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Outbound Sales for Retail Branch Bankers

Outbound sales is a branch of B2B sales and refer to the process of a sales rep, initiating engagement with a prospective buyer through activities such as cold calling, email prospecting, social selling, and networking. Learn about outbound sales for retail branch bankers with this starter Qstream microlearning course.

Category: Sales

Industry: Finance

Questions: 15

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Outbound Sales for Retail Branch Bankers

Navigate through the Qstream questions below to preview. Each challenge is designed following Qstream’s best practices for maximum knowledge reinforcement and engagement. This Qstream is free for clients to use as a starting point.

1. Effective Prospecting Strategies >
2. Prospects based on possible products >
3. Outbound Calling Strategy >
4. Intro to Prospective Customers >
5. Right Party Contact >
6. Probing for Interest >
7. Handling Brush-Offs >
8. Current Banking Relationships >
9. Banking Needs >
10. Lending Needs >
11. Wishlist for Their Financial Future >
12. Overcoming the “No Trust” objection >
13. Asking for the Appointment >
14. Overcoming the “No Hurry” Objection >
15. Communicating Next Steps >

Follow the interactions on each screen to answer Qstream questions as a Participant.

Expanding sales in modern retail branch operations requires a strategy to find potential new clients to begin making outbound sales calls.

Which of the following methods are the most effective for finding the right clients to contact?

Answer explanation:
When creating an outbound sales strategy, retail branch operations should laser focus on the clients they wish to attract. Saying, “we want people who live, or businesses located, within 5 miles of our branch” is not an efficient or effective strategy; banks cannot be everything to everyone.

Effective strategies must begin with personas – descriptions of the ideal clients, including their services, the support they need, and their expectations. Once that is clear, the bank should begin looking for warm leads that match the personas, such as soliciting referrals from existing clients, contacting local chambers of commerce or other reputable sources, or gaining support from local organizations to identify likely clients. Many banks use public data sources to identify matching persona criteria and generate lists of likely clients.

Remember that when making outbound calls, qualified, warm leads are much more effective than making cold calls.

Retail consumer banking products, such as checking and savings accounts, personal loans, auto loans, and real estate mortgages, are attractive to specific demographics.

To help identify a customer’s likelihood of acquiring one of these banking products, you can ask if they:

Answer explanation:
When planning an outbound sales strategy, specific criteria will help you determine if the prospect is likely to acquire a bank product. The most important is if they have already been a bank customer. Data collected by the bank can help determine what type of customer they are (or) were and what their usage was like.

Other criteria such as their current or past purchases (Credit cards, real estate, etc.) and their current credit scores can help determine their usage of banking products. The more they use banking services, the more likely they would be to continue.

Remember that you cannot base your sales strategies on criteria prohibited by laws related to Equal Credit Opportunity, Fair Lending, Fair Housing, or other regulatory requirements. These factors can include discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity or sexual orientation, disability, etc. Terms like “community standards” can disguise discriminatory actions. Also, asking if they are employed may discriminate against those who have different sources of income related to age or disability.

If you would like to learn more about Equal Credit Opportunity, Fair Lending, Fair Housing, or other regulatory requirements, refer to these sources:

• US Department of Housing and Urban Development – Fair Lending
• Investopedia – Equal Credit Opportunity

You’re planning an outbound sales campaign to increase the number of mortgage loans the bank will close this quarter. You have identified the following as your ideal candidate:

Individuals or families with a net worth of over $500K, currently
residing in a housing of 1,200 sq. ft. or less (renting or owning)

Your data analyst has identified 45 potential clients that meet these criteria.

Which of the following would you do to prioritize this list and plan your outbound call strategy?

Answer explanation:
Outbound Calling is all about preparation and strategy. Before you pick up the phone, you want to learn as much as you can about the person on the other end of the line. That way, you have something to connect to and relate to about that person. You can quickly build a rapport and relate to their current situation.

By determining if they have any relationship with the bank, you can learn about their spending habits, their risk tolerance, and perhaps their credit score.

You can use social media to learn more about their lives and what could make them more likely to listen to you when you call.

In either situation, approach outbound calls intending to build solid relationships and learn about what would be the most valuable for their needs.

