I sell to credit unions, every day, and by doing so, I have been involved in many discussions about the perceived needs of credit unions. There are a few regional differences, but one constant is that they are all seeking the same thing. Growth. Each and everyone of them is seeking growth, growth in members, growth in deposits, and growth in share of wallet.
Many times, during these conversations, I am brought to a decision that need to be made by the representative of the credit union. Usually it either goes one of two ways;
“We really think our members need your products”
“None of the other Credit Unions in the area have a product like yours, so I don’t think we need it.”
And, lets be honest, the first reaction is much easier. For me.
But the second answer tends to be a better opportunity, for the credit union, not us, well not as soon anyway.
If you take a step back and look at the services and products you offer your members, and perspective members, you will always outperform a credit union that looks at the products and services offered by the competition.
Credit unions continue to evolve, consolidate, and tend to have an aging membership base. And by relegating yourself to looki at what everyone else already has, and striving for middle of the road, you get exactly that, middle of the road. Average. Mediocre. You get the idea.
When you focus on what your members need, you will push not only the growth of your credit union, by offering products and services a younger membership base is looking for but may not know exactly where to go to obtain them. An example of this is something that shocked even me. According to Javelin research, 61% of consumers would get identity theft from their primary institution, yet only 7% of these institutions offer the service. By focusing on your members perspective, you will also push the growth of credit unions in general. Don’t be afraid to do that.
True ID Pro was recently approached by another Identity theft services company, and they offered to purchase us, and their main selling point was they were a much bigger competitor, and they continually stated that we could never compete with them in the future.
When we founded True ID Pro, we clearly knew it was an uphill fight against companies worth billions, and if we tried to be exactly like them, maybe someday we would be as well. But when I asked what would happen to our existing customers, both direct consumers, and through our partnership channels, they stated they would just convert them over to a similar product they already had. That was a big issue for us.
When we first launched True ID Pro, we looked at the competition, did a feasibility analysis, market research, etc. and then we decided that our focus would not be on our competitors, but rather our customers and their experiences, and by taking that approach we were able to analyze that data, make our product better, for our customers, not the competition. Once the entire team bought into that idea, it was clear to see that very soon our competition will start to look at us and see what we are doing.
By focusing your efforts on creating the best experience, and offering the best services and products, your members, and potential members will notice as well. Not only will using this approach help grow assets, members, and share of wallet etc. it will also grow the perceived value of all credit unions, and this is a wonderful thing. As more people see the value in credit unions, we can begin to offer more value to not only our members, but to the communities we serve.
The credit unions that embrace this philosophy, are better poised to become leaders in an industry that has seen shrinking numbers, and aging member base, and relatively level asset growth. In addition, doing so will show the next generation of members that you are more focused on their needs, present and future, than they ever thought possible.