Windshield Wisdom #73 - Making Authentic Matter

 

This question came up at the end of a long Q&A session after a presentation I gave to a group of small business owners the other day...

"My boss keeps telling me that people buy from people they like.  How do I help my prospects and customers like me more?"

Me being me, I shared two stories.  One about a friend who told me to knock this off, and a second about a customer who told me he started doing this more, and it worked.  The common thread between the two was not the tip he expected.

All of a sudden, the connection between his bosses advice, and how he could bring it to life suddenly made complete sense...and that application of authentic is what this week's Windshield Wisdom is all about.  

Three Big Takeaways

1. Don't underestimate the power of likability as a powerful mental trigger for your customers and prospects, especially early in the relationship.  

2.  Yet so many people who have business development roles feel like they have...

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Windshield Wisdom #72 - Welcome to the Juice Box Club

 

Being judged by a prospect sucks.  

Being judged by a prospect based on nothing more than a first impression sucks more.  

Being judged by a prospect based on nothing more than a first impression, and they proceed to share their opinion with you, sucks most of all.  

When I first put this Windshield Wisdom together, I just thought it was a good story with a good lesson for all of us to learn.  Then last week the timing was right to bring it up with one of my Cool Bankers Academy classes (we were studying the types of buyers they will come across, and one of them is the Skeptic), and every single person on the Office Hours call had a story to tell, and what they did to overcome it.  

Those stories the Cool Bankers shared led me to realize this topic is more important than I first thought. We all experience unfair first impressions that aren't related to our skills and abilities, serious and joking.  It's how we respond in those...

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Windshield Wisdom #66 - Execute the Order (See What I Did There Edition)

 

 "Good luck is when opportunity meets preparation, while bad luck is when lack of preparation meets reality."  - Eliyahu Goldratt

I used to annoy the crap out of my team with that quote.  It wasn't an accident.  

Preparation is that important in determining you're level of sales success in your banking career.  

My customers today get the same treatment.  I ask them all the same 6 questions before we go out on joint calls.

The first three are...What do you know about the person we're meeting with?  What would you like to learn?  What are you hoping to accomplish with this meeting? 

And the other three questions?  That's what this week's video is all about.  

Three Big Takeaways

1.  Selling doesn't end simply because the prospect said yes.  You need to keep reinforcing the idea they made the right choice in choosing you, and that's best done by confidently and completely communicating what comes next in...

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Bank Sales Myth #1 - "You have to be an extrovert"

 

This ticks me off every time someone says it to me...which, unfortunately, is often.

"I will never be a [fill in the blank with desired career move] because I'm an introvert."    -Anonymous Banker

Hearing this makes me especially angry when they get it from their back slapping, never listening, former frat boy boss who has never really been successful themselves, but somehow managed to get promoted to their level of incompetence.  

You see, I am an introvert.  Yet, I was still magically able to navigate an award winning banking career, and turn that success into my own business teaching sales to other bankers.  

It's time to squash the "good sales people are extroverts" myth once and for all...and that's what this week's Windshield Wisdom is all about.  

Three Big Takeaways

1.  You don't have to be an extrovert to be successful at sales in the banking world.  In fact, my experience has shown that the BEST selling bankers...

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Windshield Wisdom #60 - 4 Reasons People Hate Being Sold To

 

Sales isn't a dirty word.  We covered that a few weeks ago in Windshield Wisdom #55 (She Said the "S" Word!).  

Yet like most of you, I hate it when the person who is supposedly here to "help" turns out to be...something else.

As a public courtesy, here's a short list of my absolute sales DO NOT's that will turn you into "something else" for your prospect faster than you can say "Prepayment Penalty".  

  1. Don't put words into your prospect's mouth.
  2. Don't change who you are because you have a goal to make.
  3. Don't assume what's important to you is important to them.
  4. Don't make the competition a bigger deal than they really are.  

Simply put, don't be THAT person...and that's what this week's Windshield Wisdom is all about.  

Three Big Takeaways

1.  Making assumptions about your customers and prospects almost always gets you into trouble.  If you don't know the answer to an important question...ask.  

