Quick poll: When was the last time you stepped foot in your bank?
From drive-through bank windows to more recent banking amenities like online banking and mobile apps, banks have practically been encouraging customers to stay away for years. Along with the conveniences for the customers, banks benefitted from less overhead and an increased focus on compliance. So after years of being told there's no need to come inside, it was as if everyone saw the light and stopped entering their bricks-and-mortar bank. Problem solved, right? Not so fast.
Over time, the banks realized a few drawbacks (withdrawals, perhaps?). For starters, selling was near impossible, let alone "upselling." With just a quick click of a "No thanks" option online, customers are quickly able to bypass new products and services. Whereas face-to-face interaction would allow a bank representative to ask questions and employ techniques to garner interest. Another downside was that bank associates became less customer-service oriented and focused more on transactions, with very little interaction.
So, now what? Banks are working to turn things around and welcome customers back inside by creating an inviting atmosphere staffed with friendlier associates from diverse professional backgrounds (i.e. retail, sales, etc.). Many of the bigger banks are turning to third-party consultants, like Sandler, to train their teams to sell and to know what makes people feel comfortable to purchase, which is especially important when it comes to personal finance.
The more customers come inside and trust the person they're interacting with, the more opportunities there will be to sell. Because, as you all know, people want to buy, they just don't like to feel sold.