It seems as though a new article is coming out almost every day about the return to relationship banking. Many in the banking world are beginning to realize the one insurance policy that can protect them from continued regulation like Reg E and the new Regulatory Reform bill is relationship banking.
The national banks are moving away from free checking and service from an actual person in the local branch while at the same time saying they are moving to relationship banking. The regional banks are targeting other bank’s clients and trying to sell them as many products and services as possible, saying they are moving to relationship banking. So, what are community banks doing? Sadly, most will continue with the status quo and do nothing. Most say they have always been about relationship banking. But just because they say it doesn’t make it so. The reality… most community banks are happy with the scraps. Many are just not getting it. Many consumers are looking for a change in their so-called banking relationship which has created a once in a career opportunity for community bankers. This is an opportunity to gain market share, increase efficiency and grow ROI and ROA.
What can you do? Follow a process that builds relationships through your advocates. Advocacy is the one word you never hear from the national or regional banks. Advocacy is relationship banking at its highest level, relationship banking on steroids. It’s developing a sales force that is actively sending you business. It’s the easiest way to grow your business but for some reason most bankers refuse to follow a process that will lead to advocacy. What are you doing to develop advocates? Can you answer the following questions?
- Do you have a plan to develop advocates?
- How are you tracking the success of this plan on a daily basis?
- Have you identified and written down your advocates and potential advocates?
- What is your plan for contacting your advocates?
Start the process today. It’s not too late.