Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 2 years 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 for our financial brand to market during in certain times when it doesn't feel quite right to do a hard push for our products? Well, Jesse, that's a great question and one that will answer for you on today's episode of banking on digital 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 their digital growth potential by generating ten times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part of the inside digital growth series, where James Robert shares answers to some of 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 inside digital growth. Greetings in Hello, I am James Robert Lay, and welcome to the thirteen episode of the banking on digital growth podcast. Today's episode is part 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's the best way for our financial to brand to market during in certain times when it 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 talk through 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 in the first place, and from there we can discuss how you can do more than just push products in this post pandemic market. I really appreciate the awareness that you bring, Jesse, because I agree it's not the right time to get back to pushing and promoting products and services, commoditized products, commoditized services, even though things are starting to open back up, well, at least for now, for the for that matter. In fact, right now there's no better time than ever before to begin to transform the way that we, as financial brands, as banks, as credit unions, think about marketing and cells in the first place, because we are going to do more harm than good if we continue to go back to the way things were pre covid by promoting and pushing those commoditized products and services, as we continue to now a big gate and traverse into this new normal whatever this new normal might look like in really probably the next twelve to twenty four months. I'll never ever forget what one financial brand, he was a CEO who's marketing team that we were advising and guiding about four or five years ago, and the CEO said something that I really had to just bite my tongue to keep my jaw from hitting the 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's throats. And I literally took a step back and and push by chair back quietly, but I couldn't believe what I just heard, because that was the was the way that this particular financial brand was going to maximize their growth potential and from his perspective, they were going to do it by pushing more products down people's throats. Now, and this... covid nineteen world, it's not the time to push product down people's throats. In fact, it is never really been the time to push product down people's throats. This legacy thinking is is 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 create value for people. It does it create value for account holders or for leads or prospects. This type of high pressure cells environment in fact leads to a very negative internal culture, a very negative internal environment. The problem is this legacy 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, but just think about all the trouble that wells Fargo got into when former CEO John Stuffett, who was who presided over the whole bank's cross selling scandal, was barred from ever working at a bank again. And since the first scandal came to light in two thousand and sixteen, Wells Fargo had more than fifty three hundred staff members who are fired, while the once thriving brand has now paid about a hundred eighty five million dollars in fines for unethical cells practices. Taking that further, they also settled a class action lawsuit for a hundred and ten million 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 fined for the role in the cells fraud, including stuff who paid a personal fine of seventeen point five million dollars. I only mention this because there's no better case to learn from that a hard, driving, high pressure marketing and sells strategy 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 coming out of wells Fargo. Like I said, high pressure cells leads to negative culture and 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 taught management for creating a quote unquote, aggressive cells culture that led to the cell scandal in the first place. So what can your financial brand do about this to break free from that legacy thinking? Coming back to the original quote from a financial brand that we have guided, an advised and since then, fortunately they've changed their perspective, but at the time when they begin their journey with us, the CEO was driving the culture with the perspective that we need to push products down people's throats simply and really simplified. You must commit to develop a culture framed around two key points and beliefs, a mantra, if you will, of helping first and selling second. I want you to say that with me, help first, sell second. Help first, sell second. Granted, more likely than that, it's going to take some time for these four simple words to transform an entire culture...

