Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 1 year ago

13) #InsideDigitalGrowth: High-Pressure Marketing & Sales Strategies Simply Don’t Pay


This week, I’m fielding a question from Jesse in Ohio…

But I’m sure many of you have the same question:

“What’s the best way to market in uncertain times when it doesn’t feel right to do a hard push for our products?”

Well, if you are wondering the same thing, let me ask you something.

Has it ever been the right time for the hard push? 

In this episode, I go over:

-Why the hard sell doesn’t work in a post-COVID (or any) world

-A 5-step digital communication strategy that works

-3 things to remember when it comes to marketing in uncertain times

You can find this interview, and many more, by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here.

Jesse ask what's the best way forour financial brand to market during in certain times when it doesn't feel quite rightto do a hard push for our products? Well, Jesse, that's a greatquestion and one that will answer for you on today's episode of banking ondigital growth. You're listening to banking on digital growth with James Robert Lay,a podcast that empowers financial brand marketing, sales and leadership teams to maximize theirdigital growth potential by generating ten times more loans and deposits. Today's episode ispart of the inside digital growth series, where James Robert shares answers to someof the biggest digital marketing and sales questions he gets from the digital growth community. Have a question you want to get answers to on a future episode?Visit WWW DOTGO ask jrcom to submit your question today. Now let's go insidedigital growth. Greetings in Hello, I am James Robert Lay, and welcometo the thirteen episode of the banking on digital growth podcast. Today's episode ispart of the inside digital growth series and I'll be answering a question from Jesse, who's a marketing director for a financial brand in Ohio. Jesse ask what'sthe best way for our financial to brand to market during in certain times whenit doesn't feel quite right, to do a hard push for our products?Once again, thanks for the great question, Jesse, and I'd like to talkthrough three different points to answer it for you today. So first off, let's start by talking about why this is an important question to ask inthe first place, and from there we can discuss how you can do morethan just push products in this post pandemic market. I really appreciate the awarenessthat you bring, Jesse, because I agree it's not the right time toget back to pushing and promoting products and services, commoditized products, commoditized services, even though things are starting to open back up, well, at leastfor now, for the for that matter. In fact, right now there's nobetter time than ever before to begin to transform the way that we,as financial brands, as banks, as credit unions, think about marketing andcells in the first place, because we are going to do more harm thangood if we continue to go back to the way things were pre covid bypromoting and pushing those commoditized products and services, as we continue to now a biggate and traverse into this new normal whatever this new normal might look likein really probably the next twelve to twenty four months. I'll never ever forgetwhat one financial brand, he was a CEO who's marketing team that we wereadvising and guiding about four or five years ago, and the CEO said somethingthat I really had to just bite my tongue to keep my jaw from hittingthe floor when I asked about this particular institutions goals for growth and he coldly, with a straight face, replied we need to push more products down people'sthroats. And I literally took a step back and and push by chair backquietly, but I couldn't believe what I just heard, because that was thewas the way that this particular financial brand was going to maximize their growth potentialand from his perspective, they were going to do it by pushing more productsdown people's throats. Now, and this... covid nineteen world, it's notthe time to push product down people's throats. In fact, it is never reallybeen the time to push product down people's throats. This legacy thinking isis what I believe is held over from the days of high pressure branch cells, when front lines were driven by quotas. They were driven by the numbers,these insane goals in this type of high pressure cells culture does not createvalue for people. It does it create value for account holders or for leadsor prospects. This type of high pressure cells environment in fact leads to avery negative internal culture, a very negative internal environment. The problem is thislegacy thinking is still very active in today's digital first, post covid world.Now we're going to go a little bit precovid with this next up, butjust think about all the trouble that wells Fargo got into when former CEO JohnStuffett, who was who presided over the whole bank's cross selling scandal, wasbarred from ever working at a bank again. And since the first scandal came tolight in two thousand and sixteen, Wells Fargo had more than fifty threehundred staff members who are fired, while the once thriving brand has now paidabout a hundred eighty five million dollars in fines for unethical cells practices. Takingthat further, they also settled a class action lawsuit for a hundred and tenmillion and have more than three billion with a bee in pending a lawsuits.According to an article from CNBC. Furthermore, there are eight executives that were finedfor the role in the cells fraud, including stuff who paid a personal fineof seventeen point five million dollars. I only mention this because there's nobetter case to learn from that a hard, driving, high pressure marketing and sellsstrategy and today's digital world simply does not pay. Well, it pays, but you would be the one paying for the fines that we're seeing comingout of wells Fargo. Like I said, high pressure cells leads to negative cultureand a negative overall experience in a digital first world. In fact,this idea of the high pressure cells environment is more of a liability than anything, because the two thousand and seventeen investigation by the Wells Fargo Board blamed taughtmanagement for creating a quote unquote, aggressive cells culture that led to the cellscandal in the first place. So what can your financial brand do about thisto break free from that legacy thinking? Coming back to the original quote froma financial brand that we have guided, an advised and since then, fortunatelythey've changed their perspective, but at the time when they begin their journey withus, the CEO was driving the culture with the perspective that we need topush products down people's throats simply and really simplified. You must commit to developa culture framed around two key points and beliefs, a mantra, if youwill, of helping first and selling second. I want you to say that withme, help first, sell second. Help first, sell second. Granted, more likely than that, it's going to take some time for thesefour simple words to transform an entire culture...

