More than a great pick-up line, “can you name your banker?” is a good litmus test for you if you are the banker, aka relationship manager. Heck, you can substitute banker for any number of professions, but for the sake of this article, we’ll stick with bankers. Besides, the catalyst for my following thoughts is a banker.
Hat tip to Vice President, Business Banking Relationship Manager Tom “TR” Johns. TR is part of a recently created Center of Influence (COI) group with which I’m honored to be a part. We meet monthly — via video conference these days, of course.
In response to a round table discussion on prospecting, TR said he asks, “can you name your banker?” I was shocked to learn that most businesspeople cannot name their banker. TR clarified, distinguishing between the name of an institution and the name of the relationship manager. Businesspeople who cannot name their banker are like free agents. Generally, they are not in a committed relationship.
While the question is a brilliant entrée to a conversation that could lead to a deal, think about the entire sales process and how that question could be used reflexively by the salesperson to gauge his/her level of customer engagement. As a relationship manager, are you confident your clients can name you, personally, as their banker?
The need to maintain relationships is a challenge organizations in every industry face. If you search “after the sale,” you’ll find a plethora of articles about maintaining relationships and engaging customers. Any number of tactics for keeping an institution’s brand top of mind can and should be applied to the salesperson or relationship manager.
You have some work to do if your client cannot identify you by name when asked, “can you name your (insert profession here)?” Whether you are a banker or barber, potential upsales, resales, and referrals are three reasons to make the effort to maintain relationships with current clients.