...that might be historically used to promoting commoditized products through marketing and then pushing those same products with cells teams in the branches. 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 and selling second. It just takes time. This requires training, this requires education to first provide clarity into the growth opportunities available in this new type of postcovid world for marketing, for cells, for leadership teams. And when you commit to 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 brands needs. No longer are you reactive, waiting for people and really hoping that people raise their hands saying I need a loan or I want to open an account at your financial brand. No, instead, you are taking a positive and a proactive stance in their lives by offering two things that I've talked about multiple times on this podcast, by offering, number one, help and, number two, hope, when hope more often than not has to come long before someone is open to receive the help that you're even offering to them in the first place. When you commit to helping first and selling second, you are going to guide people beyond their biggest questions, their greatest concerns. You are 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, as we 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 and brighter future. You See, that's the magic of applying the mantra of helping first and selling second. So let's get practical. Now about how you can break free from a past where, historically, you might have promoted, and you still might be promoting, the pushing of commoditized products, and transformed that thinking to help first and sell second, as you take a proactive stance and the lives of the people in the communities that you serve. And to do this, to make this very practical and that's so theoretical, I want to briefly share with you a five step digital communication strategy that we've been been providing with 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. So five steps. Step number one I want you to look at how you can quickly 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 way back to March, when I first started writing and thinking through what was coming down the pipe, I predicted really the the the collision of for key elements creating the perfect storm. First and foremust we had the health crisis. That would 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 that societal crisis leads to a mental crisis at...

...the individual level. So step number one quickly identify account holders who are most vulnerable to an economic downturn. This is an opportunity for you to begin to use data to find those that have been impacted by all of the shutdowns. And yes, things are starting to open back up, but it'll be interesting to see what happens in the months to come as kids go back to school or not. And we're not out of this. We're not out of the woods yet and we're probably going to be 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 digital has changed the way consumer shop for and buy financial services forever. Now consumers make purchase decisions long before they walk into a branch, if they walk into a branch at all. But your financial brand still wants to grow loans and deposits. We get it. Digital growth can feel confusing, frustrating, an over whelming for any financial brand marketing and sales leader. But it doesn't have to, because James Robert wrote the book that guides you every step of the way along your digital growth journey. Visit wwwagit growthcom to get a preview of his best selling book banking on digital growth, or order a copy right now for you and your team from Amazon. Inside you'll find a strategic marketing manifesto that was written to transform financial brands, and it is packed full of practical and proven insights you can start using today to confidently generate ten times more loans and deposits. Now back to the show. When you look at this data, some things to hone in on. Look for people that own or work at restaurants, bars, retel, fitness in or Slan Spaus, the service business, if you will, and addition to those working in the travel in the hotel industry. Further impact. It could also be those working and not essential healthcare, for example dental and eyecare practices. Now, once again, dental is opening back up, I care is opening back up. I just saw my my dentists and she said it was a pretty rough four to six weeks whenever they were close and trying to figure out what they were going to do next. So, when you're looking at this data, one way you can do this is by searching for small business owners who you might already have accounts with or who they might have accounts with you that fit into the segments that just noted. And, as a bonus, have your business development team reached out to business owners personally to check in with them via phone, email, text. I literally, literally, just this past week, I got an email from my financial brand where I keep my business accounts, inviting me to a web and are basically saying that, yeah, we just got through the you know, the tough three months. Here's what you can do next to move forward with confidence. And I was encouraged with that, not only from from just the messaging in the communication, but I was also encouraged because I actually 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 if you've already done this, even if Your Business Development team, your lone officers, have already done this, have them do it again. Make this a habit to do a monthly or a bimonthly or at least a quarterly check in for the next eighteen to twenty four months until we're hopefully free from the economic impact that this this pandemic is caused, which in some cases we're thinking the economic impact might last for another three to five years post pandemic. But just simply giving someone an ear to talk to can provide them with clarity and calm and a time of chaos, confusion and crisis. You can also search account holder and employer data, if you have...

