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Tough Sell: Why It’s Worth Convincing Experienced Bankers to Use Vertical IQ

Posted March 01, 2018 by Nicolle Bouffard

Experienced bankers—people who have been in the financial industry for 10, 20, even 30 years—may feel like they instantly have a leg up on their competition, thanks to their time in the trenches. Yes, they have a wealth of experience, but is that enough in this day and age of cut-throat competition for business banking customers? Is their book of business really as loyal to them as they think? After all, there are a LOT of other options out there for capital and financial services, all clamoring for your clients’ business.

The fallacy of experience

This mindset of the experienced banker is one of the biggest challenges that has to be overcome in encouraging your bankers to utilize the tools available to them on Vertical IQ. I often hear the bank sponsor in charge of implementing Vertical IQ say something like, “Joe’s been at this for 30 years. Getting him to change is going to be impossible.” If a banker has been doing their job effectively for decades, do they really need to change their ways? Can you even teach an “old dog” a new trick?

The irony is that while these experienced bankers are sometimes the most difficult to convince to use the Vertical IQ site, they actually have the greatest potential to truly take their “trusted advisor” status to the next level with their clients by utilizing Vertical IQ’s industry information.

Your sales pitch to experienced bankers for using Vertical IQ

If you have bankers who have been succeeding in their job for many years (or even decades) by doing it “their way,” here are some talking points to help encourage them to change things up and try using Vertical IQ to take their client relationships to the next level, going above and beyond their clients’ expectations.

  • Time is money: What’s a veteran banker’s effective “billable rate” (they are making a higher salary than a more junior banker, after all)? Is the work of doing call prep/research worth that rate when an experienced banker could be using Vertical IQ to expedite these important tasks? Vertical IQ is a one-stop-shop where the banker can quickly get the industry-specific information their clients are interested in having. They can check their research to-dos off their list and move on to the next thing.
  • Appeal to the experience: They’ve seen it all in the world of banking, and they got the t-shirt; they know how to do this job with their eyes closed. So, try this talking point: “I know you don’t NEED the information that is on Vertical IQ—you’ve been doing a great job for years without it—but it’s going to save you time and effort from what you’re already doing. Just TRY it...I dare you.”
  • Useful comparison data: Clients are almost always interested in peer comparisons across their vertical and financial benchmarking data. It’s all instantly at the banker’s fingertips within Vertical IQ—we’ve crunched all the numbers for them!—and the client will remember who provided them with this valuable data.
  • An enhanced contact strategy: Regardless of what method a banker currently uses, Vertical IQ provides them with a bevy of industry-specific resources and content, including industry news articles, that will complement their knowledge, experience, and the tactics that they’re already using.
  • Numbers know-how: An experienced banker usually has a much greater comfort level with using and understanding information like financial benchmarks, ratios, business valuations based on comparable sales (which Vertical IQ presents in four different ways), and working capital/cashflow data. Using this information from Vertical IQ is a huge competitive advantage for the experienced banker.
  • Sharpening presentations: Whether the banker is currently using a PowerPoint deck or a pitchbook, inserting industry-specific data from Vertical IQ into their RFPs will take their presentation to the next level, capturing the client’s or prospect’s attention with information that really resonates with them and quickly deepening the conversation.

Vertical IQ will make their life easier (and who doesn’t want to do that?)

If you are responsible for Vertical IQ usage at your bank, you may have run into some resistance from your more experienced bankers who have successfully been doing their job for many years without the use of Vertical IQ. They may tell you they don’t need another tool to do a job they already know how to do.

And to be totally honest: They are right.

An experienced banker who is hitting their numbers doesn’t need Vertical IQ to do their job—but it sure could make their job a lot easier! After all, veteran bankers typically have the largest books of business; they often have “needier” clients…and a lot of them.

While working with our Vertical IQ customers on a daily basis, the point I try to impress upon the bank sponsors in charge of implementation and usage is that this is a resource that has the potential to take your experienced bankers from great to outstanding, but ultimately, the onus is on bank leadership to push—even mandate—use of the tool. If you don’t have buy-in from senior management down—making use of Vertical IQ a required component of what bankers do every day—don’t expect it to show in your usage results, especially among your more senior bankers.

Yes, Vertical IQ is a fantastic resource for newer bankers, providing them with a way to quickly get up to speed on over 350 industries. But your most experienced bankers are the ones who can actually get the most out of the in-depth industry data that is available on Vertical IQ—data that less tenured bankers probably find intimidating, but that business owners are chomping at the bit to get their hands on. Armed with this sort of industry-specific information for their clients and prospects, seasoned bankers may just find themselves at the top of their client’s list of trusted advisors and the new right-hand-man/woman at their client’s decision table.

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Nicolle Bouffard | Director of Bank Success

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