business development

  • MM sweeten your brandAre you making yourself indispensable to your business customers? Treat them like rock stars and they’ll have little reason to consider doing business with other institutions.

    You don't have to stock their offices with M&M's (minus a certain color) and a special brand of sparkling water.

  • hoarding hurts brandsLook into the proverbial closet of your organization. Chances are, there are a few habits or tactics you know you need to give up—but for some reason, just can’t. Worst case scenario: you have a vast store house that needs to be purged.

    What’s still hanging around is weighing you down. It's a sign of sickness that needs immediate intervention.

  • IKEA FamilyThink IKEA is just about low-cost furniture for dorms? Think again. It's a company well-founded in purpose, offering nesting and affordable design for all. IKEA can teach every banker how to grow loyalty and profit from the inside out. Read on for our 3 favorite ways:

  • pink electric spark for webYour board meets regularly. Maybe they sign loan approvals or give advice. Do they do anything else for you? What about growing your organization? It's time to amp up expectations.

    Whether you’re working with a governing board or an advisory board, here are a few simple steps to spark more engagement from your board of directors and boost your business development program.

  • vitaminis for your brand It’s an all-too-common malady: sales are flabby or fundraising goals are lagging, so leadership determines that a fresh new ad campaign is just the thing to make everything right.

    When we start asking questions to diagnose the situation, we often discover something else: an internal problem.

  • dollar devalued brand mb piland croppedI recently asked a variety of C-level people how often they were called on by a banker trying to get their business. I heard one thing that surprised me—and it’s not what you think.

    Several said they don’t really need a loan, so they weren’t that interested in talking to a banker. Wait. What?!

  • antacids for brand heartburnWhen a business development team gets charged up and ready to call on prospects, they’re often so eager to talk, they forget to find out about what’s keeping the prospect up at night.

    Leading with what you have to offer is wasting that precious appointment you finally booked. Start with your prospect's pain and you'll have a much more productive conversation.

  • Solve their brand heartburnWhen a bank's business development team gets charged up and ready to call on prospects, they’re often so eager to talk, they forget to find out about what’s keeping the prospect up at night. "Me, me, me!", they say. Don't be that guy.

  • eye of a wolf brandThe monster lurking around the corner isn’t the economy or absence of a marketing budget. It’s a lack of strategy that keeps you from achieving your business development goals.

    While Jack had magic beans, you don't.

  • defrost your cold callsWhether you’re growing customers, pitching a reporter or recruiting board members, you have to make some asks. It can be uncomfortable. But to advance your objectives, you’ve gotta brave the cold.

  • Groucho knows brand strategy inside and outGroucho Marx is famously quoted as resigning from the Delaney Club quipping "I wouldn't belong to any club that would have me as a member."

    Whether or not the story is actually true, it leads us to wonder why some brands are so eager to accept just anyone.

  • Groucho knows brand strategy inside and outGroucho Marx is famously quoted as resigning from the Delaney Club quipping "I wouldn't belong to any club that would have me as a member."

    Whether or not the story is actually true, it leads us to wonder why some brands are so eager to accept just anyone.

  • open door webEveryone is busy. Like many high-performing employees, your people may be running as fast as they can. The problem: somewhere along the line, they’ve been taught to mind their own book of business, not the business of the entire bank. They're in the dark.

  • MBPiland Brand Touchpoint Infographic.Cropped2You work very hard to craft a consistent brand message. That only takes you so far.

    The real power brokers of the brand are employees. Read more for just a glimpse of all the ways they can help build the brand—or torpedo it.

  • big eye seen through magnifying glassSometimes when you’re working in the business instead of on the business, you lose sight of the big picture. You become so embedded in the details, the view is myopic. You’re dealing with trees when you should be managing the forest.

  • lip service for your financial brandMany financial institutions struggle with differentiating themselves in this commodity-mindset industry. “We need a new slogan,” they say. And, “let’s talk about our great service.”

    Service is not a position and you’ve got to pay more than lip service to your brand.

