Service equals sales. That is a simple but true formula: the better you serve consumers the more sales you typically have. Too many times we separate the two, when in fact they are often one and the same. We also overcomplicate what is involved when it comes to getting our front-line staff to focus on service and sales.

We give them (too) basic training. We coach them. We have them practice. We also need to give them tools to help them focus on what is important. So we crafted the “Seven Bs” reminder tool you can use with your front-line employees. If you can get your staff to “be” these seven traits, your sales numbers will increase. So use this tool: share it with your front line folks, talk about it at your next staff meeting, customize it, coach to it, print it, review it, etc. Just use it.

Here are seven “Bs” your staff can do when it comes to providing better service and sales:

(1) Be knowledgeable. You can’t sell what you don’t know. You must know your products and services. And not just a little: a lot. Honest gut-check time: how well do you know your products and services? No matter what position you hold, there are probably a few products you could know better. Make sure you spend time on a regular basis reviewing the features and benefits of all your credit union or bank offers.

(2) Be real. The best service and salespeople today are not smarmy. Rather they are real and authentic. Be yourself, not someone else. Think about the last time you received excellent sales or service. More than likely the salesperson was authentic.

(3) Be a user. While the first “be” is critical (knowing your products), that is just a start. You have to use them as well. How you can you effectively encourage consumers to use your bill pay product when you don’t use it yourself? You can’t. If there is a reason you are not using your own financial institution’s products and services then there are deeper issues you must
explore. It’s much easier to talk to prospects about how you use the products
and how they benefit you personally.

(4) Be positive. You have to give your best every day. Not your average—your best. Whether you have a fight with the spouse on the way to work, your kid spits up on your nice shoes or your dog gets sick as you’re leaving, once you walk into the doors of your employer you must set all that to the side. Yes, we face challenges all the time but when dealing with service and sales we must remember that there is no such thing as a bad day.

(5) Be an expert. It’s not enough to know your products and use your products. You must also be an expert in your products. No one should know more about financial matters than you. People buy from experts. You are not a loan officer, teller, new accounts representative, or service advisor. You are an expert.

(6) Be specific. Details are critical with service and sales. Specificity doesn’t come with a general knowledge about your members, customers or products. The more you know about the person you are dealing with (their current situation, their family, their finances, etc.) the more you can match a particular product or service to their needs. You can’t treat everyone the same or offer everyone the same product or service. You must be specific with each individual.

(7) Be questionable. Ask a lot of questions. And then listen attentively to their answers. The only way you can effectively do the sixth “be” above is to ask questions. You must also ask be open-ended questions. For example, rather than asking, “do you want to open a checking account today,” ask “what are you looking for in a checking account.”

Improving service and sales does not happen by accident. It takes initiative. It takes the seven “Bs.”