Our Checklist of Winning the Banking Business (Almost) Every Time

As they say in banking – there is no bad pricing, just bad process. If your bank has ever complained about not winning a piece of banking business that it wanted, either two things occurred. One, your bank was an underdog from the start because you couldn’t deliver the products and services that the customer needed.  Or, two, your bankers were not trained properly in the sales process. Price, or any other reason, for example, rarely comes into play for a successful bank. In this article, we will turn to the data and show you how to win 90% of your competitive situations.


It Starts With Management


A bank can win any business it wants. The first problem to solve is - what business does the bank want? As the famous Chinese philosopher, Sun Tzu said, “Every battle is won before it is fought.” A bank must be clear on what business it wants and needs to have both the training and tools on how to win the business.


If a bank wants to win high-quality customers, it must be prepared to offer pricing, loan structure, and banking products that high-quality customers want.


If management is clear on the target customers, and it has the products and services needed, then the last piece of the puzzle is training.


The Checklist: 10 Things to Do To Win Banking Business


When it comes to competing for banking business, bankers correctly understand that customers are looking for partners. Almost every focus group we conduct, a majority (69% by the data) of the retail and commercial customer talk in terms of wanting a bank that stands by their side, adds value and is a “true partner.”


While we could produce volumes on sales training, there are a group of items that quantitatively make a difference. We have looked at the data from over 250 companies and boiled down the essence of what successful banking looks like.


While you may not be able to do each item on the Checklist, doing so has proven to win the business almost every time. The Checklist is designed to move the conversation away from price and focus on building that trusted advisor relationship. None of these items will surprise the seasoned banker. What will surprise the seasoned banker is how often these steps are not taken because the business development officer thought they were not needed, got lazy, or just forget to go through the steps. 


The Ten point Checklist to win banking business


Putting This Into Action


In reviewing thousands of bank product sales, the biggest disconnect is that while the bank said they were about relationship banking and the target customer wanted a relationship banker, the banker was acting transactional in nature.


This checklist may or may not work for your customer base or your bank, but it is designed after collecting data on hundreds of successful sales. The Checklist is meant to remind business development officers that establishing trust doesn’t happen overnight and it is incumbent upon bankers to build rapport by providing value in the form of ideas, references, and assistance. If your relationship managers can do these ten items, chances are the relationships will be deep enough to win 90% of all the business your bank wants.