When it comes to cross-selling, it’s understandable that your frontline staff might be hesitant. They don’t want to feel like they’re working for a megabank that has to meet a quota for products sold. They just want to help your account holders by giving them the products they ask for, rather than “selling” a bunch of extras.
But that’s not what cross-selling is. To help your team improve their cross-selling techniques, first, you need to change how they see that word. Good selling is just providing great service. You’re finding out what a person needs to improve their financial health and then offering it to them. Here’s how to do it the right way.
Build a Good Sales Foundation
Because so many frontline staffers already have a negative feeling toward “selling,” the first step to increasing cross-sell power is to develop a good sales foundation. Choose one product, like a checking account you offer, and focus on getting your team to master selling that first. Try our RED Team’s five-step process to aid your team in providing great service to every account holder. The five steps are:
- Build rapport: Get to know the account holder and set the foundation for the relationship.
- Determine needs: Highlight the key benefits of your products so account holders can choose what matters most.
- Present products: Clearly outline the details of the product.
- Handle objections: Ask questions to dig up the root cause of a consumer’s concerns.
- Ask for commitment: Invite the consumer to take the next step.
Uncover Needs Through Conversation
This takes building rapport to the next level. Rather than just asking an account holder how they are, encourage your team to take it one step further and have a conversation with them to establish a stronger relationship. If you know the consumer has kids, ask about them or ask if they have any fun plans that weekend. Then let the conversation naturally flow about anything that’s non-banking related.
Connect the Dots
Once they’ve had a conversation, your front line needs to connect the dots from what they talked about to the products and services your institution offers. Let’s pretend an account holder comes in with their child. The conversation may go something like this:
Frontline: She’s so cute! How old is she?
Account Holder: Thanks! She just turned 5.
Frontline: Do you have any other kids?
Account Holder: Yes! She has a brother who’s about to graduate high school.
So what does this tell your staff? If they’re connecting the dots properly, they can infer that student loans might be something the account holder is interested in (Or a 529 plan for the younger sibling). And by bringing up the student loan product you have, you’re not selling; you’re using your banking expertise to provide a recommendation that improves the consumer’s financial health.
By starting with these three steps, your frontline will slowly change how they approach cross-selling. But remember, this is more of an art than a science. It’s going to take time and practice. To make sure it sticks, set expectations with employees and then train to those expectations — and to do so on an ongoing basis. Continuously encourage and reward your team for connecting with their clients and being conversational to make sure they don’t fall back on old habits.