You have planned an outbound sales call to Janine Baker, owner of “Heavenly Spoonful,” a local coffee shop. Janine is not a current customer of the bank. She was recently featured in the local newspaper about her shop’s planned expansion.

Which of the following would you include in your introduction to Janine to generate her initial interest in talking with you about small business banking and lending services?

Answer explanation:
Typically, the most common outbound calling objective is to schedule a time to meet for the first time. These types of calls are always unexpected, and you must plan upfront how to be respectful of Janine's time.

By immediately linking to what Janine values (her business expansion), you can begin building rapport and create a level of trust. Demonstrate value from the beginning by making everything you mention on the call to Janine about HER business and the benefits to HER. Asking permission to meet with Janine is more respectful than assuming she will meet with you.

The question, “Would you be open to meeting with me...” would be a better approach than, “Can I come by your shop on Thursday or Friday?”

You are calling Michael Brown, a current customer of your bank.

Respondent: “Hello?”

You: “Can I speak to Michael Brown, please?”

Respondent: “This is his daughter. He is not available at the moment. Can I ask what this is regarding?”

Which of the following responses would violate Right Party Contact principles when making outbound calls? (Note, the daughter is not authorized on the account.)

Answer explanation:
When making outbound calls to current or former customers, you must remember that you cannot disclose any information about the business relationship to any person who does not have the authorization on the account. You must establish Right Party Contact protocols.

If you contact a person that is not authorized on the account, do not disclose any information about
• The nature of their relationship with the bank
• Accounts, balances, or other personal proprietary information
• Outstanding debts or obligations with the bank

Always protect the information about your customers, regardless of the situation.

For more information about Right Party Contact, refer to these resources:

• FDIC – Your Rights to Financial Privacy
• Enformion – Right Party Contact

You are calling Joe Phillips. Joe does not currently have a business relationship with XYZ Bank but was referred to you by a current customer. You know that Joe is a partner with the law firm Williamson and Phillips and has served on the local city council for two years.

You have successfully contacted Joe and are having an initial conversation on the phone. You want to respect Joe’s time by asking questions that will help Joe see the value in having a face-to-face meeting.

Which of the following questions are the most appropriate to ask Joe in this situation?

Answer explanation:
Banking is about building relationships. During an initial sales call with a potential new client, you want to focus your attention on them and set a goal not to sell them but to set the appointment. Craft your probing questions around ideas that would spur their interest and get them to start thinking about their status quo.

“At this point in your career, what goals do you still have for your professional and financial life?” is an excellent question for the face-to-face meeting but might be too probing for an initial call. Initial sales calls should be very brief and respect the person’s time.

Information about personal assets or where they currently bank is private. You want to avoid questions that would reveal personal, proprietary information. Once you have established a relationship and have their permission to get into the details, those questions would be appropriate.

You are calling on Jamie Allen. You introduce yourself from XYZ Bank, and Jamie says to you, “I appreciate your call, but I’m already a customer with ABC Bank, and I am pretty happy there.”

An effective way to handle this situation would include which of the following responses?

Answer explanation:
When you encounter an objection upon the first call contacting a potential customer, that objection is likely a brush-off. Brush-offs are delay tactics and do not reflect a lack of interest. They are a defense mechanism to protect their time. They do not know you and might be hesitant to talk to someone without any prior relationship.

Here are a few other examples of brush-offs you may experience:

• “Just send me some information.”
• “I am fine where I am right now.”
• “I don’t have time right now. I’m in a meeting.”
• “Send me an email.”
• “I am not interested in talking with salespeople.”

Handling these objections must start by acknowledging that hesitancy and expressing empathy for their feelings. Show them you recognize their feelings and their concern. Those feelings are real.

Then you can either ask a question that might generate some interest or link those empathetic feelings to your objective.

You are meeting with Kim Laterno, a local real estate agent. Kim is married with three children. You want to evaluate Kim’s current banking relationships to determine her needs and goals for the future.

Which of the following questions or statements would be the most appropriate to get the information you seek?

Answer explanation:
Asking questions when meeting with a potential new customer is the best way to learn about their needs and goals. Your objective is to build the relationship so you can become a valued partner in their financial life.

Use broad, open-ended questions to encourage the customer to talk. Actively listen for clues in their responses that will help you assess their current situation and align with their interests.

