Category Archives: Blog

Do more business; Keep more business from onboarding

In today’s market we have to do whatever we can to retain our current members, drive deposits, and increase our loan portfolios’. An effective onboarding strategic plan will do just that. Successful onboarding not only drives your business it lets your members know you care about them and appreciate their business. Consistent communication is the foundation for any onboarding program. Once you gain their loyalty you will become their preferred financial institution. A common misconception is that onboarding is used for the “new” member only. …Read More

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Generating more business from you indirect auto loan portfolio:

If your financial institution books auto loans indirectly through dealer relationships, you, like the rest of us, find yourselves wondering how to attract more business from these members who only have the auto loan and a savings account with you. It can be done. It may be a surprise to you, but many of these new members do not realize their auto loan was funded by your institution. The key is to reach out to them, introduce yourself, and let them know how your financial …Read More

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The Benefits of Outsourcing

When it comes to programs that strengthen customer relationships, generate loan business, increase profitability, and enhance communication with your clients, businesses do not outsource enough.  In actuality, outsourcing is a cost effective and efficient way to run these types of programs.  Most companies that offer these services, have years of experience in the field and will generate better results quicker than if the company started the programs on their own.  You do not assume the risk of fixed labor and overhead costs.  For a successful …Read More

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How do you stand out?

Do you stand out in the eyes of your customers?  How do potential customers find you?  Once they find you, how do they perceive you?  This article discusses a couple “stand out” strategies businesses of all types should adopt and the only cost is time and commitment. Let us start with how people find your business.  An internet and social media presence is a necessity in this day and age.  Many businesses give up on social media because they feel it does not work.  On …Read More

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Change behaviors and increase sales

One of the biggest challenges marketers in the financial industry face is gaining the employees support.  Many in the banking industry view their jobs as transactional based, not sales based.  So when you ask your front line employees to start “selling” it can become overwhelming, intimidating and even scary for some.  How do you change it?  You have to start with changing the behaviors and mentality about “selling”. Start by eliminating the word sales and replace it with helping members or building relationships.  Removing the …Read More

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Incentive Programs

Offering members products and services that will benefit them is what all of our employees should be doing on a daily basis.  Unfortunately, the banking industry tends to staff order takers instead of sales people.  One way to get your team to start noticing sales opportunities is to pay them for it.  There seems to be mixed feelings on this issue.  Some agree it’s a great motivator and others feel cross selling is part of the job description.  Take a moment and step into their …Read More

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Stretching your marketing budget:

A few quick tips on ways to measure and stretch your marketing budget.Read More

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Onboarding basics:

When people think about onboarding it’s usually associated with new members.  Relationship building strategies should be used for all members’ not just new ones.  Your membership is a captive audience that already trusts you; however, more than likely, they also have accounts elsewhere too.  If you are not reaching out to your members and establishing stronger relationships, you could lose members and potential long term income. To properly execute an onboarding program research and preparation is required.  Decide what forms of communication you are going …Read More

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Promoting Credit Unions

Anyone who has been a customer of a bank and has switched to being a member of a credit union knows the perks.   Credit unions tend to have lower fees, higher deposit rates, competitive products and services and most importantly great member service.  Why haven’t more people switched from their banks?  Why are younger generations not choosing credit unions?  Many credit unions do not have half of the marketing budget banks do.  Getting the word out can be challenging, but I have a few inexpensive …Read More

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Making referral campaigns successful:

Referral campaigns are one of the cheapest and most effective ways to increase your current market share.  There are four components to creating a successful referral campaign.  First you need a superior product or service that your current members find value in.  You have to offer a “freebee” that people will want.  Make it easy.  Lastly, get the word out without spending too much in overhead.  What product or service is it that your institution has that retains membership?  Is it free checking, a high …Read More

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Getting a return on your marketing budget

I was recently at a credit union marketing conference at the MGM Grand Casino in Connecticut.  The conference was smaller in size and it gave me the opportunity to meet some really great people, listen to their concerns for 2012, get some great ideas and hopefully helped some people out.  The questions were the same; does direct mail work?  How can I measure campaigns effectiveness?  Should I pay for pre-approved lists?  Am I getting a return on my investment?  With spreads shrinking and budgets getting …Read More

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Benefits of customer relationship software:

If you researched the untapped business potential of the people you already do business with, you would be astounded.   It is more important than ever to build upon the relationships of your current member base.  With customer relationship software you can have a screenshot of every loan, deposit, and sticky service your member has with you by clicking a button.  You can utilize that screenshot to find out what products and services you offer that this member could use.  Instead of wasting money and resources …Read More

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5 Steps – From order taking to sales:

 Know your products.  You can’t offer something you know very little or nothing about.  Learn about all of the products and services your financial institution has to offer.  What makes them unique? How do they work? What does it take to sign up?   You want to make sure you know everything there is to know.  Set a goal of learning one product or service per week.  Test yourself. Ask questions like, in what situation would this product or service benefit me? Know your members.  How …Read More

