If you failed to make a sale 98% of the time, would you consider yourself a crappy sales person? Well that’s the average failure rate for most first sales calls on prospects. The fact is, only 2% of all sales occur at the first sales meeting.
Commercial and Business Bankers often hope to get a sales opportunity the first time they meet a business prospect but that rarely happens. Studies reveal that only 2% of sales occur when the sales person and the business prospect meet for the first time.
The 2% of the business prospects that buy at a first meeting tend fall into two categories. The first category is the “Disgruntle Business Prospect.” This prospect is hacked off with their current bank and are determined to establish a banking relationship with another bank. The banker that drops into this situation only needs not to say something stupid and screw up the deal. The second category is a “Pre-Sold Business Prospect.” This prospect has already looked into the subject matter, already knows what they're looking for and are just waiting for the right banker to come along. If the business prospect meets a banker that can check off all the right boxes on their priority checklist and they their personalities fit well, then business may well be transacted. But those two situations are far from the norm. The other 98% of business prospects will only buy once a certain level of trust and credibility has been built up over time with the banker.
If 98% of bank prospects don’t buy on the first call, then the banker’s follow-up sales calls are extremely critical to sales success. Unfortunately most bankers think that follow up sales success is just a matter of “good timing and dumb luck.” They schedule follow-up phone calls and meetings just to “check in” with the client. Beyond the “check in,” most bankers do not have a long-term strategy or detail plan to use these opportunities to build trust and credibility with the business prospect. So how do bankers build trust and credibility in the follow-up with prospects?
Let’s start by looking at the 4 Banking Services that business prospects want from their bank.
1. Lending…What is the banker’s lending authority, expertise and ability? What is the bank’s lending “appetite”, process and procedures? What makes this bank’s business lending experience better than what other banks can offer?
2. Access…What other services or extras can the bank provide? Beyond lending services, what basic banking services, cash management services, employee and owner services does the bank offer? What makes these other bank services or extras better than what other banks can offer?
3. Market Support… What will the bank provide to help the business prospect grow and manage their business? What market information will the bank share? How will banker help the business prospect build partnerships and network in the market? What makes this market support better than what other banks can offer?
4. Intangibles…What are the intangibles (reputation, industry expertise, history, staffing and technology) will the bank provide? What makes these intangibles better than what other banks can offer?
Banker should include some information about the 4 Banking Services in every follow up opportunity. In the initial meeting with the business prospect, the banker should be able to determine which of the 4 Banking Services is most important to the prospect. So in each phone call, face-to-face meeting, email or “snail” mail message, the banker should include some information, background details or testimonials that builds trust and credibility on that banking service.
If your bank would like help developing your bank's comprehensive Business Prospect Follow-up Strategy, please contact Clarence Fisher at 704-674-8482 or email@example.com