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Comfort  In Cross-selling and Up-selling for Your Bank or Credit Union

Jason Felch
Jun 4, 2019 3:17:35 PM

Cross-selling or Up-selling can be TOUGH

When working with consumers, cross-selling or up-selling can be hard if your bank or credit union staff aren't sure how to start the conversation. Some people would prefer to not mention anything at all, rather than try to suggest possible next best products or services for fear of seeming to pushy. 

And trying to predict how the consumer may react to the conversation may be another factor in why some staff may not be successful or even try to place more than one product or service at a time.But consumers today are already one step ahead of the merchant because of the evolution of consumer behavior in digital age.  So going ahead and suggesting ways your new customer can possibly save money is just a smart next step.

Build the Confidence in Your Bigger Purpose

Think of it this way... this person is sitting in front of you (or on the phone). You already knowing what they think they want and, you possibly have some thoughts about what they might also need. It's also probably the case that he or she is not going to want to get back in touch with you again, if that can be avoided. Don't miss this chance to help!

This customer still walked in, called in, or inquired online for one of your products. They have demonstrated an established a level of trust in your institution. Don't miss this opportunity to help in more than just one way. It's your job to reassure them they have made the right decision and also to enhance their overall experience and possibly drive an even deeper long-term relationship. 

Pre-Call Prep is Essential

One of the biggest no-no's in today's banking landscape is the uninformed cold call. Especially from a financial institution who has an existing relationship with a prospect. So, if you are reaching out to a current customer make sure you do your research.

If you have a robust CRM make sure you review all recent contact and touch points with the customer. You should also review your current level of service through your core system and if you have a recent credit history perhaps take a quick peak.

Then pay attention to digital behavior. For example, if someone has recently downloaded a car-buying manual and has visited a loan product page or blog, you can safely assume they may be in the market for a car and considering their financing options. But you should also keep in mind any other possible cross-selling scenarios. 

Often when you review a person's credit report you might see a balance being held on a credit card at another institution. This can present an opportunity to move this debt to your lower interest rate card, or consolidate it into another secured loan of some kind. Don't be afraid to explore all options with the person you are talking to. As long as you have their best interest at heart that will come through.

Build the Relationship, Be Honest, and THANK THE S#*T OUT OF THEM

Now I am not saying that every consumer needs to walk out with 5 products or services. Cross selling needs to make sense.

Sophia Bernazzani's 6 Tips to Learn How to Up-sell and Cross-sell differentiates which approach to use and why. According to this article "Up-selling is encouraging the purchase of anything that would make the primary purchase more expensive. Cross-selling is encouraging the purchase of anything in conjunction with the primary product."

So in banking think of it this way... an up-sell example would be if you can find a way to turn a small unsecured loan into a larger secured loan.

Say a customer wants to pay off some debt, but you suggest rolling that debt into a secured loan of some kind (home, auto, boat, etc.). This could lead to a larger loan in total, but a lower rate, benefiting both the individual AND your institution.

Be honest, and make sure the consumer understands you're recommending something that is for their best interest, and always make sure you THANK them! A nice extra touch is to mail a hand written thank you card after a great conversation. Often times it can be the smallest things that make the biggest impact!

Remember, Consumers Don't Know What They Don't Know

As a loan officer, teller, customer service or member service consultant, or lending sales professional it doesn't matter if a consumer realizes they need your help. Front line staff usually have the tools to enhance and cross or upsell right in front of them. 

Whether you're reviewing a credit report, cashing or depositing a pay check, or transferring money between accounts, you may see something that opens an opportunity for helping.  One of my favorite scenarios as a teller was when someone would ask if their auto loan payment cleared. I would check for them, and then just casually ask, "What rate are you paying on the vehicle loan?" 

This easy enquiry created the means to easily see if there was an opportunity to deepen the relationship with the member. 

Remember Your Cross-selling and Up-selling Goals:

  1. Secure a good relationship with your consumer.
  2. Assure the consumer they have come to the right place and you're there to help them. 
  3. Let the consumer control the "sale," make them feel like it is their idea when you offer them a product that makes more sense, or will build their relationship.
  4. Every person is different so handle each situation as if you were in their shoes. Get to know your consumer. Treat them as you would a close friend or family member.
  5. Shake their hands or send them a Thank You note. Be friendly, professional and personable. 

Consumers may think they have everything at their fingertips and know what they are looking for. But it doesn't hurt to make their experience even better. Appreciate them, they are what make your company soar.

So take a deep breath, know your consumer, and keep in mind you've got this! Happy Cross/Up-selling!  

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