The One Thing

by. Mark Arnold

In a famous scene from City Slickers, Curly (Jack Palance) asks Mitch (Billy Crystal) “Do you know what the secret of life is?” When Mitch says no Curly raises his index finger and says, “One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that, everything else don’t mean (fill in the expletive).” Mitch then says, “that’s great, but what is the one thing?” Curly’s response: “that’s what you have to figure out.”

So what is the one strategic thing credit unions or banks must do to grow? I asked that question to several financial services experts. Below are their answers.

Mike Bartoo, Regional Manager, Marquis

The one thing, strategically, that banks and credit unions must do to grow is define exactly who they want to be. Growth for the sake of growth is a losing battle, one that eventually leads to out-of-control expenses and insufficient income. Strategic growth involves everyone on your team
understanding exactly who you want to target for relationships and why. The more clearly you can define this ‘profile,’ the easier it will be to explain and target. Productss/services/fees should all be aligned to best attract those relationships. Resources (time and money) should be focused on attracting those relationships.

Two additional thoughts on this. Number one, this doesn’t mean that you only have one ideal customer/member, you may have for or five that you’ve identified, but the concept still applies. You (meaning your entire team) need to understand each of them, why they are attractive to you, why you are attractive to them and focus resources upon attracting more of them.

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