Credit unions are consistently looking for new ways to improve their business development efforts. After all, adding new members is the lifeblood of a growing credit union. But how can credit unions improve their select employee group (SEG) efforts?

The following three steps will help make your SEG development initiatives much more effective:

  • Provide Employee Development
  • Help People Self-identify Their Goals
  • Speak “Client”

Below is an explanation of each step:

Provide Employee Development

Businesses don’t know what a SEG is. They probably don’t even know the difference between a credit union and a bank. But that’s not what gets them up in the morning. Improving their business does. If you can help make their employees happier and more productive, then you will get their attention. That being said, please note that the next section – self-identification.

Note: Take a look at the Filene Research Institute paper on Financial Stress and Workplace Performance. You’ll also want to check out Gallup’s State of the American Workplace.

Help People Self-identify Their Goals

Employers can be an outstanding area of growth for credit unions. But you can’t just walk in the door and start selling employees your products. Actually, people are not open to receiving help unless they have self-identified that need (it’s an ego thing). So how do you make this happen? It’s simple. Just ask.

These are two questions that almost everyone in your organization should ask that will help you truly support your clients, including business partners:

  • Financially, what is the one thing you are trying to improve right now?
  • What can I do to help?

Note: A person’s business goals oftentimes look like “Work smarter, not harder.” Their personal financial goals look more like “take more vacations and save for retirement”.

Speak “Client”

Once your SEG or member has told you what they want to achieve, you have the answer. Now it is your job to help them achieve that goal. It is not your job to make that person as smart as you are when it comes to your products or services. There is an old saying that applies here: “Tell people what time it is; not how the watch works.”

Make it simple for people to engage you in their business and lives. Just ask them the two questions and keep tying what you do back to their goal. If they want to know more about how the watch works, they’ll ask.

In Summary: Link member services to SEG and business development.

Whether you are working with a SEG or a member, the key to improvement is self-identification. And the way to make this happen is to just ask these two questions:

  • Financially, what is the one thing you are trying to improve right now?
  • What can I do to help?

If you can integrate this into your business development model, then you will have a simple and repeatable system to financially support every employee in every business. This is how you can turn your SEG operation into a business development machine.


Joel Busboom is the founder of The Inspired Workplace. You can check out his website here: