Do you ever find yourself frustrated and slightly annoyed when you go to the bank for a routine transaction and someone tries to sell you another product that you don’t need, don’t want or don’t even qualify for?
Recently I had to go to the bank to make a routine deposit. Although I bank with a large national brand, the employees tend to go out of their way to be friendly and helpful. The deposit transaction was routine and unremarkable. The teller appropriately thanked me. As I was preparing to leave she noted that I had a certain account and asked if I was aware of a savings account they were offering. I was not aware of it.
The teller then did something I wasn’t expecting; she said “let me tell you how I am using the account”. She proceeded to explain the benefits of the program as an advocate, not an employee. The benefits were the same for both of us.
Do you like to be sold? Normally in this situation the best you can hope for is a script of marketing speak with a few “you should think about this product” statements thrown in for good measure. What made this experience so powerful was the teller’s story. She was personally using and benefiting from the product and I really believe she wanted the same for me.
So what were some of the ingredients that made this encounter memorable? I observed eight.
Opportunity – I walked into the branch to complete a routine transaction
Information – My account information was readily available
Relevant – Based on the information in my account I was the right target for the product
Permission – I was asked and granted permission to continue the conversation
Good Product – the product really does offer a significant benefit (great interest rate) sometimes marketing is asked to “put lipstick on a pig”.
Personal Involvement – the employee believed in the product
Influence – Instead of selling the product the employee shared the personal benefits and indicated how I too could share the same benefits
Conversation – Instead of a script I heard a personal, relevant story.
There is a world of difference between a heartfelt story and a sales spiel. One focuses on benefits using conversation language while the other typically announces the benefits in corporate speak. One is inviting the other is often an intrusion. One builds relationships the other may grow sales but is it creating connections with customers who will in turn tell others about their experience.
Are there other ingredients?