Recently I’ve been revisiting the different ways people learn and have come across some great information on the subject. What it boils down to is when learning something new we will tend to gravitate to one of 4 learning styles: Visual, Audio, Tactile or Kinesthetic.
To understand what learning style you gravitate towards ask yourself “When I need to assemble that complex toy for my child at Christmas, how do I prefer to get the job done?
- Visual: Skip the assembly instructions and go straight to the picture to see how it should look once assembled
- Audio: Ask your spouse to read the instructions to me and describe what they see in the picture as I assemble the toy
- Tactile: Read the instructions, look at the picture, and probably watch a YouTube video showing how to assemble the toy, all while taking my own notes before getting started
- Kinesthetic: Spread all the parts on the floor and start putting things together until it finally looks right
You may relate to a few of these learning styles. For me I am a pretty solid visual and kinesthetic learner followed by audio and lastly logical. What would you say is your dominant learning style?
Learning is just the first step for anyone who needs to deliver results. After learning we must apply and perform. In our rolls as credit union sales representatives and sales leaders, application of what we have learned can be a challenge. In training and meetings we may learn about recapturing a loan, selling ODP or payment protection, up-selling the credit unions credit card, but when it comes to putting it into practice we may struggle. And the reason we may struggle is because we don’t have a process for both serving our members needs and selling additional credit union products and services.
Processes in the business world are critical and highly valued. This is why we have developed certifications such as Six Sigma, PMP, and CISM. We pay people who have these certifications and understand these processes a lot of money because they produce results. And if your credit union sales results are lackluster, it could be because you lack a specific sales process.
When I work with credit unions to train them on sales techniques and strategy I also teach the sales process. The process of serving and selling is critical to your teams to produce consistent sale results. Not only does the process create specific steps that your employees can go through with every member interaction on the teller line, at the loan officer desk and in the service center, it also creates an experience that your members grow to expect and love.
Here are 3 things a specifically defined sales process can do for your credit union, the sales employees and your membership.
Accomplish the Mission, Vision, Philosophy, and Goals of the Credit Union
A sales process should work fluidly with your credit union’s Mission, Vision and Core Values. It’s also an extension of your credit union’s sales philosophy, the foundation and reason for why you sell. And like an instructional YouTube video, the sales process should clearly show your employees how to accomplish all of them.
A sales process is just that, steps that credit union employees should follow in every member interaction to help fulfill their members needs and expand the products and services you are serving for them. It can be an A, B, C or 1, 2, 3 process or something a little more sophisticated. For instance, I have helped credit unions use a unifying word from their mission or vision statements as the guide for their sales process. Usually these words are 5 to 7 letters long with each letter representing a single step. This is effective because the employees remember the word and can more easily remember each step. Click here to watch a training video created for an online credit union sales training called SalesCU.
Formulate Sales Coaching and Employee Performance
A defined sales process makes it easy for leaders to coach their employees. The specific and tangible steps simplify expectations and provide subjects for one-on-one coaching and team meetings. It also gives sales leaders something to hold their employees accountable to.
When an employee is struggling to perform in a specific area the leader can utilize the process’ steps to clearly identify where the struggle is originating, and customize training for that employee. For instance, if an employee is taking a lot of loan applications but struggling to close them they may not be following the sales process step that covers commitment and follow-up. A leader could then set aside time to shadow an employee at their desk during a member interaction, observe what the employee may be skipping or doing poorly, and then set aside time to coach and practice specifically the area the employee needs to improve. To learn more about the training I created, visit SalesCU.com.
Unite the Credit Union and Improve the Sales Culture
With a sales process in place and your leadership and employees executing it, you will begin to see the credit union’s sales culture take shape and change for the good. This will happen because the sales process makes it easy and formulated to execute sales at a high level, and something that everyone in the credit union can rally behind. Senior leaders can take a more specific top down approach setting goals surrounding sales expectations and strategically planning leadership development time to support them in their role as sales leaders. Senior leaders will also see a need for precious training time to become less weighted to operations and more focused on the sales process and sales success.
As these things take hold sales team leaders will look to hire for the skill sets needed to execute the process and goals they have been given. And lastly, behaviors in employees will change to align with the training, goals, and expectations their leaders have established, which is to execute the sales process. I would love to visit your credit union and teach my SURPASS sales process live, to not only unite your credit union on a vision of sales and service but to help give your employees the tools they need to better serve their members. Click here to contact me to set up an appointment and discuss this possibility.
So, does your credit union have a specific sales process? If so please take a moment to share it in the comments below.