Quick, what is the single most important item to focus on for your bank’s strategic success? What are the tactics that need to be done today to ensure that success? After that, what is your next strategic priority? Would most of your team answer the same way? In strategic planning circles, it is called “working both ends of your plan,” and it highlights a weakness in many bank’s strategic processes. The average community bank spends 276 hours per year on putting together an update to their strategic plan, but the question is what value it adds to franchise value.
Almost all community bankers believe that they compete on the level of service that they provide to their customers – and this much is true. However, many community bankers believe that they provide an above average level of service – and that is mathematically impossible since some banks must be average and some below average. If you believe that your bank differentiates itself on the level of service that employees offer customers, then you must understand which
Statistically, we call it the density function. The more potential clients that are located in close physical proximity to each other, the higher the probability that each will become a client of your bank. Consider that during college, a time in your life was you likely had a high density of people around you, at any given moment, 20 people could randomly show up to your apartment or house. Sometimes you would be asleep only to wake up to find a small party in your living room without so much as an invitation.
While many banks do a good job at marketing, few formally state their objectives each year and fewer still take the time to align them with management desires. This could be a mistake as bank marketers are coming under increasing pressure to be held more accountable and to measure their return. Therefore, it is more important than ever to have alignment as to maximize the marketing effort. In this article, we look at recent data to compare what management wants out of marketing and what marketing thinks management wants.
Now that Thanksgiving is behind us we can turn our attention to the holidays. That means our annual gift guide for bankers. We do this as we not only have a good time putting this together, but it is one of the pieces of content that we produce that drives heavy traffic.
There are vast opportunities for community banks to differentiate themselves from their competition and create substantial value-add. One technique that we and other banks are having success with is the use of forward commercial loan commitments. This is a structure where your bank locks in loan terms that may start in the future. Forward periods range up to 24 months and average about 13 months.
It is fairly common for a bank to want to be more innovative or take on a new strategic direction and the first thing they do is form a committee. They then decide who should be on that committee and in the desire to be all-inclusive, management invites each department head and maybe a board member or two. The thinking is that this structure will ensure the greatest number of ideas and that those ideas will be vetted. You know what happens? A great number of ideas, good vetting but very little innovation.
According to the Community Association Institute, approximately 21% of Americans live in common-interest communities. For banks, particularly those that are in FL, CA, TX, IL, NC, NY, MA and GA (in order) on a client acquisition-cost-to-cumulative-lifetime-value basis they are one of the best clients to have. The reason for this is that they are plentiful (over 342k of them in the U.S.) they have high deposit balances, and they generate large fees with their lock box activity.
While lots of bankers study and pride themselves on selling, few banks train in “team sales.” Like playing a team sport, one-on-one selling is different than when selling as a team. To the extent your bank uses a “client action team” or group of bankers representing different products to bring over a big client, improving your team sales technique can turbocharge performance. In this article, we look at six, often overlooked ways, your teams can boost its commercial client conversions from prospect to customer.
If the truth is told, most bankers have LinkedIn profiles that are missing the basics. Their photos, lack of keyword usage, fear of putting their contact information online, no personalized URL and unclear capabilities all hinder performance. Now, if you are an introvert that does not have a line function, wants to stay off the grid and is so confident in their job security that there is no need for visibility, then you don’t need to worry about it. However, if you are a relationship manager, then you have a problem.