Baseball - 1Opening day in baseball is upon us. It’s one of the best days of the year. It often marks the transition between winter and spring.  No matter where your team finished last year, hope springs eternal with that first pitch and crack of the bat.

Two of the most important positions in baseball are the catcher and the pitcher. Your team won’t get very far this season unless those players are performing at their best.

And your credit union or bank won’t get very far unless your employees are pitchers and not catchers. In too many financial institutions, the front line staff are catchers and not pitchers. What’s the difference?

  • Pitchers—These are employees who analyze consumers’ needs, look at their current situation and then pitch a product to them.
  • Catchers—These are employees who wait to take the order from the consumer and catch a new product only by happenstance.

If you want additional products per household to increase at your credit union or bank, then you must train your staff to pitch and not just catch. As noted above, this pitching metaphor does not mean throwing random products and services at consumers just to get them something they don’t need. You are not throwing “high and inside.” Rather, your employees are simply using a needs based approach (matching your products to the consumers’ needs).

If your financial institution has a product or service that a current member or customer would benefit from, then it’s not selling: it is serving the consumer.

You are giving them better deals (offering free checking). You are helping them (giving them a loan when no one else would). You are saving them money (lowering their interest rate on credit cards they have elsewhere). You are making their lives easier (showing them how to use your bank or credit union mobile app). You are saving them time (offering bill payment). You are helping their dreams come true (financing their dream vacation).

Yes, you are pitching to them.

When it comes to your sales and service staff, do you have more catchers than pitchers? Just like any good baseball team, you’ll need more pitchers on your team as well.

So buy some peanuts, grab a hot dog, and catch a game this week. And make sure your people are making pitches to your members/customers.