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

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

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    Cross-selling or Upselling can be TOUGH but it's Necessary

    Cross-selling and upselling are great suggestions for the growth and development of your bank or credit union, but they can be difficult to accomplish if your staff isn't comfortable, doesn’t want to come off as pushy, or isn’t sure how to start the conversation. 

    With 80% of future profits coming from 20% of your existing members or customers, it’s time to get your staff on board.

    Build Confidence with your Bigger Purpose

    Cross-selling isn’t just about making your credit union or bank money. It is about retaining your members and customers, offering them safe, trustworthy products and financing that improves their current financial position, solving problems they may not have even realized they have, and saving them money.

    Think of it this way... your member is literally right in front of you (in person, chat, or phone). You already know what they are asking for, but you as the expert have insight into a product or service that could save them even more money. You can't count on them coming back, you have to take advantage of this chance to help. 

    Think of their initial interaction with you as demonstrated trust for your financial institution. It's your job to reassure them they have made the right decision and to enhance their overall experience by developing a deeper long-term relationship with a credit union or bank that truly has their best interest in mind. 

    If you are cross-selling correctly, you are helping your members and customers find helpful solutions, it should never be about selling the wrong product to the wrong person just to reach a sales goal. Don't be shy about presenting potential solutions, believe me, if they don’t have the product or service with you, they most likely have it somewhere else. Don't miss this opportunity to help in more ways than one!

    Woman showing confidence making muscle arms.


    Cross-selling and Upselling for Retention

    You might be interested in ways to grow and develop your bank or credit union.  Aren't we all? Cross-selling and upselling are the perfect way to do just that AND they are also a great tool for retention. Your goal should always be to remain top-of-mind as members and customers search for products and solutions. If you are not there when the time is right, they will find another institution that is. 

    Retention Tip: If you haven't already, start tracking the reason why people are ending their relationships with you. If it is because they just paid off their car loan and have no other products, now would be the perfect time to suggest a free credit report review to capture new loans while offering them a lower rate and added savings.

    Keep in mind that needs-based cross-selling doesn’t come off as annoying. Members are getting suggested product offers all the time as they search the internet. It isn’t new, but your customers are judging your quality of service by the types of products they are getting cross-sold, so make sure your suggestions aren’t random, are well-timed, and are based on research and their needs.

    Deepening relationships with customers or members through intentional cross-selling and upselling builds their trust and overall relationship with your credit union or bank while helping you experience less turnover. Everyone wins.

    Cross-selling should be an essential part of your growth strategy. Focus your effort on cross-selling current members where you can count on a 60-70% chance of conversion. Expect only 5-20% for non-members.

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    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 bank or credit union who has an existing relationship with a member or customer. Make sure you do your research before reaching out!

    If you have a robust CRM you should be reviewing 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 report on file, definitely take a quick peek.

    Reviewing your members or customers credit report is the perfect way to find potential savings. Check out their outstanding loans and credit cards with competitors and offer your lower rate alternatives. Who wouldn't feel good knowing their financial institution is actively looking for ways to save them money? 

    Also, be sure to 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.  

    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.

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    Build the Relationship, Be Honest, and THANK THEM!

    Now I am not saying that every consumer needs to walk out with FIVE products or services. Cross-selling absolutely MUST make sense for the consumer's bottom line.

    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 consolidate their credit card debt using your low rate credit card. Then, you notice after reviewing their credit report they have outstanding unsecured debt at another financial institution. You should suggest they roll all their debt into a secured home equity loan so they can receive a lower rate, pay their debt off sooner, and put the extra savings in their emergency savings fund. This benefits both the individual AND your institution.

    Be honest, make sure the consumer understands you're recommending something that is in 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 it can be the smallest things that make the biggest impact!


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    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, you are the expert and have the tools you need to enhance your member or customer experience with your financial institution.

    Whether you're reviewing a credit report, cashing or depositing a paycheck, or transferring money between accounts, you may see something that opens an opportunity that will benefit the person standing right in front of you. 

    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, after all, they are what make your bank or credit union successful.

    Help Your Team Get Comfortable Cross-Selling and Upselling:

    • Educate your team. If your staff doesn't know your products and services inside and out, they may be hesitant to cross-sell and upsell them. Include regular training sessions which cover product functionality, use cases, how and when to offer the product, and when would it be the best fit. 
    • Practice handling good and bad responses. Include roleplaying scenarios in your training sessions for responding to both good and bad responses to take off some of the pressure and prepare your team for the unknown. 
    • Encourage regular check-ins. Have your sales team, contact center, front-line staff, or branch managers check in with your members or customers every 6 months asking about their financial goals. If you know their auto loan will be paid off within the year, it may be time to ask them about their next car purchase. Helping them stay on top of their finances builds trust and gives them a reason to stay. Routine practice and experience make cross-selling and upselling more natural.
    • Reiterate your expectations to be helpful, not "salesy". Remind your team that the expectations around upselling and cross-selling revolve around being helpful. You would not want them encouraging a product that was in any way not in the best interest of the member or customer.
    • Track progress. If it isn't being tracked, it isn't happening. With so many goals and initiatives taking place, it's important to keep cross-selling and upselling an active goal. By reviewing progress at monthly or quarterly meetings, your team can identify which team members are excelling at the task. Sharing techniques and snags without judgment is a great way to learn and encourage each other. 

    Creating a culture around helpful cross-selling and upselling is a must! Encourage your team, offer them the resources they need to succeed, and don't forget to talk about progress if you want to be successful.

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