When asking these questions, be mindful that this is not an interrogation. Asking direct questions like, “What bank do you currently use?” can be intrusive. Just because a customer uses a competitor does not mean it is an “us vs. them” situation. By aligning with their goals and needs, you can provide value to the relationship and improve their overall financial results.

Also, remember that banking is much larger than just direct competitors (retail banks) in our modern world. Customers will get services from various places, including credit card companies, payments companies (e.g., Venmo, PayPal), lending companies, investment firms, and insurance companies. By becoming more engaged with the customer, you can increase the “share of wallet” and ultimately increase revenue for your company.

You are speaking with Andy Sorenson, a young entrepreneur who lives his life online. He wants banking to be easy and expects a variety of options for online purchases, payments, and support when he needs it.

Which of the following services do you think would be most directly relevant to Andy?

Answer explanation:
In reviewing Andy's needs, free checks and ATMs Cards, and bank statements do not align with his expressed needs. But by focusing on his desire for easy, online transactions and services, you can better connect with his goals.

In our current environment, customers’ needs have changed. There are so many options in the financial world that customers are looking for the following:
• Simplicity – Customers want the ability to access and use banking services and tools to be easy and convenient to their lifestyle. They want both in-store and online purchases to be seamless and easy.

• Options – Customers want 24/7 access, as few clicks as possible, and be accessible from any device they require. Availability of online branches, websites, and mobile apps is key.

• Responsive Customer Service – Customers demand the highest level of service through all channels, including the phone, text, chat, and email. They want fast responses and little hassle. Even though many customers depend on technology, the human touch is still essential.

• Integration – Customers today access financial services from many different sources (e.g., credit cards, mortgages, loans, investments, insurance, etc.) and they’re looking for financial professionals to understand their needs, goals, and desires. Customers want help to achieve those goals. Therefore, financial institutions must implement strategies to integrate these varieties of services into comprehensive plans for the customers.

• Value – Customers demand that their financial decisions deliver value. Interest rates are just a tiny fraction of what motivates customers to be loyal to their financial institutions. Financial institutions must go beyond personalizing services; they must provide value propositions that achieve results while still maintaining the level of customer satisfaction that demonstrates that value.

You’re discussing banking services with Lani and Terry, including checking and savings programs, online banking services, and certificates of deposit. In passing, Lani mentions that they are looking at buying a new home in the next few years.

Which of the following indicators would you need to determine if Lani and Terry would be prospective customers for a mortgage loan?

Answer explanation:
When working with potential customers, you need to be attentive to the five main criteria that would indicate that a customer would likely be a lending customer. This can be indicated by the Five C’s:

1. Character
Financial institutions want to lend money to people or companies that demonstrate trustworthiness and willingness to make and keep commitments to pay back loans

2. Capacity or Cash Flow
Capacity or cash demonstrates the customer’s ability to pay back loans. Compared to their debt obligations, the amount of a customer’s income is a good indicator. This includes personal and business debts, credit card debt, student loans, etc.

3. Capital
Capital is the customer’s amount of wealth, including savings, investments, real estate holdings, personal property, and others. This shows that if a financial downturn occurs, the customer will have backup to make the agreed-upon payments.

4. Conditions
Conditions are all about the purpose of a loan. If, for example, a customer is buying a home, the purchase itself is a condition. Others could be whether the home is for a primary residence or rental income. Are they going to sublease the property or use it as a vacation rental? All these criteria factor into loan acceptance.

5. Collateral
Collateral is the property (or assets) that will be sued to guarantee a loan. Having collateral reduces the risk to the lender and gives the customer a greater incentive to pay back the loan. Collateral is also directly related to the interest rate charged for the loan. That is why mortgages on real estate have a much lower interest rate than a credit card (which does not have any collateral).

These five criteria help identify needs and set up favorable conditions for offering lending products, whether an individual or a small business.

Factors NOT part of credit decisions relate to immutable factors, such as race, religion, national origin, marital status, sex, and others. Using these factors in credit decisions or offering lending products to customers violates federal law under Fair Lending and Fair Housing statutes.

If you would like to learn more about these statutes, refer to these sources:

• US Department of Housing and Urban Development – Fair Lending
• US Department of Housing and Urban Development – Fair Housing

John and Kelly Mineto are married with three young children. They both work and are very dedicated to their family. You are helping them determine their priorities for their financial future.