...that on file, to identify potential problems based on the potentially impacted business segments that I had previously noted, specifically like the service business. And this also could be found by looking at paycheck data through either physical or remote or direct deposits, to identify trends and patterns in the frequency and the amount of those deposits, while looking for changes over the last three thousand and ninety days. Even better, you know, consider tightening up that data search looking at changes in deposit history within just a fourteen to 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 to trends 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 that you have change those deposit frequencies over a specific period of time and when you're doing this, some other questions to think about and consider as you come through these these data trends, for patterns or things like you know, what have those deposit changes looked like? What is the relationship with each person or business with your financial brand or to the total savings that they have? What's the total debt they have? What's the debt to savings ratio for each person or business? And when you're looking to identify these trends and patterns, you can then move to step number three and begin to prioritize and rank each key segment trend, and that's what we're looking for. We're looking for segment trends at a high macro level. As you determine the total number of people or businesses within each one of the segments, you might also look for each segments average or total savings, as well as the average or total outstanding loans, to give 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 one of the segments that you've identified, based upon a projected environmental trends to come within the coming months and really even the coming years. I can think of one financial brand that we have been advising who has set up a weekly intake form, who is working with their businesses that they have loans with, so that the businesses can provide a weekly or biweekly or a monthly report of activity so that the business isn't waiting too long before they get into trouble and the bank can take a proactive step to provide recommendations or solutions to help the business navigate the post covid world. So, whenever you're ranking these different market segments through the data that you're pulling, rank these on a scale of one to twenty five, with one being the lowest level of risk, while five representing the highest level of default. And once you have these rankings for these segments at 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 biggest pain points for the top segments most at risk for an economic downturn, instead of jumping in and developing a product offering, which I do see that there's an opportunity to develop new products now, I really recommend you hit the pause button and go all in all, being an acronym, asking, listening and learning 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 what their biggest questions and concerns are right now.

What's to get a great example is is that weekly intake form or that bi weekly or monthly intake form that one financial brand has deployed to create this open communication. But that's only the digital side of things, and this is where there's an opportunity to supplement the human experience, or the Chex, with the D x, the digital experience, through those surveys to ask what are your biggest questions and concerns right now when 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 Covid has hit, there is no better time to do that than now, and even considering doing this on a quarterly basis is something that you could build into your own strategic planning workflow, because here's where you can look for key patterns and trends to then develop customized cure solution products that create value through new product offerings. 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 all it takes to move the needle, because now you have cures and solutions to 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 call them, or solutions, now you can confidently communicate courage and your commitment to educate and empower the key market segments that you identified in step number one step number two, to guide them during this time of chaos and crisis, to help first and sell second, and it's here you'll share personalized messages that offered those two things we talked about before, the help and the hope, by empathizing with those specific pain points you've identified for the key market segments. Further that are framed around the different stages of the digital consumer journey, so as we wrap up, I want to leave you with three key points to remember as we come back to Jesse's original question, when she asked what's the best way for our financial brand to market during uncertain times when it doesn't feel quite right to do a hard push for our products? So, in brief summaries, we wrap up. Number One, there is no better time than now to begin to transform the way we think about marketing and sales at our financial brands, and as things start to open back up and continue to open back up, but we could also go back to some shutdowns and closures. Are we doing more harm than good by going back to the old way of promoting and pushing commoditized products in this new post covid world that we're all traveling through together? Once again, what happens if things get shut down in your city or 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 helping first and selling second. I cannot stress this enough. It is important to give your financial brand space and time to do this, because transforming beliefs and actions that are rooted in the past, rooted around promoting those commoditized products and services pushing hard cells. Takes time to unwind and to Transform, so give 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 share it internally so that you can quickly reference those five steps to develop a digital communication strategy to proactively identify and reach out to those who might be most at risk for an economic downturn. As we wrap things up, do you have a question that you'd like to get answers to, like Jesse? If you do, I invite you to hop on over to www dot go ask jr and submit your question there for a chance to get it answered on a future podcast 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 is the question that goes unasked. Until next time, be well, do good and wash your hands. Thank you for listening to another episode of banking on Digital Growth with James Robert Laigh. Like what you hear, tell a friend about the podcast and leave us a review on apple podcast, Google podcasts or spotify, and subscribe while you're there. To get even more practical, improven insights, visit wwwigital growthcom to grab a preview of James Roberts best selling book banking on digital growth, or order a copy right now for you and your team from Amazon. Inside you'll find a strategic marketing and sales blueprint framed around twelve key areas of focus that empower you to confidently generate ten times more loans and deposits. Until next time, be well and do good.

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