On this episode, Paul offers up some ideas to help convince the customer to go with a local provider.
Customers don’t know what they don’t know.
“Whatever you do, you have to understand what these customers really care about.”
Emphasize how partnering locally helps the community.
Figure out what’s missing with their remote provider.
Build a relationship now for potential services in the future.
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How do I sell localized services if the buyer is satisfied with their non-local provider?
(Transcribed from podcast)
On today’s show, we’ve got a great question coming from Beth. Beth is in the banking industry, so a shout-out to all the bankers out there. Beth wants to know about selling local service—the local service of your local bank. So we’re going to get into that today.
Before we do that though, hey, reminder. Go to the website, TheQandASalesPodcast.com. When you go there, ask a question. I’m going to turn it into a show. This is proof positive that I will turn it into a show. Let’s get back to that question.
Beth filled out the question form online, and here’s what she said verbatim: “How do you sell local servicing to someone who hasn’t experienced a problem dealing with far-distanced customer support?” So if we could summarize this question, how do you convince someone to go with local support if they are doing just fine with what they have with the other bank that’s further down the road? And think about how we could broaden this question to other areas of business. Let’s say you’re in distribution, for example. How do you convince your customer to go with a local distributor versus a far-reaching, nationwide distributor? I think there are several parallels here that we can draw on those two groups.
So let’s get into that question though, but we’ve got to shout-out to Andrea over here at The Creative Impostor Studio. She does an absolutely wonderful job editing the podcast and also keeping me up to date on what’s new in podcasting. So Andrea really does it all. Great job. If you’re thinking of starting a podcast, I definitely recommend reaching out to Andrea. In fact, we will have a link to her actual website on this episode’s webpage, so check it out.
Also, pick up your fourth edition of Value-Added Selling. Several of the ideas I’ll talk about today are going to be in the book only with much more detail. So visit Amazon or wherever you get your books and pick up your copy. Actually, we just learned too, that the book is now available in Brazil. So my Brazilian brothers and sisters, we now have Value-Added Selling available to you. You can buy that on Amazon.
Let’s get back to that question: How do you sell someone on that localized service when it appears they have no need for it? They don’t think they have a need. And that’s the big challenge that we’re facing here more than anything, Beth, is that your customers, they don’t feel like they need the localized service yet. But customers don’t always know what they don’t know. And part of what we have to do is we’ve got to make them aware of that. We’ve got to convince them, not by pushing something that they don’t need, but we just have to establish the need for what we are going to provide them. So I’m going to give you a couple of tips and ideas. And this is a couple of thoughts just coming from our experience in working in the banking industry.
With this challenge, you’ve got a group of customers that maybe don’t know what they don’t know. And in fact, Beth, in your question, you even put as a response, “this is the younger generation.” They may not run into a situation that would mean they would benefit from banking local. And so we’re trying to figure that out. And I think that does make sense. I mean, I think about when I was a young professional, or just young—when I was in college, my first bank accounts, my twenties when I didn’t really need a bank yet—early twenties, it was like, “Great. I get some checks, get a debit card, maybe a credit card, maybe five credit cards.” You know, I don’t know. But anyway, as a younger person, you don’t fully realize the benefits of a local bank. I think that’s a fair statement.
So here’s what I would recommend. First and foremost, ask this group of customers what they want. I know that sounds a little obvious and straightforward, but remember that if you’re going to attract this younger group of customers, you need to understand what they really want, what’s important to them, what makes sense. So I would hold a couple of events. I mean, short of just picking up the phone and calling some of these customers, you’re trying to target (you can certainly do that), but I would hold maybe a couple of events. Hold them at your bank—you know, a young professional event or something like that, a focus group study. Bring this group together, get their thoughts, ask them, “Hey, what do you look for in a bank? What’s important to you? What do you need from us?”
You might even send out a survey instead. Maybe put together a survey where you can ask the question so they don’t need to show up in person given the pandemic. But ask those questions. See what they really want, see what’s important to them. But host a couple of events in the area maybe that younger professionals attend, or younger people attend, and use that as a platform to get feedback from them.
The key is, whatever you do, you have to understand what these customers really care about, what’s important to them. Because right now, we’re trying to show them, “Hey, support local. Go with the local bank.” But maybe that’s not what is important to them right now. So we’ve got to figure out what that is, how we can draw them in initially, and then eventually, as their needs change, they might see more of a benefit with a local bank. So that’s first and foremost. You need to ask the customer what they want—what they want/what they need. Do that in any way that you can.
Next thing. Once you get an understanding of what they need, I would adjust some of your services to show them, “Hey, we’ve got you covered.” Get creative in how you can adjust some of the banking services that you offer [that] may be specific to them. Package them differently—whatever you need to do—but create a couple of customized services for the group that you’re trying to target.
Now, some other things. I would say, sell them on the local and the communal aspect of your bank. And this is an idea that parallels with any local business going against a larger, nationwide, more remote company. Sell the local and communal benefits. You don’t need to be a marketing wizard to realize that people are starting to focus more on and shopping local and supporting local and communal. Especially when we go through this pandemic, people want to see their local community not just survive but thrive. So I would recommend really emphasizing that point when you’re interacting with these customers and explain to them and show them how partnering with their local bank helps the community, how this gives them a connection to the community. They feel like they’re part of something.
That’s another thing to remember is that we want to feel as though we are part of something bigger than ourselves. And if your local company, (local bank in this case) can make them feel like they’re connected to the community, or they’re part of something bigger, that is going to be enough to attract them. And if you can do that better than your competition, you’re really going to appeal to the emotional side of that decision in purchasing. So make them aware how them partnering with you is going to help impact the local community—the positive aspects. And also show them how it really connects them to the bank—to something bigger.
Next tip. In your question you mentioned that they’re fine with their other option, the distanced company—the company that is maybe, I don’t if they’re nationwide or what the deal is. But what I would do, I would do a comparison with some of the larger companies (banks in this case) that they could be working with. Figure out what services are missing from their offering. Figure out what you offer that they don’t offer. And I would start highlighting those differences and presenting those differences. Maybe put together some marketing material that will implant that criteria in the buyer’s mind and just letting them know what they’re missing. Because once they are aware of what they’re missing, maybe they’re going to be more open to switching, or it’s at least going to nudge them in the right direction. So keep that piece in mind.
And the final tip, focus on the relationship. One thing I’ve learned about banking, with banking it really is a relationship-driven business. And it’s about building that relationship now for the future needs. The people you’re interacting with, you mentioned that the younger group that you’re targeting, they might not have all of the needs that your bank has to offer. Eventually they are going to need those services. Eventually they will want to take a loan out to start a business, or they’re going to need certificates of deposit. They’re going to need savings accounts. They’re going to need a mortgage—whatever other services—they’re going to need these things. Let them know building a relationship today will make those services easier to attain in the future.
And that’s just from experience. I mean, the more you get to know a bank, the more they get to know you, the easier it is to work with them. Especially the local community-style banks. Make them aware that building that relationship now is only going to make things easier for them in the future, whether that be for loans, whether it be for different specialty type services whatever it may be, having that relationship is going to matter.
All right, folks. Well, that is the show for today, Beth. I hope that helps you out. Take some of those techniques, apply them. Let me know how they work out. Send me an email, let me know if they work.
Make it a big day.