One Bank’s Means to a Happy New Year

By Jack Hubbard

Happy 2017. Too soon? In the world of prospecting, not really. As we enter Q4, the best and brightest cultures and top business bankers already have one foot into the next 12 months. It’s easy to see why. Respected companies like CSO Insights, Barlow Research and others indicate:

  • It takes 10-12 touches before a cold prospect agrees to see you.
  • It takes 5-7 face-to-face calls before a prospect becomes a client.
  • Only about 3-5% of businesses plan to change banks in 2017.

Juxtapose these challenging data with the fact that loan, deposit, and fee goals continue to go up and many times entrepreneurs become a number versus a relationship. Instead of looking at per-banker sales bogies of $15 million in new loan production and $7 million in aged deposits, one community bank sees this process differently. It combines the goal setting process with a banker-preneur spirit through Logo Day.

You pick ‘em.

The concept of Logo Day is simple: it’s all about bankers selecting prospects they would be proud to have relationships with. This proactive approach to the marketplace puts numbers to the background, helps bankers focus their energies on who they want to bank, and it helps managers target their coaching energies as well. Logo Day does not replace seeking referrals, networking, trade shows or other general prospecting activities. Rather, this laser-focused process becomes part of bankers’ daily routines and keeps those top prospects top of mind.

The system kicks in every October 1. Bankers have one month to select 15 prospects they would like to bank the following year. These potential clients are in sync with bank objectives, marketplace opportunities, size of the possible relationship, type of industry represented and other criteria. In essence, these prospects are true wheelhouse businesses.

Bankers select their companies, go to the company’s website and copy each logo onto a plain white piece of paper. When bankers have 15 new logos captured they now develop reasons that these companies should belong to them.

Shop the trade show.

In early November there is a one day conference—the Logo Trade Show. Bankers tape their logo-clad papers to the wall and everyone goes list to list and scours business names to determine duplications or to learn a logo on the wall is more suited to them. Bankers take notes such as:

Power Manufacturing on Jan’s list. I went to college with the owner’s son and I think it would be more appropriate for me to have that prospect.

With 20 bankers participating, this process takes a couple of hours. Team leaders and the head of business banking are present too, which helps create a level of seriousness and urgency.

Attend the team meeting.

Once everyone has made notes about other bankers’ logo sheets, the Logo Trade Show ends and the hard part begins. Everyone puts their logos in front of them and they go through their prospects one at a time. They say the name of the prospect and generally why they selected it. If no one else wants that business the banker keeps it and they move on to the next opportunity.

When two or more bankers target the same prospect, a discussion is led by the banker who selected the company. They tell their story as to why they picked that prospect. Then, the other banker(s) talk about their reasoning for wanting the same one. If they cannot come to an agreement, the process escalates to the team leaders and ultimately to the head of business banking. These conversations can get professionally intense—and possessive passion is welcomed. In the end, the prospect either ends up with the original banker or it is taken by someone else.

When the team meeting is over, each banker has a minimum of 12 prospects to work on for the following year (this is the reason they come to the meeting with 15).

Develop a one-on-one strategy.

The bank’s goal is to have each banker leave the room with the following:

  • 12 prospects for the new year they have prioritized 1 through 12
  • An action strategy for reaching out to each
  • An appointment with their team leader to review the list and the plan

Their stack ranking standards might have to do with ease of obtaining a meeting, the size of the prospect, seasonality, or other criteria they have personally developed. Action planning might include: writing initial letters, connecting with prospects on LinkedIn, working with COIs to obtain appointments, going to events these prospects might attend, and many more.

At the end of the meeting these 20 bankers have put 240 total prospects in the top of the funnel. The bank now puts its coaching scorecard and analytics into action. It knows the average close rate of its bankers with prospects (let’s say 50%). It knows the average deal size in each banker’s portfolio (let’s say $750,000). It knows the initial appointment hit rate (let’s say 50%).

Using these numbers the bank can see that with Logo Day prospects alone, the bankers will make 120 initial appointments. Assuming all the stars align the bankers will turn 60 prospects into new clients and add $45 million to loan production. Maybe $45million wouldn’t cut it for your organization—but remember, this is only one method of prospecting.

Use the coach approach.

Sales managers are a critical success component by helping their colleagues with meaningfully specific coaching. The team leader and the banker collaborate on targeted planning and tactics around specific opportunities versus focusing on numbers, numbers, numbers—numbers of calls made, numbers of loans booked, etc.

At team meetings, managers have a new logos component on the agenda. During one-on-ones, managers are asking specific questions about each banker’s prospects. Team leaders and the head of business banking are making joint calls on these prospects. Everyone is more focused.

As a side benefit, bankers and managers are utilizing the CRM system better—not as a “big brother” mechanism but as a means to help achieve their ultimate goal.

Having everyone involved creates its own energy—and with bankers having only about 37% of their time to actually sell (according to recent data from CSO Insights), Logo Day helps put a focus around the new business they want.

The day they love to hate.

Logo Day is like anything else. Bankers don’t look forward to it because it’s just one more thing they have to do. It takes time, thought, and effort. And everyone is busy. In the end, however, this bank’s ability to target its energies toward prospects it wants is paying off. Bankers like the results too.

Happy New Year everyone. Happy Logo Day.

Jack Hubbard is chief experience officer of St. Meyer & Hubbard. Jack has trained and coached more than 68,000 bankers, and is one of the industry’s most sought after classroom facilitators. Jack can be reached (and you can listen to his voice mails) at 847-717-4328. You can reach out via email (his out of office message won’t be on) at [email protected]. Jack tweets @saleshubbs and he is obsessed with LinkedIn where you can connect and converse with him any time.

Jack has been on the faculty of the ABA Bank Marketing School for 31 years, and he’s been on the faculty of the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking for 16 years.