2.  Your...

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Windshield Wisdom #55 - She said the "S" Word!

 

Believe it or not SALES isn't a dirty word, even though we often treat it that way.  Like most things in the banking world, when it's done right and ethically, being good at sales has the power to change the lives of our customers and prospects for the better.  It's time to reset the discussion about the role sale plays in our success...and that's what this week's video is all about.

Three Big Takeaways

1.  Bankers who are good at sales don't get there by living up to the cliche, used-car salesman stereotype of "think fast, talk faster."

2.  Yet somehow, our perception of what a good sales person really is almost never matches a more realistic definition.  In reality, during the buying process rarely (let's be honest, almost never) is trying to manipulate someone into choosing your solution going to work.  

3.  The truth is, great sales results often comes from an individual's desire to provide extraordinary customer service, and that's...

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Windshield Wisdom #51: How Uncomfortable Are You?

 

I received a testimonial from Levi, a recent Cool Bankers Academy graduate, and while this paragraph is only one small part of it...the section below made me stop in my tracks.    

"I’m not going to say that the course is comfortable, because it’s not.  Mr. Middendorp likes to put his subjects on the spot and make them squirm.  But as another classmate stated, it’s through the completion of these uncomfortable scenarios that we grow and succeed.  It was amazing how many times I could track success and failures directly to the subject matter we had discussed only a week or two before."

I had two immediate thoughts spring to mind...

First, that may be one of the best compliments I've ever received, even if Levi didn't mean it to be.    

Second, why is making my students uncomfortable during the Cool Bankers Academy Office Hours sessions an important step in preparing them for success in the real world?  

I...

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Windshield Wisdom #50: Do You Know What Worked?

 

You can grab the free After Meeting Thought List I mentioned in the video by clicking here (no opt-in required).

It takes an extraordinary person to learn something new (from training, a book, a podcast, their mentor, etc...), and then go implement it...And that's what this week's video is all about. 

During my banking career, I developed a mental routine I ran through after each meeting so I knew what was working, what wasn't, and more importantly, what I had learned that would allow me to be better next time. 

Learn how to grow systematically in this week's Windshield Wisdom. 

Three Big Takeaways

1.  It's easy to learn new skills.  It's harder to know when to use them in your day-to-day...to make them real.   

2.  To do that you need a thought process, a system, for evaluating your interactions with customers and prospects, so you can know what worked, what didn't, and what you've learned that could make a difference next time.  

...

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When Can I Follow-Up Without Fear of Being Annoying?

 

Back in my early banking days I had an epiphany that came from a completely unexpected source, a fairy tale I was reading to my then-infant son...I realized that night as I was reading the story, that I was trying to force customers into my ideas about WHEN they should engage with me...like the fairy tale says...my follow-up routines were "too hot".

The good news is, once I figured out how "just right" worked, my entire banking career trajectory changed.  I had confidence in the timing and message behind my follow-up routines...and that's what this week's video is all about.

Three Takeaways

1.  The 2 biggest keys to sales success in your banking career are your ability to develop a plan for your prospect and customer relationships, and do what you say you're going to do for them.  

2.  Getting the timing of your follow-up right means your prospects and customers are more likely to be receptive to your outreach, respond positively to your message, and move...

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What's Your Magic Number?

 

My MAGIC NUMBER is 3...What's Yours?


Did you like my wisdom? Please share it with someone who would welcome a clear, simple path to success.   - Matt


Summary:

You have goals.

If you're a business owner, they're usually related to revenue and profitability.

If you're a banker, they're usually production based (with a hint of portfolio quality hopefully thrown in).

If you don't have clear, actionable goals then we need to talk...but I digress...

You have goals, and for some of you those goals are challenging.  Maybe even to the point you aren't sure where to start.

For most of us, we're looking for a way to ensure that what we're doing is leading us in the right direction without wasting a ton of precious time and energy.

Enter the MAGIC NUMBER

Here's my point.  In 20 years of leading sales teams, both in banking and business, I've found that most of us have a MAGIC NUMBER.  That one trackable metric that predicts our future success almost completely.

Your...

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