Five Way to Improve Your In-Branch Sales Program

By Preston Packer |

Aug

22

Say the letters ABC to a true sales person and inevitably images of Alec Baldwin spelling out "Always Be Closing" will come to mind. But the days of Glengarry Glen Ross sales tactics are (thankfully) in the past, and have never really had a place in the credit union world. Yet, opening new accounts and positioning loans is imperative to a credit union’s success. According to creditunions.com, in the 10 years following the recession, the credit union industry has grown its loan portfolio 82.7%. There is still a lot of growth to be realized, and even in today’s digital world, most new sales will be handled by branch employees. This means that the sales program needs to be focused on making suggestions of products and services, opening new accounts and writing new loans... and making sure MSR's are comfortable with the sales aspect of their role. Accomplishing the task of a soft sale day after day can be a struggle for branch employees. If your results are not where you need them to be, here are 5 areas to look to improve the process:

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The Role of Credit Unions in the Student Loan Crisis

By Preston Packer |

Aug

14

With student loans continuing to soar, the crisis has become a hot topic in both political and financial news. Student loan debt has reached astronomical levels in the United States, with 44.2 million Americans carrying an estimated $1.48 trillion in education debt. Within the last 20 years, the cost of higher education has risen faster than income levels. It should be clear to us, as members of the financial services industry, that this isn’t sustainable for the future. So what role do credit unions play in this issue and how can we provide the education our members need for the long term?

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How Much Does a New Member Really Cost?

By Preston Packer |

Aug

08

The calculation is not a complex one: credit union growth is imperative for long term survival. Retain your current members while at the same time adding new ones. While marketing budgets often focus on the amount of money you are willing to spend to build your member base, how do you actually determine that number?  When budgeting for member acquisition, the options for marketing programs are endless - print, digital ads, social media, email campaigns. Where are marketing dollars best spent? What is the "right" amount to spend on each medium? To begin to answer that question, you must determine how much it costs for you to earn a new member.

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The Business of Businesses: Future-proof Your Credit Union

By Preston Packer |

Aug

08


The need for financial services for businesses is constantly growing. Therefore the market potential for new business for your credit union is as well. Unfortunately, the competition for that market share is growing at an equally strong rate. Credit unions have traditionally provided their business members with a wide range of services at affordable rates and set themselves apart by giving more personalized member service. However, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to compete with the larger institutions in today’s digital world. Here are more ways to future-proof your credit union by focusing on new business members.

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On-line Reviews - An Opportunity to Build Your Member Base

By Preston Packer |

Aug

01

Who reads online reviews before making a purchase?  EVERYONE! A picture is no longer worth a thousand words in the realm of online shopping... words of others are worth a thousand words and more. The influence of online reviews and commentary, both positive and negative, has become increasingly critical to a product or brand's success. Reading the experiences of others is now one of the most impactful resources for potential customers. In fact, a recent study indicated that 90% of consumers consult online reviews before transacting with a business. During Amazon Prime Days earlier this month, for example, Amazon sold over 175 million items in two days. Each item has its own star rating review and some are labeled as a Prime recommended product... a bonus for that particular company, who no doubt saw a boost in sales due to that recommendation. A review can hold the power to make or break a business relationship in any industry where the consumer has a choice to make, credit unions included.

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A Checkup on Your Credit Union's Financial Wellness Programs

By Preston Packer |

Jul

25

We have the best intentions when it comes to a healthy lifestyle and weight management. We set goals, we track food, we craft an exercise regime. But after a few days, it is easy to fall back in our old ways. Credit union executives, also, have the best intentions when it comes to financial wellness education: Create well-written content, with useful tips and tricks, write an email campaign full of interesting statistics, or plan events and webinars to pass along all the important information when it comes to personal financial management. Unfortunately, even the best planned initiatives are often overlooked or poorly attended. How can you keep your members on the right path for financial wellness?

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Your Members Most Important Financial Number

By Preston Packer |

Jun

04

A member's credit score is only one number, yet knowing and understanding that number is very important. A great credit score leads to great deals — on loans, credit cards, insurance premiums, apartments and cell phone plans. Bad scores can limit choices or cause members to pay more. The lifetime cost of higher interest rates from bad or mediocre credit can exceed six figures! This means that helping your members know their score and how to improve it is extremely valuable. Education is key to member services, and it begins with helping members find and understand their credit score.

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Employing Millennials: Courting the Purpose over Paycheck Generation

By Preston Packer |

May

30

They have been called many things, from entitled to humble, hardworking to lazy, overly reliant on their parents while at the same time independent. Tom Brokaw even famously tagged them as "the greatest generation since The Greatest Generation." An enigma for retailers to attract and an adjustment for businesses to employ, Millennials (the generation loosely defined as those born between 1981 and 1996) have been simultaneously torn down and put on a pedestal by their peers and elders. But data doesn't lie. With over 56 million in the US workforce according to US Census Bureau data, Millennials make up the greatest percentage of employees today, and are proving that they are just as hardworking and perhaps even more balanced in their approach than generations before them. Hiring Millennials and keeping them happy and engaged at your credit union is heavily reliant upon the traditional motivators: money and benefits. However, what sets this generation apart when it comes to job satisfaction is the level of importance they place on purpose and technology... working for a credit union whose mission is in-line with their primary values, and one that provides them with the latest technology to get their job done efficiently are major factors in retention.

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Credit Union Leadership Inspiring Girls to Be Leaders

By Preston Packer |

Oct

18

Last Thursday marked the 7th International Day of the Girl. Not just a trending hashtag, or a reason to post pics on your Instagram and Facebook pages, October 11th is an international observance day declared by the United Nations in 2012 to increase awareness of gender inequality. The celebration of the day also reflects the successful emergence of girls and young women in societies around the world in equal and influential roles, with an understanding that we still have a long way to go. It is a day used by many philanthropists to promote their causes, such as the Global Girls Alliance initiative which announced last week to support over 98 million adolescent girls globally who are no longer sent to school. Leading by example is the best form of leadership and credit unions can continue to be proud of the example they set for girls, with women excelling in leadership in the industry.

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When to Say "No" to a Losing Member

By Preston Packer |

Sep

20

Any given Sunday, the NFL delivers surprises, but nobody expected the surprise that Buffalo Bills' Vontae Davis delivered mid-game during the Bills eventual loss to the Chargers. Davis came to the realization that he "shouldn't be out there anymore," pulled himself out of the game, changed into street clothes and left the stadium, later announcing his retirement from football. Davis knew he was struggling physically after ten grueling years in the professional level of the sport, and decided to "walk away healthy than limp away too late." While his timing is being questioned by teammates and fans alike, there is no doubt there is a lesson here that's applicable to all of us. Knowing when to say no to a member that becomes more harmful than beneficial is a key, but difficult, skill for credit union executives to master.

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