...that might be historically used to promotingcommoditized products through marketing and then pushing those same products with cells teams in thebranches. The good news it's not impossible to build this type of culture,your financial brand, rooted in the mantra or the principles of helping first andselling second. It just takes time. This requires training, this requires educationto first provide clarity into the growth opportunities available in this new type of postcovidworld for marketing, for cells, for leadership teams. And when you committo helping first and selling second throughout your entire organization, from top to bottom, from bottom to top, you begin to center all of your thinking,all of your doing around people, around the consumer, your account holders,the people in the communities that you serve and not on your own financial brandsneeds. No longer are you reactive, waiting for people and really hoping thatpeople raise their hands saying I need a loan or I want to open anaccount at your financial brand. No, instead, you are taking a positiveand a proactive stance in their lives by offering two things that I've talked aboutmultiple times on this podcast, by offering, number one, help and, numbertwo, hope, when hope more often than not has to come longbefore someone is open to receive the help that you're even offering to them inthe first place. When you commit to helping first and selling second, youare going to guide people beyond their biggest questions, their greatest concerns. Youare going to empower them to break free from the financial stress and the shame. Something that I really want to talk more and more about is, aswe continue these conversations together, the financial shame that holds them captive and,as a result, you're going to lead them to a bigger, better andbrighter future. You See, that's the magic of applying the mantra of helpingfirst and selling second. So let's get practical. Now about how you canbreak free from a past where, historically, you might have promoted, and youstill might be promoting, the pushing of commoditized products, and transformed thatthinking to help first and sell second, as you take a proactive stance andthe lives of the people in the communities that you serve. And to dothis, to make this very practical and that's so theoretical, I want tobriefly share with you a five step digital communication strategy that we've been been providingwith and guiding the financial brands in our programs over the past few months,since covid entered into this new worlder, since covid entered the scene. Sofive steps. Step number one I want you to look at how you canquickly identify account holders who are going to be most vulnerable to an economic downturn. If we go back to some of the previous PODCASTS, all the wayback to March, when I first started writing and thinking through what was comingdown the pipe, I predicted really the the the collision of for key elementscreating the perfect storm. First and foremust we had the health crisis. Thatwould then lead to the economic crisis. From there we would get societal crisis, which, if we go back to March, that wasn't the case,but now we're seeing that across the board throughout the world. And then thatsocietal crisis leads to a mental crisis at...

