“Work is going ok for now, but there’s a rumor they’re going to downsize our department. The kids are good. Jennifer said the funniest thing the other day. But let me tell you about my credit union.”
Said no one, ever.
You make a real difference in the lives of your credit union members. You offer great services and rates. You genuinely care about your members and their families. Their experience with your credit union is so much more personal than typical banks.
So why aren’t more members referring you?
You haven’t gone above and beyond
To put it bluntly, you haven’t done anything exceptional enough for members to talk about you.
If a member doesn’t qualify for a loan, do you just say “sorry” or do work with them on ways they can improve their credit score? If a member applies for a car loan, do you say “Happy shopping” or do you have a program that reaches out to local dealers to get estimates on the exact car she is looking for? If a widow is buying a car and shares that she is intimidated by the process, do you give her tips or do you take time on your lunch break to go with her to the dealership?
These are all real examples of ways credit union employees go above and beyond. Consider having monthly Above and Beyond awards to gather these stories. Give your clients something to say about you.
You aren’t top of mind
Your members are busy. Seriously. Talking about their credit union is probably not on their priority list. So what are they talking about? Do you know? What are the top issues in their lives? Topics might include: Is there a way to make extra money from a passion? How can you raise money-smart kids? How can couples have honest conversations about money without conflict? When’s the best time to trade in your old car for a newer, more reliable model? How can you reduce or get out of debt? Who is responsible for paying for college, you or your kid? How is your relationship with money (or lack of relationship) keeping you from getting ahead?
Survey your members and employees to see what money issues are top of mind. Then talk to your members about how you as a credit union can help. Give them knowledge, information, and answers worth sharing. (Social media can be your best friend here.)
You haven’t planted the seeds of referrals
Why is it important for a member to refer you? How will their friend/co-worker/family member’s life be better if that person works with your credit union? Part of this answer includes going above and beyond. If your friend is looking for a car loan, and your credit union will get estimates from a variety of dealerships who have the car she is looking for, she is instantly empowered with information that will help her get the best deal.
Plant the seed in your conversations and communications. “If you know of someone who is looking for a new car, please let them know we can get estimates from local dealers for the car they are looking for.”
Or “If you know someone who believes in shopping local – local farmers markets, local restaurants, share that you believe in banking local. Let them know when they open an account at our credit union, their money supports our community, not outside corporations.”
Give your members something to talk about. Tie your products and services to conversations they’re already having with their family and friends. And plant the seed so when they run across an ideal member, they will think to refer you.
The clearer you are about the reasons why your members should refer you, the more referrals you will get.