When asking about John and Kelly’s goals and how to get there, which of the following topics would be the MOST relevant to your conversation?

Answer explanation:
Sound financial plans consider a broad range of aspects that could impact future success. Some of these items would include:

• Assets that can appreciate in value, such as real estate or precious metals
• Savings, including an emergency fund
• Investments
• Retirement programs including employer-supported 401K, pension, IRAs and Roth IRAs, and annuities
• Educational savings programs where money can be saved for children’s college funds
• Debts include mortgages, auto loans, credit card debt, business debt, or student loans
• Life insurance and other income protection strategies

These aspects will help you provide expert advice to your customers and a broad range of products and services.

You’re a call for this first time with a prospective new customer, Abigale. During the conversation, Abigale says, “I am not interested in working with your bank. I’ve never heard of your bank and I don’t know you. I think I will stay with my current bank.”

Which of the following responses would most likely move the conversation forward with Abigale?

Answer explanation:
When talking with potential new customers, like Abigale, there may be struggles in them to take you at your word. There may be a lack of trust and so they may be hesitant or may even give you an objection to meeting with you. They may also have a history with your bank (founded or unfounded) that may have given them a negative impression.

When faced with this type of response, it’s a clue to you that you need to work to build your credibility and your commitment to their best interests. Getting defensive will only diminish that creditability and lessen the likelihood you will secure a new customer. Here is some suggestion on how to handle these situations:

Demonstrate capability
People are more likely to trust an expert than trust a novice. So, make sure you know everything there is to know about your bank and its reputation, your products, and the benefits customers can receive. Share those in-depth details with your customer.

Show integrity
Customers must feel confident that you abide by the highest ethical standards and codes of conduct. They must see that your job is to put their interests, needs, and requirements first, above your commissions or sales quotas. Explain how you have demonstrated that integrity through your career and how they can trust you.

Provide Proof
Other satisfied customers can be used as proof of your service and integrity. You could demonstrate that they do not have to take your word for it. Offer to have them talk with some of your satisfied customers and read articles or case studies, testimonials, and references.

You are talking for the first time with Ben Lively. He has expressed interest in your financial planning service. To ask Ben most effectively for a face-to-face meeting with your in-house financial advisor, you would say which of the following?

Answer explanation:
Scheduling appointments with potential customers begins with intent. Remember that the first time you talk to a customer over the phone, they were not expecting your call in the first place. You always want to respect their time and allow them to listen to what you have to say and then schedule a more extended, more in-depth conversation later.

When scheduling these appointments, always have two or three-time slots available and provide them with options. This makes the decision easier and anticipates they will say yes to the invitation. Do not let the opportunity go to waste by delaying the scheduling of that appointment.

You have been talking with Jamie McBride about his new business. His current bank does not provide him with a line of credit to manage his day-to-day cash flow needs. He thinks he is losing money each month because he cannot manage that cash flow effectively.

You move to schedule a meeting with him to discuss his needs further, and he says, “I don’t have the time right now. Call me back in six months.”

Which of the following would be an effective response?

Answer explanation:
If a customer like Jamie does not see the urgency to make a change, it means they’re content with the status quo. They can’t be bothered to make any changes, so they don’t. In these cases, they’re essentially saying, “What you’re offering isn’t a priority to me.”

Change can be difficult for many people, and even though they may see the need to change (because they have dissatisfaction with their current position), they still do not want to move out of the fear of the unknown, or they perceive challenges that a change would make.

When faced with this objection, start by clarifying their current situation. Make sure they understand the pain points they are currently experiencing. By asking questions such as, "What is it costing you by ..." or "What are you losing out on by staying with ..." you can also help them see how making a move can help them solve a current problem (e.g., not enough leads) or overcome an obstacle (e.g., not enough training in a needed area). The prospect of loss can be a much stronger motivator than the potential for gain. By helping them see that the status quo is not serving their best interests, you can reveal a better path for their career.

Highlight all the positive changes from saying, “Yes.” If you’re unsure, ask questions:

“What are some of the biggest challenges you’re currently facing?”
“How are you tackling those challenges?”
“How much time and energy does it take to do that?”

