Needs-based selling: 4 tips for your credit union

Avoid a Wells Fargo scandal with needs based selling

As credit unions encourage members to conduct more routine transactions using self-service technology, branch employees are being asked to take on more of a sales role. While many tellers have basic sales skills like rapport building and product knowledge, credit unions have encountered resistance when tellers are asked to make the transition.

The problem, according to sales trainer Bill McCormick, is the negative association people have with sales.

“When we kick off a sales workshop, we’ll begin with this question: ‘when you think of a salesperson, what comes to mind?’ The most common answer we hear is pushy – they’re too pushy, all they do is talk and try to sell me something I don’t need. It immediately turns people off.”

McCormick is president of the Boston-based firm Sales Training and Results (STAR) and has worked with more than 100 banks and credit unions. STAR’s most popular sales program for financial institutions is its “Needs-Based Selling” workshop and online courses. Branch and call center employees, who tend to care more about meeting members’ needs than they do about meeting quotas, appreciate the needs-based approach, he said.

Here are four tips McCormick shared to help credit unions train employees on how to implement a needs-based selling strategy in the branch and in a call center.


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