in time – not necessarily in what you are promoting this month. So rather than having your entire staff pitch the latest CD or loan, make the effort to analyze your members to determine what particular items you might be able to provide them. Get that information to all member-facing personnel so when the opportunity comes up, they're pitching ideas that are specific and targeted to an individual member.
3. Give your staff talking points and support tools
Credit unions are good service organizations, and the average credit union staffer is someone who wants to find a way to please and help members. At the same time, the average staffer doesn't view themselves as a salesperson. You can help bridge the gap by providing support information and tools that will help your staff have a successful conversation with a member about a new product or service. Intro items such as step-in questions, talking points, and a “benefits of this product” statement can all help service-oriented staffers be more comfortable pitching a new product to your members.
4. Mine the data you have for opportunities
Credit unions have servers loaded with financial data and personal information about members: account relationships, transactional history, credit information, household information, etc. Despite having all this data, how much of it actually gets used to help market to your members? For example, when you are pulling credit information to assess whether an individual qualifies for a loan or a membership, are you using the other useful member data you get for sales purposes?
In a simple credit pull, many organizations also get specific member product qualifications. A member might qualify for a $25,000 loan but also qualifies for a demand deposit account, a debit card, and a $5,000 credit card. In addition, you also obtained a list of the other places that this member already has a loan (and hopefully you're wondering why those loans are not with you). At the end of the day, are you using this data to explore those opportunities for sales to an “existing customer” or are you just processing another loan application?
Immediate Member Service Sells
It's pretty easy to recognize that these things can be done – and you probably agree they would be helpful. But the truth is that sometimes good ideas are hard to implement. In this case, you need to make use of enabling systems that deliver the knowledge and information you already have about each member right to the desktop of that employee who is talking with the member RIGHT NOW. Among others, the fi VISION Relationship Management platform specifically addresses each of these concepts with its sales WORKS module. Those organizations that have put these four concepts to use are selling to existing members and, as a result, are growing. Want an example? Click Here to check out the organic growth results of a credit union that puts these concepts to use.
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