Then tie your meeting or your solution to resolving their concerns or issues.

You’ve recently had a great first conversation with Mari Johnson. You talked with Mari about her banking needs and have scheduled an appointment for her to come into the branch next week to discuss this further.

Which of the following could you send Mari to help her keep that meeting commitment?

Answer explanation:
Sending follow-up emails is a great way to provide value-added information to your prospective customer. Sending confirmation info and follow-up information about the bank shows your attentiveness and commitment to the meeting. You may also want to send a confirmation text the day before the meeting.

Sending physical items in the mail may not be the best solution since it takes time for the customer to receive the information.

Expanding sales in modern retail branch operations requires a strategy to find potential new clients to begin making outbound sales calls.

Which of the following methods are the most effective for finding the right clients to contact?

Answer explanation:
When creating an outbound sales strategy, retail branch operations should laser focus on the clients they wish to attract. Saying, “we want people who live, or businesses located, within 5 miles of our branch” is not an efficient or effective strategy; banks cannot be everything to everyone.

Effective strategies must begin with personas – descriptions of the ideal clients, including their services, the support they need, and their expectations. Once that is clear, the bank should begin looking for warm leads that match the personas, such as soliciting referrals from existing clients, contacting local chambers of commerce or other reputable sources, or gaining support from local organizations to identify likely clients. Many banks use public data sources to identify matching persona criteria and generate lists of likely clients.

Remember that when making outbound calls, qualified, warm leads are much more effective than making cold calls.

Retail consumer banking products, such as checking and savings accounts, personal loans, auto loans, and real estate mortgages, are attractive to specific demographics.

To help identify a customer’s likelihood of acquiring one of these banking products, you can ask if they:

Answer explanation:
When planning an outbound sales strategy, specific criteria will help you determine if the prospect is likely to acquire a bank product. The most important is if they have already been a bank customer. Data collected by the bank can help determine what type of customer they are (or) were and what their usage was like.

Other criteria such as their current or past purchases (Credit cards, real estate, etc.) and their current credit scores can help determine their usage of banking products. The more they use banking services, the more likely they would be to continue.

Remember that you cannot base your sales strategies on criteria prohibited by laws related to Equal Credit Opportunity, Fair Lending, Fair Housing, or other regulatory requirements. These factors can include discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity or sexual orientation, disability, etc. Terms like “community standards” can disguise discriminatory actions. Also, asking if they are employed may discriminate against those who have different sources of income related to age or disability.

If you would like to learn more about Equal Credit Opportunity, Fair Lending, Fair Housing, or other regulatory requirements, refer to these sources:

• US Department of Housing and Urban Development – Fair Lending
• Investopedia – Equal Credit Opportunity

You’re planning an outbound sales campaign to increase the number of mortgage loans the bank will close this quarter. You have identified the following as your ideal candidate:

Individuals or families with a net worth of over $500K, currently
residing in a housing of 1,200 sq. ft. or less (renting or owning)

Your data analyst has identified 45 potential clients that meet these criteria.

Which of the following would you do to prioritize this list and plan your outbound call strategy?

Answer explanation:
Outbound Calling is all about preparation and strategy. Before you pick up the phone, you want to learn as much as you can about the person on the other end of the line. That way, you have something to connect to and relate to about that person. You can quickly build a rapport and relate to their current situation.

By determining if they have any relationship with the bank, you can learn about their spending habits, their risk tolerance, and perhaps their credit score.

You can use social media to learn more about their lives and what could make them more likely to listen to you when you call.

In either situation, approach outbound calls intending to build solid relationships and learn about what would be the most valuable for their needs.

You have planned an outbound sales call to Janine Baker, owner of “Heavenly Spoonful,” a local coffee shop. Janine is not a current customer of the bank. She was recently featured in the local newspaper about her shop’s planned expansion.

Which of the following would you include in your introduction to Janine to generate her initial interest in talking with you about small business banking and lending services?

Answer explanation:
Typically, the most common outbound calling objective is to schedule a time to meet for the first time. These types of calls are always unexpected, and you must plan upfront how to be respectful of Janine's time.

By immediately linking to what Janine values (her business expansion), you can begin building rapport and create a level of trust. Demonstrate value from the beginning by making everything you mention on the call to Janine about HER business and the benefits to HER. Asking permission to meet with Janine is more respectful than assuming she will meet with you.