  • block and tackle for your brandMany community financial institutions say they’re customer-centric, yet have a brand promise too focused on the bank. What if your brand difference is about helping your customers win with their customers?

    That would merit some roaring fans. Here's how:

  • brand is more than clean restroomsToo many institutions tout fast, local loan decisions and personal service like they're the only ones who have it. Guess what: that's as effective as a sign saying "clean restrooms."

    Here are 3 ways to make sure you’re presenting a better and—yes, unique—brand to your customers and prospects.

  • Stop using the S word bankersMany community bankers struggle with getting all of their staffers to feel confident with business development. That’s because staffers are afraid of the *S* word.

    Don’t tell them to SELL, teach them to LISTEN.

    Use our “Business and Baby” rule as your internal rallying cry.

  • Casablanca title 2Lots of community banks have an advisory board of 8-10 local movers and shakers. Some of these boards have diverse representation. Unfortunately, many are filled the usual suspects. If you want to stand the test of time, you must attract and retain the next generation of movers and shakers.

  • brand danger parking brake on If you ever put your car in drive with your parking brake engaged, the car lets you know it right away. Ignore the warning at your own peril.

    You know not to do it to your car. So why let it happen to your brand?

  • The moniker “teller” has been around in banking since time immemorial. And while it may feel comfortable to you, it sends unintended messages. It positions banker relationships as one-sided—with the bankers holding all the power—and the customer taking what’s doled out.

    You can be better. Here are 3 ways to get started:

  • old school sales process bad for businessOld school sales guys will tell you sales is just a numbers game. Get enough prospects into the funnel and they’ll dump out X% of customers at the bottom. Easy.

    News flash, Herb Tarlek: your lack of a system is as outdated as your plaid polyester coat.

  • ripple effect of alliances

    When was the last time you thought about putting your well-known contacts and customers together to bring more value to everyone? As a banker, you know lots of people. Are you using that knowledge to expand your reach?

     

  • sweet 16 for your brand thumbnailThough this week heralds the arrival of a brand new year, we’ll be making resolutions for 2017 before we know it.

    Don't let 2016 slip away because you were too busy.

    Here are 16 strategies for a stronger, more profitable brand.

  • sweet 16 for your brand thumbnailThough this week heralds the arrival of a brand new year, we’ll be making resolutions for 2017 before we know it.

    Don't let 2016 slip away because you were busy.

    Here are 16 strategies for a stronger, more profitable brand.

  • Customer and employee journey Marketers are spending a lot of time talking about the customer journey. We’re not hearing the same talk about the employee journey, and that’s a shame. Because the customer journey with your brand will be bumpy at best if the employee journey isn’t thoughtfully mapped out and put into action first.

  • banker gift certificateI recently had trouble with a community bank’s technology and emailed a banker there to complain in what I hope was a polite—but very frustrated—manner. The response was swift and unexpected.

     She thanked me.

  • Wet naps for sticky brandsI was a tourist in Branson, MO recently and as to be expected, had some sub-par experiences in the crowded restaurants. Many seemed perfectly happy offering mediocre food and sticky seats. They know I probably won’t be back, because some other stranger will take my place. They're just in it for today's dollar.

    On the flip side, you actually want stickiness in your institution. You're in it for today's and tomorrow's dollars.

  • bank brand on thin iceLast week at a social event, I spoke with a man who works at a local community bank. I asked about his job and he shocked me by saying “I hate it!” then told me about how he and his associates are pressured to sell additional products to customers and he feels it’s “immoral to try and sell them things they don’t need.” Yes, he said immoral.

    This is frighteningly thin ice—especially for a financial brand.

  • Bad sales program is a fail for bankersYou have new marketing brochures, a fantastic iPad sales presentation and you’re ready to turn your bankers loose. You're certain this is the time they’ll get out there and land some shiny new relationships.

    Will they do it? Or are you going to be disappointed again? Here are 3 reasons your campaign is destined to fail—and how to fix it.

brand-o-matic
MB Piland Advertising + Marketing: Culture Quiz
MB Piland Advertising + Marketing: Health Check