This week I had a very rare opportunity…to participate in an actual NFL draft party. My wife’s great nephew was being considered for the NFL draft and we flew to Michigan to help him celebrate.
As about 30 of his family members, high school and college teammates and neighbors sat around eating snacks, reminiscing and nervously watching the big screen TV, I thought about how this whole process mirrored the commercial sales process. Okay, I realize commercials bankers don’t sit around with coworkers watching the TV anxiously waiting to get a call from a business prospect but there are some similarities. So let’s break out the beer and chips and analyze the similarities…
1. It’s a waiting game. As we all watched the TV hoping our relative’s name would be called you realize all you can do is wait. At this point, he couldn’t do anything to speed up the process or change the outcome. That's true for commercial bank sales too. In the banking world when it’s decision time, the commercial banker can do nothing to speed up the call or change the outcome from the business prospect either.
2. Average players don’t get called. Of all the thousands of college athletes that had dreams of moving to the next level and playing in the NFL, only the "dominate"players actually get the phone call. The same can be said for the hundreds of"average" commercial bankers in the market…no matter how hard they try, only"dominate" commercial bankers actually get the phone call from the business prospect.
3. Talent not notoriety ruled. Some better known college players from big named college football programs failed to get a call on draft night. And some almost unknown players from much smaller colleges did get the call from the NFL. So talent not notoriety was more important in the NFL draft. The same can be said about commercial banking. Some well-known commercial bankers from major super regional banks think their notoriety in the market is all the need to get a call from business prospects. But in the end, talent always tops notoriety.
4. The real work starts after the phone call. As excited as the players are to get the draft phone call, they still have to make the NFL team. As one coach joked…”NFL stands for Not For Long.” So if the players don’t do their job and perform after being drafted, they will be watching the NFL on Sundays rather than playing. That’s true for commercial bankers too. If they don’t do their job after the phone call there are lots of other bankers in the market that can do the job. So in banking like in the NFL draft, the real work starts after the phone call from the client.
Every day is draft day for commercial bankers. Some will just sit around and “hope” they’ll get the client’s business while others will put in the hard work to dominate the market. Only one will get the call. Which one are you?
By the way, my wife’s great nephew was drafted in the second round by the Carolina Panthers!