The question, “Would you be open to meeting with me...” would be a better approach than, “Can I come by your shop on Thursday or Friday?”

You are calling Michael Brown, a current customer of your bank.

Respondent: “Hello?”

You: “Can I speak to Michael Brown, please?”

Respondent: “This is his daughter. He is not available at the moment. Can I ask what this is regarding?”

Which of the following responses would violate Right Party Contact principles when making outbound calls? (Note, the daughter is not authorized on the account.)

Answer explanation:
When making outbound calls to current or former customers, you must remember that you cannot disclose any information about the business relationship to any person who does not have the authorization on the account. You must establish Right Party Contact protocols.

If you contact a person that is not authorized on the account, do not disclose any information about
• The nature of their relationship with the bank
• Accounts, balances, or other personal proprietary information
• Outstanding debts or obligations with the bank

Always protect the information about your customers, regardless of the situation.

For more information about Right Party Contact, refer to these resources:

• FDIC – Your Rights to Financial Privacy
• Enformion – Right Party Contact

You are calling Joe Phillips. Joe does not currently have a business relationship with XYZ Bank but was referred to you by a current customer. You know that Joe is a partner with the law firm Williamson and Phillips and has served on the local city council for two years.

You have successfully contacted Joe and are having an initial conversation on the phone. You want to respect Joe’s time by asking questions that will help Joe see the value in having a face-to-face meeting.

Which of the following questions are the most appropriate to ask Joe in this situation?

Answer explanation:
Banking is about building relationships. During an initial sales call with a potential new client, you want to focus your attention on them and set a goal not to sell them but to set the appointment. Craft your probing questions around ideas that would spur their interest and get them to start thinking about their status quo.

“At this point in your career, what goals do you still have for your professional and financial life?” is an excellent question for the face-to-face meeting but might be too probing for an initial call. Initial sales calls should be very brief and respect the person’s time.

Information about personal assets or where they currently bank is private. You want to avoid questions that would reveal personal, proprietary information. Once you have established a relationship and have their permission to get into the details, those questions would be appropriate.

You are calling on Jamie Allen. You introduce yourself from XYZ Bank, and Jamie says to you, “I appreciate your call, but I’m already a customer with ABC Bank, and I am pretty happy there.”

An effective way to handle this situation would include which of the following responses?

Answer explanation:
When you encounter an objection upon the first call contacting a potential customer, that objection is likely a brush-off. Brush-offs are delay tactics and do not reflect a lack of interest. They are a defense mechanism to protect their time. They do not know you and might be hesitant to talk to someone without any prior relationship.

Here are a few other examples of brush-offs you may experience:

• “Just send me some information.”
• “I am fine where I am right now.”
• “I don’t have time right now. I’m in a meeting.”
• “Send me an email.”
• “I am not interested in talking with salespeople.”

Handling these objections must start by acknowledging that hesitancy and expressing empathy for their feelings. Show them you recognize their feelings and their concern. Those feelings are real.

Then you can either ask a question that might generate some interest or link those empathetic feelings to your objective.

You are meeting with Kim Laterno, a local real estate agent. Kim is married with three children. You want to evaluate Kim’s current banking relationships to determine her needs and goals for the future.

Which of the following questions or statements would be the most appropriate to get the information you seek?

Answer explanation:
Asking questions when meeting with a potential new customer is the best way to learn about their needs and goals. Your objective is to build the relationship so you can become a valued partner in their financial life.

Use broad, open-ended questions to encourage the customer to talk. Actively listen for clues in their responses that will help you assess their current situation and align with their interests.

When asking these questions, be mindful that this is not an interrogation. Asking direct questions like, “What bank do you currently use?” can be intrusive. Just because a customer uses a competitor does not mean it is an “us vs. them” situation. By aligning with their goals and needs, you can provide value to the relationship and improve their overall financial results.

Also, remember that banking is much larger than just direct competitors (retail banks) in our modern world. Customers will get services from various places, including credit card companies, payments companies (e.g., Venmo, PayPal), lending companies, investment firms, and insurance companies. By becoming more engaged with the customer, you can increase the “share of wallet” and ultimately increase revenue for your company.

