Sales and service - 1Cross-sales. While rarely anybody’s favorite thing to talk about (with the exception of maybe sales trainers) cross-sales are an increasingly vital part of the revenue mix for banks and credit unions. Deepening relationships and getting more from current members and customers is important.

Most financial institutions are on the lookout for new and/or revamped ways to help employees approach cross sales. Below please find five quick and easy ideas to apply at your shop.

  • Go for your stickiest products. This means aggressively cross-selling items like home banking, bill pay, personal lines of credit and checking accounts. Once consumers are using these products, it’s significantly more difficult for them to pull themselves away and take their business elsewhere.
  • Do everything you can to stay to connected with your consumers. We live in a hyper-competitive age of consumer choice. The biggest reason members and customers stop doing business with you is because they forget who you are. Combat this by staying connected whenever possible. Examples include regular channels like newsletters and website banners. Also remember to mix in plenty of digital channels such as embedded home banking messages, social media and mobile technology.
  • Train, train, train. It’s easy to overlook, but consumer engagement and cross sales training is critical to the success of any bank or credit union. This not only includes working with new hires during the on-boarding process, but continually offering long- time employees the training and refreshers they need to stay on top of the cross sales game.
  • If you’ve got it, flaunt it. By this, I mean don’t be shy about matching bank or credit union products and services with something you know the consumer needs. For example, if a consumer is talking about the difficulty of purchasing Christmas gifts for their children every year, suggest a Christmas club savings account. If someone mentions they recently paid off a vehicle loan and you know the loan was not held by your financial institution, make sure they know about the great rates and service offered a new vehicle loans at your financial institution. There’s nothing wrong with promoting the good products and services you have with consumers and their unique and individual financial needs.
  • Be persistent. Not many cross sales opportunities result in success the first time you try them. It could be conversation numbers two, three, four or even five before that member or customer is ready to proceed. Don’t give up.

Consumer engagement and cross sales will only continue to grow in importance as the financial services landscape continues to grow more competitive. Banks and credit unions that work proactively now to ensure their employees have the tools and training to be successful cross-sellers plant the seeds for their own future prosperity.