As credit union professionals, you’re responsible for building deep member relationships and providing outstanding service.
Are you looking for a relaxed way to turn relationship-building skills into daily habits? Acknowledge that when others know you, like you, and trust you, they’re more likely to do business with you.
Apply these 10 principles to better serve your members:
1. Be a name-dropper. Introduce yourself by name, and ask members for theirs. Use their name during your conversations, and as you conclude your exchange.
It’s a great way to show you care about your members, making their experience more personal.
2. Smile and be present. Smile at people and most of the time, they’ll smile back. Maintain good eye contact.
Be fully present for your member as a display of your interest and commitment.
If members seem rushed, recognize that you should be all business. If they need more time, slow down. And remember to commit to one member at a time.
4. Find a personal point of connection. You gain a lot of business when discussions aren’t about business. As you visit with members, you’ll learn about their children, grandchildren, sports teams, schools, churches, vacations, and more.
Take an interest in what interests your members. They’ll open up and allow a meaningful relationship to develop.
5. Be clear with your questions and answers. Listen for your members’ exact needs. Pause for a second before responding. They might have another thought.
Ask them if your answer was helpful. Continue the back and forth nature of a good conversation to provide members the right information for a successful experience.
6. Explain exact benefits. Details matter, but results matter most. How much money will your members save? Will dealing with the credit union be easier? How do they win with a new product or service?
Remember, it’s all about your members.
7. Ask for feedback. What’s their opinion about the new product you’re discussing? What do they like? What hesitations might they have? What would cause them to say, “Yes?"
Their answers help you provide the right service and guidance.
8. Be confident in your skills. Your members expect you to be the expert in financial matters. They want your professional recommendations.
When you see a chance for your members to earn more, save more, or do business more easily, tell them.
9. Serve first, sell second. Relationships take time. You won’t close a sale at every encounter. But you can expand a relationship during each interaction with a commitment to serving your members first.
When it comes time for them to act, your relationship will be a major factor in their decision making.
10. Say “thank you.” It’s simple, powerful, and all too often overlooked. Thank members for being a part of the credit union. Thank them for their new business. Thank them for their continued business. Thank them for considering your credit union.
They’re responsible for your credit union’s growth and success: Thank them.
It’s been said the highest level of service is an act of friendship. All things equal, people do business with people they like.
Commit to becoming the kind of professional that members know, like, and trust.
This article first appeared in Credit Union Front Line newsletter, the monthly sales and service newsletter for branch staff and their managers. Subscribe now to the print edition or PDF version.