You are speaking with Andy Sorenson, a young entrepreneur who lives his life online. He wants banking to be easy and expects a variety of options for online purchases, payments, and support when he needs it.

Which of the following services do you think would be most directly relevant to Andy?

Answer explanation:
In reviewing Andy's needs, free checks and ATMs Cards, and bank statements do not align with his expressed needs. But by focusing on his desire for easy, online transactions and services, you can better connect with his goals.

In our current environment, customers’ needs have changed. There are so many options in the financial world that customers are looking for the following:
• Simplicity – Customers want the ability to access and use banking services and tools to be easy and convenient to their lifestyle. They want both in-store and online purchases to be seamless and easy.

• Options – Customers want 24/7 access, as few clicks as possible, and be accessible from any device they require. Availability of online branches, websites, and mobile apps is key.

• Responsive Customer Service – Customers demand the highest level of service through all channels, including the phone, text, chat, and email. They want fast responses and little hassle. Even though many customers depend on technology, the human touch is still essential.

• Integration – Customers today access financial services from many different sources (e.g., credit cards, mortgages, loans, investments, insurance, etc.) and they’re looking for financial professionals to understand their needs, goals, and desires. Customers want help to achieve those goals. Therefore, financial institutions must implement strategies to integrate these varieties of services into comprehensive plans for the customers.

• Value – Customers demand that their financial decisions deliver value. Interest rates are just a tiny fraction of what motivates customers to be loyal to their financial institutions. Financial institutions must go beyond personalizing services; they must provide value propositions that achieve results while still maintaining the level of customer satisfaction that demonstrates that value.

You’re discussing banking services with Lani and Terry, including checking and savings programs, online banking services, and certificates of deposit. In passing, Lani mentions that they are looking at buying a new home in the next few years.

Which of the following indicators would you need to determine if Lani and Terry would be prospective customers for a mortgage loan?

Answer explanation:
When working with potential customers, you need to be attentive to the five main criteria that would indicate that a customer would likely be a lending customer. This can be indicated by the Five C’s:

1. Character
Financial institutions want to lend money to people or companies that demonstrate trustworthiness and willingness to make and keep commitments to pay back loans

2. Capacity or Cash Flow
Capacity or cash demonstrates the customer’s ability to pay back loans. Compared to their debt obligations, the amount of a customer’s income is a good indicator. This includes personal and business debts, credit card debt, student loans, etc.

3. Capital
Capital is the customer’s amount of wealth, including savings, investments, real estate holdings, personal property, and others. This shows that if a financial downturn occurs, the customer will have backup to make the agreed-upon payments.

4. Conditions
Conditions are all about the purpose of a loan. If, for example, a customer is buying a home, the purchase itself is a condition. Others could be whether the home is for a primary residence or rental income. Are they going to sublease the property or use it as a vacation rental? All these criteria factor into loan acceptance.

5. Collateral
Collateral is the property (or assets) that will be sued to guarantee a loan. Having collateral reduces the risk to the lender and gives the customer a greater incentive to pay back the loan. Collateral is also directly related to the interest rate charged for the loan. That is why mortgages on real estate have a much lower interest rate than a credit card (which does not have any collateral).

These five criteria help identify needs and set up favorable conditions for offering lending products, whether an individual or a small business.

Factors NOT part of credit decisions relate to immutable factors, such as race, religion, national origin, marital status, sex, and others. Using these factors in credit decisions or offering lending products to customers violates federal law under Fair Lending and Fair Housing statutes.

If you would like to learn more about these statutes, refer to these sources:

• US Department of Housing and Urban Development – Fair Lending
• US Department of Housing and Urban Development – Fair Housing

John and Kelly Mineto are married with three young children. They both work and are very dedicated to their family. You are helping them determine their priorities for their financial future.

When asking about John and Kelly’s goals and how to get there, which of the following topics would be the MOST relevant to your conversation?

Answer explanation:
Sound financial plans consider a broad range of aspects that could impact future success. Some of these items would include:

• Assets that can appreciate in value, such as real estate or precious metals
• Savings, including an emergency fund
• Investments
• Retirement programs including employer-supported 401K, pension, IRAs and Roth IRAs, and annuities
• Educational savings programs where money can be saved for children’s college funds
• Debts include mortgages, auto loans, credit card debt, business debt, or student loans
• Life insurance and other income protection strategies

These aspects will help you provide expert advice to your customers and a broad range of products and services.

You’re a call for this first time with a prospective new customer, Abigale. During the conversation, Abigale says, “I am not interested in working with your bank. I’ve never heard of your bank and I don’t know you. I think I will stay with my current bank.”

Which of the following responses would most likely move the conversation forward with Abigale?

Answer explanation:
When talking with potential new customers, like Abigale, there may be struggles in them to take you at your word. There may be a lack of trust and so they may be hesitant or may even give you an objection to meeting with you. They may also have a history with your bank (founded or unfounded) that may have given them a negative impression.

When faced with this type of response, it’s a clue to you that you need to work to build your credibility and your commitment to their best interests. Getting defensive will only diminish that creditability and lessen the likelihood you will secure a new customer. Here is some suggestion on how to handle these situations:

Demonstrate capability
People are more likely to trust an expert than trust a novice. So, make sure you know everything there is to know about your bank and its reputation, your products, and the benefits customers can receive. Share those in-depth details with your customer.

Show integrity
Customers must feel confident that you abide by the highest ethical standards and codes of conduct. They must see that your job is to put their interests, needs, and requirements first, above your commissions or sales quotas. Explain how you have demonstrated that integrity through your career and how they can trust you.

Provide Proof
Other satisfied customers can be used as proof of your service and integrity. You could demonstrate that they do not have to take your word for it. Offer to have them talk with some of your satisfied customers and read articles or case studies, testimonials, and references.

You are talking for the first time with Ben Lively. He has expressed interest in your financial planning service. To ask Ben most effectively for a face-to-face meeting with your in-house financial advisor, you would say which of the following?

Answer explanation:
Scheduling appointments with potential customers begins with intent. Remember that the first time you talk to a customer over the phone, they were not expecting your call in the first place. You always want to respect their time and allow them to listen to what you have to say and then schedule a more extended, more in-depth conversation later.

When scheduling these appointments, always have two or three-time slots available and provide them with options. This makes the decision easier and anticipates they will say yes to the invitation. Do not let the opportunity go to waste by delaying the scheduling of that appointment.

You have been talking with Jamie McBride about his new business. His current bank does not provide him with a line of credit to manage his day-to-day cash flow needs. He thinks he is losing money each month because he cannot manage that cash flow effectively.

You move to schedule a meeting with him to discuss his needs further, and he says, “I don’t have the time right now. Call me back in six months.”

Which of the following would be an effective response?

Answer explanation:
If a customer like Jamie does not see the urgency to make a change, it means they’re content with the status quo. They can’t be bothered to make any changes, so they don’t. In these cases, they’re essentially saying, “What you’re offering isn’t a priority to me.”

Change can be difficult for many people, and even though they may see the need to change (because they have dissatisfaction with their current position), they still do not want to move out of the fear of the unknown, or they perceive challenges that a change would make.

When faced with this objection, start by clarifying their current situation. Make sure they understand the pain points they are currently experiencing. By asking questions such as, "What is it costing you by ..." or "What are you losing out on by staying with ..." you can also help them see how making a move can help them solve a current problem (e.g., not enough leads) or overcome an obstacle (e.g., not enough training in a needed area). The prospect of loss can be a much stronger motivator than the potential for gain. By helping them see that the status quo is not serving their best interests, you can reveal a better path for their career.

Highlight all the positive changes from saying, “Yes.” If you’re unsure, ask questions:

“What are some of the biggest challenges you’re currently facing?”
“How are you tackling those challenges?”
“How much time and energy does it take to do that?”

Then tie your meeting or your solution to resolving their concerns or issues.

You’ve recently had a great first conversation with Mari Johnson. You talked with Mari about her banking needs and have scheduled an appointment for her to come into the branch next week to discuss this further.

Which of the following could you send Mari to help her keep that meeting commitment?

Answer explanation:
Sending follow-up emails is a great way to provide value-added information to your prospective customer. Sending confirmation info and follow-up information about the bank shows your attentiveness and commitment to the meeting. You may also want to send a confirmation text the day before the meeting.

Sending physical items in the mail may not be the best solution since it takes time for the customer to receive the information.

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