Ever wonder where the next member is coming from? Are you looking at outside resources to ensure that your credit union is reaching enough people so that you can get enough inbound inquiries for new accounts? When I talk to staff at credit unions during my trainings, we discuss how to get out into the community on a regular basis. More specifically we discuss where they can go to find more networking opportunities that will result in more conversations, more cups of coffee, and more new accounts at the branch!
Further proof that people don’t get out enough is the self-assessment I conduct when speaking or training on these issues. Overwhelmingly audience attendees are rating themselves below average when asked: “Do you attend networking events in the community on a regular basis?”
People readily admit that they don’t do this, yet when asked where business comes from they constantly reply “Word of Mouth”. Then when asked the follow up of “How do you create more word of mouth referrals?” The response is silence!
Here are 3 places you can go for more networking opportunities!
1. Your local Chamber of Commerce – Lots of events each month, most of which include networking opportunities, and others have some specific networking groups.
2. BNI Local Chapter (Business Networking International) has been around since X and often times will have a seat available for someone in your branch. The key here is understanding which seat you want.
3. Your branch lobby! I’m not even kidding. Don’t look to far from home. There are 3 major opportunities that I have seen work very effectively with branches. First, consider hosting a networking event at your branch. Second, Consider hosting a weekly networking meeting at your branch. Third, utilize your lobby as a place to begin conversations with customers, that can continue in future visits, over the phone, or over coffee. These conversations lead to more business and they certainly lead to more word of mouth referrals.
Word of mouth referrals aren’t easy to come by. They take diligent and consistent work to ensure that they are coming on a regular basis. It’s imperative that you get out and about, build relationships and grow your contact base so that they have an opportunity to refer you more often when the opportunities present themselves.