...the individual level. So step numberone quickly identify account holders who are most vulnerable to an economic downturn. Thisis an opportunity for you to begin to use data to find those that havebeen impacted by all of the shutdowns. And yes, things are starting toopen back up, but it'll be interesting to see what happens in the monthsto come as kids go back to school or not. And we're not outof this. We're not out of the woods yet and we're probably going tobe living living in this environment for at least another twelve to twenty four months. As I've been predicting all along, technology has transformed our world and digitalhas changed the way consumer shop for and buy financial services forever. Now consumersmake purchase decisions long before they walk into a branch, if they walk intoa branch at all. But your financial brand still wants to grow loans anddeposits. We get it. Digital growth can feel confusing, frustrating, anover whelming for any financial brand marketing and sales leader. But it doesn't haveto, because James Robert wrote the book that guides you every step of theway along your digital growth journey. Visit wwwagit growthcom to get a preview ofhis best selling book banking on digital growth, or order a copy right now foryou and your team from Amazon. Inside you'll find a strategic marketing manifestothat was written to transform financial brands, and it is packed full of practicaland proven insights you can start using today to confidently generate ten times more loansand deposits. Now back to the show. When you look at this data,some things to hone in on. Look for people that own or workat restaurants, bars, retel, fitness in or Slan Spaus, the servicebusiness, if you will, and addition to those working in the travel inthe hotel industry. Further impact. It could also be those working and notessential healthcare, for example dental and eyecare practices. Now, once again,dental is opening back up, I care is opening back up. I justsaw my my dentists and she said it was a pretty rough four to sixweeks whenever they were close and trying to figure out what they were going todo next. So, when you're looking at this data, one way youcan do this is by searching for small business owners who you might already haveaccounts with or who they might have accounts with you that fit into the segmentsthat just noted. And, as a bonus, have your business development teamreached out to business owners personally to check in with them via phone, email, text. I literally, literally, just this past week, I gotan email from my financial brand where I keep my business accounts, inviting meto a web and are basically saying that, yeah, we just got through theyou know, the tough three months. Here's what you can do next tomove forward with confidence. And I was encouraged with that, not onlyfrom from just the messaging in the communication, but I was also encouraged because Iactually got a call from my banker asking did I get the invite,and so they were connecting the digital experience with the human experience. Even ifyou've already done this, even if Your Business Development team, your lone officers, have already done this, have them do it again. Make this ahabit to do a monthly or a bimonthly or at least a quarterly check infor the next eighteen to twenty four months until we're hopefully free from the economicimpact that this this pandemic is caused, which in some cases we're thinking theeconomic impact might last for another three to five years post pandemic. But justsimply giving someone an ear to talk to can provide them with clarity and calmand a time of chaos, confusion and crisis. You can also search accountholder and employer data, if you have...

...that on file, to identify potentialproblems based on the potentially impacted business segments that I had previously noted, specificallylike the service business. And this also could be found by looking at paycheckdata through either physical or remote or direct deposits, to identify trends and patternsin the frequency and the amount of those deposits, while looking for changes overthe last three thousand and ninety days. Even better, you know, considertightening up that data search looking at changes in deposit history within just a fourteento thirty day period over the last words, we'll just call it four weeks.So let's step into point number two, where you'll begin to drill down totrends for each person or business within the different segments for some additional insights. It's here you can determine how have the businesses or or account holders thatyou have change those deposit frequencies over a specific period of time and when you'redoing this, some other questions to think about and consider as you come throughthese these data trends, for patterns or things like you know, what havethose deposit changes looked like? What is the relationship with each person or businesswith your financial brand or to the total savings that they have? What's thetotal debt they have? What's the debt to savings ratio for each person orbusiness? And when you're looking to identify these trends and patterns, you canthen move to step number three and begin to prioritize and rank each key segmenttrend, and that's what we're looking for. We're looking for segment trends at ahigh macro level. As you determine the total number of people or businesseswithin each one of the segments, you might also look for each segments averageor total savings, as well as the average or total outstanding loans, togive you some perspective of who you can target and how because, digging deeper, it's important to consider the potential level of risk for default for each oneof the segments that you've identified, based upon a projected environmental trends to comewithin the coming months and really even the coming years. I can think ofone financial brand that we have been advising who has set up a weekly intakeform, who is working with their businesses that they have loans with, sothat the businesses can provide a weekly or biweekly or a monthly report of activityso that the business isn't waiting too long before they get into trouble and thebank can take a proactive step to provide recommendations or solutions to help the businessnavigate the post covid world. So, whenever you're ranking these different market segmentsthrough the data that you're pulling, rank these on a scale of one totwenty five, with one being the lowest level of risk, while five representingthe highest level of default. And once you have these rankings for these segmentsat a macro level, I want you to move to step number four,because this is where you can begin to develop prescriptions and cures to the biggestpain points for the top segments most at risk for an economic downturn, insteadof jumping in and developing a product offering, which I do see that there's anopportunity to develop new products now, I really recommend you hit the pausebutton and go all in all, being an acronym, asking, listening andlearning from the frontline staff, the loan officers, the Business Development Teams,who are reaching out to these key contacts in the top segments and learning whattheir biggest questions and concerns are right now.

