CU Magazine: What does it take to be good at sales now?
Pink: Much of it goes back to the ABCs. But there are many elements.
CU Magazine: What effect has technology had on the sales function?
Pink: The main effect has to do with information. The Internet, search engines, smartphones, social media, and the like have created a world in which it’s tough for anyone to maintain an information advantage.
Take car sales. It used to be that the dealer had all the information. Now people walk into the dealership often knowing more about a particular make and model than the salesperson—and armed with data on what every dealer in the area is asking for its cars.
CU Magazine: ‘Sales” sometimes has a negative connotation among CUs, which are known for their service. What would you tell a CU leader who has a negative opinion of sales?
Pink: That negative opinion is largely a consequence of what it feels like to be a buyer in a world of information asymmetry. But that world is disappearing.
So sales today is actually deeply—very deeply—about service. I mean not only customer service, but service is a broader sense.
The move to a greater service ethic, along with being largely insulated from the sort of short-term pressures that haunt public corporations, gives credit unions an edge.
CU Magazine: What message will you bring to credit unions during the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference?
Pink: I’ll talk about how the landscape of sales, persuasion, and influence has changed dramatically in only a decade.
I’ll also look at some interesting social science that can help us be more effective on this remade terrain. I’ll offer tools, tips, and takeaways.
In the end, credit union leaders will see that their organizations are quite well-positioned for this new world and that what they must do to flourish are within their grasp.
• Click here for more information about the 2016 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference