A More Tailored Sales Approach for the Seasoned Banker

Posted September 11, 2017 by Kevin McNamara

You’ve been a banker for years, working your way up in the ranks and gaining valuable experience along the way. Your knowledge about the banking products and services you offer is unmatched. You know your customers’ kids’ names and maybe even their golf handicap. There’s no doubt about it: You’re a true asset to your bank and to your clients.

But speaking as a business owner myself—before coming to Vertical IQ, I owned a consumer packaging company for seven years—I needed more from my banker if he wanted to make himself a truly indispensable asset to me and my company.

You see, for me, as a business owner, I was completely focused on running my business. So, when my banker stopped by to check in, sure it was great that he asked how my wife and kids were doing, and I appreciated his friendship and Christmas cards, but when the rubber met the road, I needed more than that.

I needed a banker who added value to the day-to-day running of my business. I needed a banker who left more behind than he took. Maybe he left knowledge, industry insight, news about innovative trends, or economic insight—I’m talking about more than what I could learn on the 6:00 news. I wanted relevant information that was meaningful to me and my company…some tidbit or useful article. Just help me a little—I didn’t have the time to find this stuff on my own!

Over the course of the seven years that I was running my company, I was called on by upwards of 20 bankers and I borrowed millions of dollars. The fact is, I never once had a banker send me an article on trends in my specific industry. Not one time did they provide me with the economic outlook for my geographic region. I never had a conversation about the pain points that were unique to my company’s vertical, and I grew weary of the same old weak questions like, "So, how's business?"

As an experienced banker, taking a plant tour is not enough; knowing what the client sells isn’t enough; seeing them on the golf course isn’t enough. Business owners need more than just your banking experience and friendship in order to trust you and want to work with you. And that’s where industry research comes in.

A better way to create strong relationships

I know that you’re a time-tested banker, and you have a process in place that has worked over the years; you don’t think you need a new “tool” to help you do a job you’re already doing well. But you should know that while newer bankers may not be as experienced as you, they are using their resources, preparing for their calls by researching prospects’ industries, and eventually, they will be calling on your clients using a sales pitch that is tailored to the prospect’s company. They are asking better, more meaningful questions. And as a business owner, I can tell you: Your client is going to be impressed with that newer banker’s industry knowledge.

If experienced lenders aren't utilizing Vertical IQ’s industry-specific information as effectively as their “greener” counterparts, they will eventually lose out on the business to that newer banker who has embraced learning about the client’s industry, what changes are impacting the vertical, and how to best help the business owner be set up for success.

Win more business by being helpful and relevant

All industries are evolving—faster now than ever before. Most business owners are continuing to educate themselves on their industry in order to keep up with the ever-changing trends that are impacting their company. If they don't, they won't be able to keep up with the competition. But being a business owner is also lonely in many ways; I didn’t have many people I could turn to with questions or for advice about my business. And that is why it is important for you, as their banker, to stay up to date with industry changes so you can fill that advisor role for your business owner clients. If one of those 20 bankers who called on me had taken the time to learn and share something of value about my unique industry, or asked me relevant questions -- simply put, it would have blown me away as a business owner!

Yes, banking experience is important; indeed, in many ways, it can’t be taught. If you’re lucky enough to be a seasoned banker, you know how to structure debt, save money, and which products and services are most helpful—that’s all really important to your clients. But it’s just not enough anymore.

Here’s the bottom line: Vertical IQ doesn’t teach bankers how to be a banker; it teaches them how to stay relevant and timely on industry and economic trends that are impacting their clients and prospects. That is exactly what your business owner-client is looking for! And Vertical IQ makes your life easier too by simplifying the call preparation process. Who doesn't need more time in their day?

 

Tags: Call planning, call preparation, competition, industry knowledge, Industry research, local economies, business banker

   
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