If you’re managing a team of seasoned bankers, you may have to deal with a brand problem. No, it’s not your bank’s brand. Your people may need your help with their personal brands.
How can you assist the veteran banker whose niche in the good times was making loans to real estate developers and home builders? What if he wants to refocus his energy on a different segment? What coaching would you give him?
Check out Buck Bierly’s thoughts for sales leaders in a new video on our website by going to http://www.mzbierlyconsulting.com.
You might also find additional ideas in a recent blog post on branding at http://www.mzbierlyconsulting.com/bank-sales-corner-blog/?Tag=Brand.
Upcoming live webinars:
Is Adding Value Just About Cutting Price?
September 19, 2011 at 11 AM Eastern, 10 AM Central
Many bankers think the key to winning new business is lowering their price. While true in some situations, bankers who sell on price struggle with business customers who value things like quality service and expertise and experience. Join Buck Bierly for a fast-paced discussion on:
- Understanding tangible and intangible needs
- The most common value propositions bankers use
- Why success is about demonstrating how you add value, not talking about it
- Positioning yourself as an expert in initial meetings
- Asking the right set of questions matter
- How to think like a business owner and win more business
Building an Effective Referral Network on October 17, 2011
Strategies for Sales Leaders on Coaching Commercial Relationship Managers in Challenging Times on November 21, 2011
You can register online at https://mzbierlyconsulting.webex.com or call Susan Lersch at 610-296-4771 to sign up for any of the sessions.
Here’s a scary thought: You have a personal brand. Whether you’re a seasoned commercial lender or a new private banker, you have an identity in the market.
The question for many bankers is whether it’s the brand you want. Think about my friend Dave, a 20 year banking veteran who has spent the last decade at a community bank. His card says “Commercial Lender,” but most of his loans have been to local real estate developers and home builders. His reputation in good times—before 2008, say—was as a go-to guy for A&D loans. He didn’t have to stray far from his desk to generate a steady stream of loans.
Now Dave’s bank has soured on that business—most have in this part of the galaxy—and it’s unlikely to reenter the market for construction loans any time soon. Dave has been busy if not altogether happy as a workout officer, but things are starting to stabilize and so his days handling problem credits are winding down. So the question of whether he needs to rebuild his brand is not purely hypothetical. If Dave wants to stay in commercial lending, he has to think about his choices.
Let’s assume he wants to stick with his current employer. His best option may be to refocus his energy on the small to mid-sized businesses that the bank’s CEO is clearly targeting. Some of his real estate savvy will be useful—the bank will do owner-occupied deals all day—and he believes that he can leverage his contacts in the community.
What would a brand consultant suggest? For starters, Dave should consider the following:
Doing a self-assessment. If this job requires more prospecting than he has done in the past, what does that imply? Will he benefit from some training on new client acquisition?
Studying the market. Are there any obvious niches for Dave to pursue? Professional practices are called on by everybody but can’t be ruled out. Dave got to know a lot of real estate lawyers in his previous incarnation; they might be open to referring him to others in their firms.
Scoping out the competition. By seeing what’s going on with the other players in the market he can learn what he’s up against.
Enlarging his network of referral sources. Is he going to have to develop new COIs? The chances are good that he will. How is he going to enlist the assistance of his customers, business acquaintances and friends?
Developing a self-branding action plan. What steps can he take to become more visible in the market? Which groups should he join? If he’s intent on pursuing law firms, does it make sense to attend meetings of the local bar association, or find out how active the American Legal Management Association is in his area? Should he be using LinkedIn to burnish his new identity, recognizing that many professionals are using it?
It’s possible to change your professional reputation, but it takes time. The first step is obviously to strategize with your boss. If you’re thinking that it’s time for a makeover, it probably is.
Do you know how to use LinkedIn to build your personal brand? Many bankers are finding ways to leverage it to do research on prospects and find warm leads that can generate sales revenue. Check out our archived webinar on Leveraging LinkedIn for Business Development by going to http://mzbierlyconsulting.webex.com.
You might also find ideas on our blog at http://www.mzbierlyconsulting.com/bank-sales-corner-blog.