What’s the key to double-digit membership growth? For Elements Financial Federal Credit Union in Indianapolis, it was to aggressively pursue new SEG (select employee group) relationships and offer value-added, relationship-building services that all employees could use.
That’s the case study Rich Jones, president/CEO of Leaders2Leadership LLC and former senior vice president of sales, marketing, and business development at $1 billion asset Elements Financial Federal, shared during a CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference session last week in Las Vegas.
According to Jones, critical to a successful business development program is creating an implementation strategy step-by-step and then seeing it through. Key steps include:
Elements Financial Federal centered its growth strategy around a specific product, health savings accounts (HSAs). They chose this product for three reasons:
To achieve economies of scale, Elements Financial Federal focused on prospect companies of at least 500 employees. Additionally, Jones hired a top-level salesperson with the proven ability to close sales with these larger employers.
The credit union offers its SEGs a catalog of lunch-and-learn seminars on a variety of financial education topics, leveraging in-house and external subject matter experts to provide additional value to the partnership.
Results were impressive. Elements Financial Federal demonstrated 22% growth in membership during the first 18 months of program implementation, attributing 19% of this growth to members added from the new SEGs. And through active cross-sells and credit report mining, the credit union increased loan and deposit balances and grew its average products per household to 1.98.
Conference attendee Stacy Wene, marketer at $325 million asset Sharefax Credit Union in Batavia, Ohio, says the strategies Jones shared made her realize the importance of focusing a credit union's business development efforts on high-quality, larger groups.
Also, in implementing a credit union-wide sales culture, she added, it’s critical to match skills with roles, as you "can't make someone be who they’re not.”
For more coverage, visit our CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference page and follow @CUMagazine on Twitter.