Prospecting members doesn’t have to be daunting!

The need for more members is challenging most credit union marketing professionals to find new and creative ways to cultivate prospects. In the past most prospecting was centered on the share draft account, the hardest product. The days of the cooler, toaster, or duffle bag motivating a prospect to endure the hassle of switching seems to be fading.

Today, as always, the basis for PFI is the checking account, but checking accounts are a paradox. The things that make them so attractive to the Credit Union are the very things that make them extraordinarily difficult to obtain.

Day to day transactions, bill pay, direct deposit, etc. is being done electronically more and more. Dismantling these arrangements and setting them up with a new financial can be daunting and doesn’t seem worth effort. Not even for a free giveaway.

So it may be better to put the checking account aside and base prospect marketing on something else. When buying a car, many prospects don’t care or think where the funding comes from. They want the car and the loan.

The question for marketers is can you communicate a benefit to the prospect that differentiates the credit union from the competition? Does it motivate those buying or thinking of buying to raise their hands and contact the credit union. Market a lower rate, give away like free gas, pre-approval/pre-qualify offer, anything to move that person your way.

If we believe in another past fad, lifetime value, then be generous. Make them an offer they can’t refuse. These are loans you most likely wouldn’t see if you didn’t go after them, so be generous. It’s not a lost leader it’s an investment.

What you are buying and really after, is the opportunity to cross sell the new member. Onboard new members, train member services to cross sell them, build in account requirements to get the loan incentive i.e. discount rate with automatic loan payment from a credit union account or other incentives.

So when prospecting, have a point, have a long term strategy. Take into consideration the whole relationship you are looking for with that prospect. Use that information to craft compelling offers and incentives that will provide the credit union with long term profitable member.

New members and checking accounts may be the ultimate goal, but may not be the best lead or offer for the credit union out of the gate. Craft and make truly compelling offers that motivate the prospect to act. Consider all your products and then make that offer they can’t refuse.

Kerry Blom

Kerry Blom

Kerry is part owner of Pinpoint Direct Marketing in Andover, MN, a credit union based digital printing company. She has over 20 years experience in the industry. Pinpoint Direct Marketing ... Web: Details