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By Karl Keller
The Discovery channel features a program called “Gold Rush” highlighting the lives of Alaskan gold mining teams. Much like bankers, they combine past history, experience, science, technology and a bit of luck to find a precious commodity. Bankers don’t get their hands dirty in the office, but we do spend significant time searching for good loan opportunities that will pan out. So, where is your bank going to mine for your next payout?
The gold mining process is pretty easy to understand. The miners search for the best land. They strip the frosty soil to get down to what is called the pay dirt. Pay dirt is the rich soil and stone mixture that contains the most precious gold nuggets. Next, they move the pay dirt to the sluice box where the gold falls onto collection mats for final processing.
As a banker, where is your richest pay dirt? Are you finding quality loan customers quickly and easily or has the process been slow and frustrating in the current economy? Could it be that the pay dirt you are mining contains limited gold for you?
Here are a few tips to think about.
Let’s start with taking a close look at your existing loan customer base and answer a few basic questions.
a) Who are your existing loan customers?
b) What size of businesses do they run?
c) What industry do they support?
d) What is the current and future outlook for those industries?
e) How far are they located from your existing branch locations?
In many cases, our best future customer mirrors our existing portfolio. Sure, we could go mine a new industry and expect to take some additional risk, but why not first take a very look at where we have been successful in the past.
Secondly, after looking at our existing customer base, did we find any gold nuggets that have yet to be mined? Existing customers already have a relationship with your organization. It will be 10 times easier to talk with them as well as discuss future growth compared to mining a new customer. Do you have a plan and workflow process to help move each of your existing business customers from where they are at today to where you would like them to be tomorrow?
Here is a simple approach that can be implemented quickly. First, rank each business customer based upon both loans and deposits. Create three customer tiers for deposits and three customer tiers for loans. Now setup a relationship manager contact plan for each tier.
Tier one customers should be touched every 3 months. Tier two customers should be touched every 6 months. Tier 3 customers should be touched every 9 months. Any business customer that did not fall into your top three tiers should be touched at least once per year.
Now you need to follow the process and make sure it happens consistently. Just like the gold miners, if they were to dump half of their pay dirt on the ground outside the sluice box, it would yield limited results. A relationship building approach needs to be executed with precision. To do this you must hold people accountable for the program and require proof that the desired contact activities are happening.
As you start this process, use your bank CRM system to help keep your organization on-track with customer contacts and to measure the results. A good bank CRM system can manage events allowing the system to keep track of when each contact should be made as well as track the discussions that have taken place. If you are looking for an easy to use system that can help you with managing your customer contact program and associated loan workflow. Why not consider Quest IQProspects? Click here for a live demonstration.