You can learn a lot from a bank teller.
I never realized how important tellers are to a bank’s success or failure, but I think there are some fundamentals any business can learn from this fact.
Bank tellers ARE a key component of any bank’s sales force. I had never thought about this. I have been banking with Wachovia for a number of years – and will shortly be switching, but I have never thought of the tellers as “sales people.” Only once do I remember going into a Bank of America and being hounded by a representative about some bank services. But, bank teller’s really are a key component to any bank’s sales force and I realized this while reading Karen Miller’s (bank marketing guru) blog:
Getting bank and credit union tellers to sell has always been a challenge, even if they’ve had all the sales training money can buy… (read full post)
Today I spent a very enjoyable morning at a branchÂ with two experienced tellers, leading an updated sales training session… when [tellers are] asked if they feel good when they help a customer by recommending a beneficial product, they alwaysÂ respond “yes”. So, the “feeling good” part is whatÂ we focused on. (read full post)
Although each of the two linked posts don’t specifically address this, I think there is an underlining message. A message similar to Seth Godin’s idea “Proximity to Pain”:
The closer you are to the point of need, the more you can charge. Pizza at the airport costs five times more than pizza on the way to the airport. Tax audit services in the middle of an SEC investigation cost triple what they cost before one. Scalped tickets cost more than ones bought in advance, by mail.
Emergency towing in a strange town costs more too.
The single easiest way to increase your fees is to get closer to the pain. It’s interesting to note that no large-scale advertising ventures are closer to the pain than the Yellow Pages or Google. Both of which are insanely successful.
Teller’s are the one’s talking to the customer, learning about the bank’s customer’s families their lives and problems. Teller’s are closest to the pain. A teller then can simply connect that pain, with a possible bank solution. For example, maybe a teller learns of recent trouble with a regular’s car and makes the connection to a personal auto loan the bank offers.
But, what can any business conclude from this? And can I possibly relate this to a website?
Too Many Companies Specialize Their Sales Staff
Selling to existing customers is easiest, and selling products to existing customers that solves their problems, validates their worth by you the company selling to them! This is madness!
By selling them a solution, you are proving to them you are listening. And, as long as your product holds up to your claims, it should actually be solving, or making their lives better – always a terrific thing.
Concentrate on those people and processes closest to the customer
Your receptionist is close to the pain, your website is closest to the pain, your account executive or teller’s are closest to your customer’s pain. Listen to them and provide them with the materials and assistance they need to match that pain with your solutions.