Wanted: Community-minded nurturer

The past few years have seen the rise of “community manager” as a dedicated role within companies. An early 2022 search shows 135,000-plus available jobs with this title on LinkedIn alone. The role is part public relations, part customer cheerleader — and a good community manager authentically shows up, both online and in-person, as the “face” of the brand. [Continue]

Sales training tips for the remote banking environment

It’s no surprise that, with continuing pandemic issues and concerns, many clients and prospects are avoiding our bank lobbies. And why not, with online access to almost everything? So how will your salespeople continue to build relationships and keep your best customers? During these times, they must be proficient at reaching out and communicating effectively and consistently. This is key for most banks to sustain and build relationships, grow loans and achieve higher net interest margins. [Continue]

Experience tops product every time

Satisfaction with a product generally declines over time, whereas contentment with an experience generally grows over time. This observation, shared by presenter Jacob Morgan recently at the ABA National Conference for Community Bankers, resonates. While I might be ready for a new fishing pole every couple of years, that memory of the fish that got away gets to be a better story every time I tell it. [Continue]

Social engagement for the anti-social

Have you gotten weary of people advising you to master social media? I get it. I often shake my head in disbelief at the fatuous comments I find in my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds. I do accept, however, that just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean it’s not important. (Exercise comes to mind.) You need to engage on social media because that’s where the customers are. [Continue]

Success at social media requires minding reviews, policies

When a bank enjoys active social engagement, negative posts or a customer review of a misfiring product is inevitable. Addressing these posts takes a multipronged approach: Though your first instinct might be to delete the message or respond defensively, only remove reviews that clearly violate company policies on harmful content. [Continue]

Social media best practices: What to know (and do)

How do you choose a social media channel? Who should you target? What do you say? All great questions. Unfortunately, there is no “one size fits all” solution to this age-old problem. Although the shift to primarily digital marketing has provided new and exciting opportunities to reach customers and prospects, it also brings competitive challenges and ever-changing platforms and algorithms — converting today’s marketing from art to science. [Continue]

7 Steps for prospecting and building relationships

All of the banks we work with must do outbound lead generation and relationship building and many do not have the luxury of filling their sales pipeline with inbound leads. Like most things, if you have a plan and stick to the plan, outbound selling will be more effective. If you are a sales leader or a salesperson in need of an outbound prospecting strategy, here are 7 steps to improve your success. [Continue]

Increase customer lifetime value through financial education

Banking is a unique industry in that “everyone needs it,” yet there is a wide range of how customers interact with financial institutions. Digital solutions are the bare minimum expectation; building bank loyalty will come from becoming a trusted source for all banking needs — including financial literacy. [Continue]

Take your M&A communications strategy to the next level

The pandemic turned what was a slow shuffle toward the edge of the technology cliff, into a hard shove right off the edge. Banks had to get nimble, creative, flexible and comfortable with a very different way of operating in a very short time period. And frankly, they did. The continuous push toward leveling up in the digital and technology game is often a driver for a larger decision to find one or more strategic partners, to combine resources — or organizations — to build the best, most competitive and sustainable solution. Enter the acquisition strategy! [Continue]

Express your brand, internally and externally

We’ve all heard of “company branding” but what does that really mean for community banks? In a highly competitive environment, it’s about more than “we’re here to serve our communities.” It’s about setting your bank apart: What makes you unique? What are your bank’s values? How do you meet your overall mission? [Continue]