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Open a New Account Like Pro

I don't know of a financial institution that doesn't need more new business. Everyone is looking to increase their client base and expand upon the number of products per client with the goal being enhanced profitability.

So why is it then that the new account opening process is sometimes the least thought about and polished process in the organization? Thousands and thousands of dollars are spent on marketing to get a new prospective client to come in and the opportunity is lost when we don't put our best foot forward to make sure we absolutely WOW them and create a fantastic first impression. 

Top Sales Mistakes (and solutions) During the Account Opening Process

1. Not treating the request for a new account like the HUGE opportunity it is.
* New business is what companies covet! Roll out the red carpet and treat these people like your pay cheque depends on them being happy – it does!
* Too often the first few questions out of a reps mouth are used to try and find out if the person will be a "good client" or not. We know that you have to be careful about fraud, but let's not let those motivations overide the necessity of creating a great 1st impression.  First establish some rapport and trust and start the account opening process. Think about how you feel when a car salesperson tries to find out how much money you make, or how soon you will be buying, immediately after meeting you. You wouldn't put up with it and neither will your potential clients.

2. Not leading the initial part of the interview with general open-ended questions that focus on the client telling you about themselves and the way they normally do their banking.
* People don't buy products, they buy solutions to problems. Opening questions should be a mix of understanding what brought them in to your company, a bit about their background, and how they normally do their banking. Why are they opening the account with you? What drove them there? If they are having problems with the account at their current financial institution what other problems might they be experiencing there with other products?

3. Not focusing on making a relational connection with the new client.
* People do business with people they like and trust. We like people who let us talk about ourselves, so get them talking about themselves! Do this and you'll make certain that the relationship will be built on more than simply opening an account quickly for them.

4. Not opening accounts in a comfortable environment.
* How can you get them to open up about themselves if they are not comfortable? You do not need to have to leather chairs and a corner office but this important activity should never be done at a wicket with the client standing up and should be in as private a setting as possible.

5. Not setting aside enough time.
* If you barely have enough time to open the account chances are very high you'll limit your questions and focus only on the account. It's ok if the client doesn't have time, but let's not set our process up so we are the ones trying to rush them out the door.

6. Forgetting that the new account is usually the first piece of business the new client will test you on.
* It's unrealistic to expect the client to bring all of their business over to you all at once (even if they are so fed up with their current institution and want to). They will test you with the account to see how you do. Is the service better then where they are at? Will they notice a difference? Don't disappoint them. Ask lots of questions, get to know them and their banking needs and they'll surprise you how much they will bring over on the first visit. You just have to ask!

7. Not following up immediately after the account has been opened.
* Considering that this could be a test of your service levels, why wouldn't you make sure you were in touch with them shortly after the account has been opened? Take that opportunity to ask them more questions to uncover other frustrations at their current financial institution that they may not have divulged when they first met with you.
* Good follow up shows you care and that you are serious about helping them. Good follow up is what they are hoping to get, but will never ask for.

8. Not introducing the new client to others in the branch.
* They're new, use your manners! Introduce them to a few people (the more senior the better). You'll make them feel like the VIP they are.

"The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat."
– Napoleon Hill, Author

Copyright © 2008 by Fusion Performance Group Inc.
Copyright © 2014 by Fusion Performance Group Inc. If you share this, print it out, or reproduce it in any way, please retain this copyright statement.