Benchmark Business Group

Delivering Exceptional Service - Through Selling

January 29, 2021

Most financial services professionals take great care to provide exceptional service. You make promises to be there for clients if the unimaginable happens. You work to ensure that calls are answered quickly. And most still see the importance of providing clients with face-to-face time.

There’s no doubt that you care about your clients and work hard to provide them with the best care possible, but there’s a level of care that can be easy to overlook. For some, it’s overlooked because of time. You’re busy taking care of your clients. For some, it’s overlooked because it’s not seen as service.

We call it Service through Selling. Others call it cross-selling or even upselling. And for some, especially service associates, cross-selling is often seen as “sales”, “not their job” and outside of service. We challenge that mindset.

Stop for a moment and really look at the promise you make to every client. What are the reasonable expectations that they should have? Typically it’s something similar to, “we’re here to help you identify risks and maximize opportunities.”

The key is that your team can’t identify risks or maximize opportunities if they are overlooking Service Through Selling. The policies and products are not the heart of what you do for your clients. To have exceptional service, your team must be able to fulfill the promise. When your team sees this as a part of service and not sales, clients will become educated and happier. If you’re ready to make Service though Selling part of your culture, ask us about our Inspired Action training for your team. In the meantime, implement these three quick tips to get started:

  • Don’t create pressure to get a yes. Service through Selling isn’t about getting more yeses. Those come naturally. Instead, it’s about listening to what is happening in your clients world to understand their needs. Challenge your team to talk to a set of clients this week and to learn more about what is taking place in their lives. (New job, new child, kids going to college, retirement, aging parents…?). Don’t make it about policies or the number of yeses. Just focus on the activity of listening for needs and take the pressure of the closing away. The yeses will come.
  • Practice. Don’t expect your team to have the right skills to implement Service Through Selling without practice. If your team isn’t taught how to identify risks or opportunities, then Service Through Selling will not happen. Spend five minutes every day. Or send one email each week educating your team on risks and opportunities that clients will encounter based on a scenario. For instance, a client mentions that they are buying a new house. What are the risks they need to be aware of? What are the opportunities they need to know are available to them. When your team can start to answer these questions on their own, then Service Through Selling will become easier.
  • Make it an expectation. Too often “cross-selling” is seen as a bonus opportunity. And in fact, many service associates get an actual monetary bonus for these accounts. It’s okay if you want to reward your team, but do not call it a bonus. Make it clear that this is a part of delivering on your promise to clients. Set goals based on activity not yeses. If you treat it as something more to do over and above your job then your team will not see it as an essential part of their position.

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