What's to get a great example isis that weekly intake form or that bi weekly or monthly intake form thatone financial brand has deployed to create this open communication. But that's only thedigital side of things, and this is where there's an opportunity to supplement thehuman experience, or the Chex, with the D x, the digital experience, through those surveys to ask what are your biggest questions and concerns right nowwhen it comes to your money on the consumer side and or Your Business?If you have not run some type of survey with your account holders since Covidhas hit, there is no better time to do that than now, andeven considering doing this on a quarterly basis is something that you could build intoyour own strategic planning workflow, because here's where you can look for key patternsand trends to then develop customized cure solution products that create value through new productofferings. Don't be afraid either, to reframe old products around a new problem. Sometimes it's just a matter of reframing, repositioning, repackaging, and that's allit takes to move the needle, because now you have cures and solutionsto people's biggest pain points. Finally, let's move on to step number five, because it's here, once you've created these new repackage products, will callthem, or solutions, now you can confidently communicate courage and your commitment toeducate and empower the key market segments that you identified in step number one stepnumber two, to guide them during this time of chaos and crisis, tohelp first and sell second, and it's here you'll share personalized messages that offeredthose two things we talked about before, the help and the hope, byempathizing with those specific pain points you've identified for the key market segments. Furtherthat are framed around the different stages of the digital consumer journey, so aswe wrap up, I want to leave you with three key points to rememberas we come back to Jesse's original question, when she asked what's the best wayfor our financial brand to market during uncertain times when it doesn't feel quiteright to do a hard push for our products? So, in brief summaries, we wrap up. Number One, there is no better time than nowto begin to transform the way we think about marketing and sales at our financialbrands, and as things start to open back up and continue to open backup, but we could also go back to some shutdowns and closures. Arewe doing more harm than good by going back to the old way of promotingand pushing commoditized products in this new post covid world that we're all traveling throughtogether? Once again, what happens if things get shut down in your cityor your state? How do you respond to that? Have a plan,be proactive. Step number two, remember and repeat this simple mantra help first, sell second and, more practically applied, commit to building a culture around helpingfirst and selling second. I cannot stress this enough. It is importantto give your financial brand space and time to do this, because transforming beliefsand actions that are rooted in the past, rooted around promoting those commoditized products andservices pushing hard cells. Takes time to unwind and to Transform, sogive yourself some space, give yourself some grace, give yourself some time.In some cases I've seen it take three years to transform this cultural thinking,and the most important thing to remember here... that with any big cultural transformation, it's all about progress, it's not about perfection. And then, finally, the last thing to remember and take away is save this podcast episode shareit internally so that you can quickly reference those five steps to develop a digitalcommunication strategy to proactively identify and reach out to those who might be most atrisk for an economic downturn. As we wrap things up, do you havea question that you'd like to get answers to, like Jesse? If youdo, I invite you to hop on over to www dot go ask jrand submit your question there for a chance to get it answered on a futurepodcast episode. I'm really enjoying the questions that are are starting to come in, and remember, there are no bad questions. The only bad question isthe question that goes unasked. Until next time, be well, do goodand wash your hands. Thank you for listening to another episode of banking onDigital Growth with James Robert Laigh. Like what you hear, tell a friendabout the podcast and leave us a review on apple podcast, Google podcasts orspotify, and subscribe while you're there. To get even more practical, improveninsights, visit wwwigital growthcom to grab a preview of James Roberts best selling bookbanking on digital growth, or order a copy right now for you and yourteam from Amazon. Inside you'll find a strategic marketing and sales blueprint framed aroundtwelve key areas of focus that empower you to confidently generate ten times more loansand deposits. Until next time, be well and do good.

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