Eight Tips From Business Development Experts

by. Mark Arnold

This piece first appeared in the Lone Star Leaguer.

As part of the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference last month, I facilitated an “Ask the BD Experts” panel discussion. In this unique format attendees could ask any questions (strategic or tactical). The panel discussion offered tips, ideas and suggestions from three seasoned business development experts.

Serving on the panel this year were Mia Perez, CAO, Louisiana FCU, Andy Reed, BD Manager for American Airlines FCU, and Sean McDonald, president and founder of the Business Development Academy. Below are eight general tips they offered throughout the question and answer session from the audience.

 (1) Train your ambassadors—American Airlines FCU has an incredibly robust ambassador program (as do many other credit unions). One of the tips Reed offered that makes his program unique is that he actually trains his ambassadors. He gives them tons of information about American Airlines FCU and what makes them unique. In essence, he has turned his ambassadors into an unpaid sales team.

(2) Hire sales people—McDonald constantly preaches this message: “if you are in business development, you are in sales.” He counsels credit unions to stop being shy about sales. Hiring sales people also means paying them well, paying them a commission and holding them accountable for sales goals.

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