Selling to the C-Level in credit unions requires a lot – industry knowledge, strategic thinking, creative ideas for success, and patience. Patience is always the most difficult element to master. But, with the right process – and routine outreach to clients and prospects – you will discover lots of opportunities to initiate, expand, and close more business. Begin by building these four perspectives into your client relationship models.
The right relationship. People, especially executives, do business with those they know, like, and trust. Executives want to be assured that you know them (at least professionally), their credit union (do your financial and credit union-specific homework), and their priorities (ask what their main areas of focus are this quarter or year). Then, begin your customizing magic.
The right product. With the right relationship, you have some attention. Attention leads to interest when your product can solve a challenge (you learned this when asking about priorities). Where does your product create profits, spur growth, or improve experiences? What tangible evidence can you share? How might a credit union’s outcomes be better with your product? Getting down to brass tacks is what the C-Level needs at this point.
The right price. The C-Level leader’s interest will lead to a meeting. Now, it’s about showing return on investment. What can a credit union expect financially? Are different prices and packages available? Can you include extras as a part of the proposal? Confident statements are key at this stage. You want to stay away from “Here’s what might happen if you don’t buy,” scenarios. This phase is about partnership and growth. Get on the same side as the C-Level and be an advocate.
The right timing. Even when return on investment is positive and obvious, timing is everything. Priorities may have shifted; resources may be deferred; executives may have moved on; markets may be in disarray; etc. We can’t control another’s decision just because the numbers are obvious. We can control their understanding that we value their relationship, want to be a partner in their credit union’s success, and will continue to present opportunities to move the credit union forward.
Any C-Level leader welcomes this kind of leadership. Often, a sale today is a result of many “right” steps along the way. As a sales leader, position yourself as fully invested in the success of the credit union. As you master these processes, your meeting, closing, and profit metrics will increase, the result of your attention to the right and best points of focus for your clients and prospects.
© 2020 by Jeff Rendel. All rights reserved.
Jeff Rendel, Certified Speaking Professional and President of Rising Above Enterprises, works with credit unions that want entrepreneurial results in sales, service, and strategy. Each year, he addresses and facilitates for more than 100 credit unions and their business partners.