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Generating loans when times are hard:

There are many people out there still taking out loans.  You just have to find them.  The days of loans walking through the front door are over.  The people that are buying have just changed their buying patterns.  Now instead of buying that new car because they feel like it people are waiting until they need it.  Many people out there still have equity in their homes that can be used.  There are investors buying foreclosed real estate that need the funding.  And, there are …Read More

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The power of the phone

When was the last time you called a business and had to work your way through numerous automated messages before you could talk to a person? How do you respond when a business calls you? It probably depends on the context of the call. Unfortunately, many people in the financial industry take the power of the phone call for granted. The phone is a great marketing tool if every conversation is well worded, professional, and helpful. What happens when someone calls your business? Does someone …Read More

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Growing your auto loan business:

There is no time like the present to increase your auto loan business.  Unlike real estate loans we don’t hold on to an auto loan for thirty years.  It’s quick interest income.  With prime at an all-time low and mortgage rates dropping to practically nothing auto loans give us a higher rate of interest for a shorter term.  Auto loans are cheap to acquire.  There are no closing costs, appraisal fees, and attorney fees.   When done properly, you get more then a new loan; you …Read More

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Being your members primary financial institution:

Every credit union wants to be their members’ primary financial institution.  So how do you get there?  With great member service followed by a strategic onboarding campaign.  When you combine those two components not only will you be your current members’ primary financial institution your new member growth will significantly increase as well.   It starts with great member service.  I did not say good member service I said great.  How do you go from good to great?  The people servicing your members in person …Read More

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Debit card interchange rule sieze the opportunities:

With Ocotober 1 fast approaching many financial institutions are scrambling to figure out how they are going to make up for the lost revenue. The talk throughout the industry seems to be geared towards the end of free checking accounts, more prepaid cards, and possible debit card fees similar to the current ATM fees. Now looking at this situation from a sales perspective I see opportunity, especially if you are on the exempt list; however, you better act fast. Just because you’re exempt now does …Read More

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Be professionally personal to build long lasting business relationships:

Every time you have an interaction with someone there is an opportunity awaiting you.  You may not get a “sale” that day but you are building a relationship.  It does not matter if it’s in person, over the phone, through an email or letter.  So how do you build relationships and get the most out of every interaction?  It’s all about how the person you are trying to reach perceives you and your business.  Whoever you are interacting with needs to be the most important …Read More

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Getting your message heard across the generations:

Have you noticed your daily routines have changed?  I used to have the newspaper delivered to my home every morning.  I would sit in my kitchen, drink my coffee, browse the newspaper glancing at headlines, rate specials, and other random things that would catch my attention.  That entire process would take about a half an hour to forty-five minutes.  Now I hop on my laptop, check my email, today’s headlines, the stock market, glance at Facebook, and I am done before I finish my cup …Read More

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Choose to make an impression before the consumer makes the choice for you:

When I choose to go into a business, be it a financial institution, restaurant, or store I am looking at three things.  First I look at the entranceway and the floors, second I look at the people who are working there and the consumers who have chosen to do business there, and third I am looking at how people are being treated.  At the end of the day, it is the consumers choice to either do business with you or not, and the impressions they …Read More

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Want instant market feedback? Why not ask your members?

Instant market feedback, especially from your current members can be priceless. With a well written script and a courteous, professional caller, your members are willing to talk to you. Many people hesitate to reach out to their own members with fear of being invasive. I can tell you, if you are reaching out to them to get their feedback about a product or service that would have a direct impact on their personal financial goal, they’ll talk to you. About two years ago, we performed …Read More

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Why E-Mail Marketing?

E-Mail marketing can be an efficient and inexpensive way to reach out to your current or potential members. Whether you want to add current members to your social media site, increase the subscribers to your monthly news letter, or inform them about an upcoming product special, email is a great tool. E-Mail blasts usually come with great tracking capabilities as well. In addition to finding out how many opened your email, you can also track how many people clicked on the link to your website. …Read More

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Increasing Direct Mail Responses

Direct Mail can be an effective way to reach current members and non-members. The results can also be difficult to track. If you send out 5,000 pieces, how many actually get looked at? How will you know? This is where making a follow up phone call helps. A call can be made to not only answer those questions, but also increase your opportunity of closing. This great opportunity gives you a chance to explain your mailing and also get instant market feedback about your product …Read More

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What is Onboarding Anyway?

Onboarding is a relationship-building method involving a precise contact and cross-selling schedule that keeps new accounts from closing, particularly core accounts. Studies show that 25-30%, and up to 40% of new accounts close within the first 90 days of opening the account, but that a formal onboarding process can have a significant impact on account retention over time.Read More

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