Since 1975, a major Australian bank – Westpac – has sponsored a rescue helicopter service that operates in rural parts of Australia. With up to 2,000 life saving missions a year across three bases, nobody has ever had to pay to be assisted by the Westpac rescue helicopter.
Today Westpac, like many other banks, is now saving lives in other ways.
Of course there are many incredibly brave doctors, nurses and health care workers who are doing amazing work to save thousands of people around the globe from the health concerns caused by this terrible virus.
But thousands of people, and businesses, around the world are also suffering terrible financial concerns that have been caused by the strict social distancing measures implemented to curb the spread of the virus.
Like our health care workers, bankers and finance professionals need to now SAVE people from their financial anxieties.
I have witnessed some mixed responses from banks as they strategically navigate this economic downturn.
Some have taken their time to react – worrying about the financial impact this may have on their institution. Some have promptly outreached to their customers to offer reassurances and guidance.
Regardless of your bank’s stance, every bank now has an opportunity and an obligation to SAVE their clients.
Those who are too hesitant may ultimately face the repercussions of lower profitability as businesses close and other dismayed clients change banks. Those who rush to help may be missing the opportunity to provide appropriate palliative care.
Here are some simple tips to help you better “S.A.V.E.” your clients.
- Be very clear about the solutions your bank can offer to help alleviate financial anxiety.
- What concessions are available and who qualifies?
- Offer broad wholistic solutions as financial anxiety impacts all facets of their life.
- Clearly understand Government support available and be proactive.
- Review your client composition and segment by “survival priorities”.
- Pre-determine business (industry) challenges and anxieties.
- Develop “Question Guides” to help staff uncover severity of these challenges.
- Only offer specific solutions that match specific needs.
- Consider other ways to add value beyond financial solutions.
- Access your broader resources/knowledge to provide beneficial information and guidance.
- Seek ways to support local businesses and charities.
- Leverage strategic partnerships with other local businesses that can support your clients.
- Proactively engage your clients AFTER you better understand your SOLUTIONS, AUDIENCE and VALUE ADD.
- Prepare and practice your communications (scripts) in advance of contact.
- Aim to arrange formal phone/video meetings with business clients, rather than simply “checking in”.
- Follow up all conversations.
How To Develop Engagement Scripts
Whilst it’s highly commendable to be outreaching to your clients during this difficult time, I strongly encourage you to avoid the following mistakes:
- Focusing on your solutions rather than their concerns
- Simply checking in and not formally exploring their needs
- Sounding negative or glum about the current crisis
During this unprecedented time, your clients want you to be empathetic, encouraging, enlightening and energizing. Stop dwelling on the pain of isolation and economic uncertainty. Offer positive guidance and reassurances.
As finance professionals, it’s important you are confident about the future while you are saving your clients. Have you ever heard a nurse or doctor speak negatively while treating you?!?
Prepare your scripts beforehand and consider these “5 E’s” for engaging clients during difficult times.
As my friend Denise Roberts from Sales Partners says, “It’s all about building better connections right now by offering genuine comfort and the right support”.
The benevolence we offer now, will provide tremendous benefits later.
Now is the time to SAVE …. and not sell. Take the time to truly understand how you can S.A.V.E. your clients and develop comforting engagement scripts.
Get this right …. and you will be well positioned to grow your Bank again when your clients and the economy returns to good health.
Joe Micallef, Sales Coach – BankTalentHQ