Right now there are two types of bankers in the world, grinders and ballers...at least that's how it was put to me earlier today, and quite frankly I agree.
We're living in an extraordinary time. We're all in the same boat together, and yet there is no blueprint for what to do now, much less what comes next.
Here's what I do know, the people who are looking ahead, the bankers and business owners who are looking forward and blazing new paths through this difficult period, are the ones who are setting the trends everyone else will be racing to catch up to later.
So, which one are you? A grinder or a Baller...and that's what this week's Windshield Wisdom is all about.
1. This is an extraordinary time in our society and in our profession. It's ok to acknowledge that things aren't ok right now, and have those conversations with our clients and prospects. Always focusing on being a source of reliable information and a...
Long ago, when I was first starting out… I learned the most important lesson of my career.
It was a “meta” lesson and it was about my reputation and perception.
I thought about this recently when I was working with a client, and his entire personal brand was directly tied to the bank he worked for, and had little to do with his own value to their success.
He and I sat down and discussed what he would like his customers to say about him, as well as did some research into what they're actually saying now...and that’s what this week’s video is all about:
1. Whether you like it or not, you do have a personal brand in the marketplace you serve. The big question is are you deliberately defining and influencing the perceptions others have of you, or are you letting it just happen?
2. Start by deciding what 3 words you would like your customers to use when describing you. There are no...
Before you start typing hate mail after reading the title, don't worry, this isn't going to be that kind of post...in fact, do me a favor and watch the video before you pass judgement.
I'm not going to be talking about looks on a superficial level. Not even a little bit.
Here's the truth behind this video, sometimes the way we dress or manage our appearance DOES have an impact on an interaction, and if you know when those moments are you're a step ahead of the game...and that advantage is what this week's Windshield Wisdom is all about.
1. When we look good, we feel good. Whether it's our favorite "game-on" outfit, or a fresh haircut, a little extra confidence to go with that spring in your step can go a long way.
2. People are influenced by people who trigger traditional cues and clues that show them to have Authority, and the way you're dressed can be a powerful first impression with the authority...
Sometimes it's the little things that separate the winners in this business.
Let's be honest, we spend so much time focusing on the big parts of our jobs (which are all important too), that we often forget to explore other ideas that help customers move through the buying process faster and with more enthusiasm.
Little ideas that make the big ones work even better.
The best part is, sometimes the little things that make a giant difference are also easy to do...and that's what this week's Windshield Wisdom is all about.
1. One of the hardest parts of being in business development is separating yourself as "not just another banker" in an incredibly competitive industry.
2. In order to make that your reality it's often the little things that will help you rise above the crowd. Sending a hand written 'Thank You' card is a great way to add an exclamation point after a great meeting.
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.
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...
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...
One of the first goals my first boss in banking set for me was to make 50 cold calls a day. His logic being, I didn't have an established portfolio, and the best way to find new customers is to reach out to your targeted leads, make cold calls, and schedule appointments to meet.
His favorite saying was, "Sales is a numbers game!"
What a load of crap. Give a banker 10 good leads they can work with, and they will close more deals than a banker with 100 cold call "prospects."
Fortunately for me (and in my opinion, to the benefit of the banking world. If anything because I was seriously considering quitting, which means that this whole Sales Math experiment would probably never have happened. Hopefully that thought makes you as sad as it does me.), he was forced out of the industry shortly thereafter, and my next boss allowed me to take an entirely different, and far more productive, approach...and that's what this week's video...
This was my home for the last 2 weeks...and it was fantastic!
For some of you, roughing it in a tent may not be your thing, but let me tell you what, I met some of the nicest people, and had some surprising conversations, while walking around the campground or when hiking on trails in the backcountry.
All of this got me thinking, why do we make networking so hard? After all, I had meaningful conversations with people from all over the world by following 3 simple rules of the trail...and that's what this week's video is all about.
1. When you're networking, take the pressure off by simply being interested in the stories and experiences of the person in front of you.
2. When in doubt, ask them questions about what they're sharing. It may be cliche, but most people really do like to talk about themselves if the questions are appropriate.
3. Your experiences can add a lot to the...
When you’re on the receiving end of a referral, you might feel
tempted to take some shortcuts and go for the deal as quickly as possible.
After all, you were recommended by someone they know, like, and trust.
But shortcuts rarely work in sales for us bankers, no matter where a prospect comes from. Getting a great referral is banking nirvana, and over the years I've discovered a few wrinkles in the buying process that makes converting them even more likely...or less risky...and that's what this week's video is all about.
1. Not all referrals are considered equal. The more involved the referral source gets, especially early in the process, the stronger the recommendation is perceived by the referral themselves.
2. Whatever you do, don't forget that even though you may feel like you're further along, the referral is still starting at step one of the buying process, and will move through the...
I'm going to age myself a little bit here, but I feel it's necessary to make a point.
Once upon a time I had to...
...Look up information in something called an encyclopedia. Now I have access to almost all information ever created in my pocket on my iPhone.
...Flip the record or rewind the cassette tape. Now I don't even carry a CD case with my anymore, and I still have access to all the music I could ever want to listen to in my pocket.
...Go see a movie in the theater if I wanted to see it at all. Now my kids can't believe we have to wait two months for a new release to appear on iTunes.
...Write papers on a typewriter...and keep whiteout handy for when I made a mistake. Now I create, edit, and create again, then distribute it to a network of people, without using a single piece of paper.
...Navigate with something called a map, as well as figure out how long it would take to get somewhere...