If you want to get commercial loans, deposits, or fee income as a banker or loan advisor you need to do more than call on your current list of clients and prospects.
There are many ways to prospect for new clients. Some techniques are as old as the hills which include walking into a local business or cold calling them on the phone. I do not recommend either of these techniques unless you first send a series of letters prior to making the call or walking into the business.
Getting Commercial Clients.
A basic but often overlooked strategy that is proven to work is to send a series of three or four letters to a business owner or CEO 7-10 days prior to calling them.
It’s not used often because it requires more effort than simply picking up the phone.
You may be surprised to know that heavy hitters in the banking business are using much more than letters. They are sending packages to really make an impact on their targeted prospect.
For example, I know of one banker that was sending such things as baseball bats, leather jackets, puzzles and much more. Another loan officer was sending $50 bills attached to the top of the letter.
My favorite technique that was working very well for a mortgage broker that was targeting large corporations was that she hired a man to dress up as a guerrilla to present her marketing message to the prospect.
You might be thinking, ‘that sounds like a huge waste of money’, or ‘it’s unprofessional’, and you may or may not be right. But if you push the envelope and try different high impact strategies in your marketing rather than sending one boring corporate letter to a high valued prospect you might hit a home run.
But for starters I recommend the first technique I mentioned; send a series of letters and then follow up.
Small Community Bank Sales Letter Targeting Homeowners.
Here is a sample, generic, community banker sales letter that targets homeowners. If this is your target market be sure you get the right list of targeted prospects and send a well crafted letter. And like I said above you should probably send a series of letters.
In today’s environment of large financial institutions, smaller community banks can be a welcome option for local residents. For years, community banks have played a critical role in keeping local economies vibrant and growing.
We are able to respond to banking needs with greater agility than our national competitors; we often have closer ties to the community; and we are able to offer equally comprehensive banking services.
My name is (Name). I am writing on behalf of (Name of Bank) to invite you explore all the ways that we can help you meet your financial goals.
From everyday personal checking accounts to business loans designed for solid growth and expansion, we provide highly personalized service and exceptional support.
Our reputation has been built on establishing trusting relationships that last for years. Below is a very short summary of our banking services – but it is only a snapshot of our impressive capabilities!
Personal banking – We offer a wide variety of solutions for your personal banking needs. Our goal is to make every transaction simple for you – the way it should be! Choose from different checking and savings accounts, CDs, debit and credit cards, loan options, plus many more products with features designed to simplify your life. We even have health savings accounts and wealth management solutions!
Business banking – With our solid advice, personalized service, and full range of business banking services, you will be able to ensure your company’s sustainability and growth for years to come.
From simple business checking accounts and money market accounts to business loans and treasury management services, we have you covered.
Conveniently located near you, we are always happy to welcome new faces.
Free Gift Just For You [Name]!
Please stop by so that we can introduce ourselves more personally. I have a [name of sports team] t-shirt and a hat you. But I only have 35 of them so please call before you come by so I can reserve them for you when you come in!
PS: Businesses that we have served for 10 years or more in [Name Of Town] are [Name of businesses].
Additional Marketing Tips For Bankers!
Here are more tips in regards to the homeowner letter above.
- The homeowner letter above is a teaser type of sales letter for banks. I put in a ‘Free Gift’ offer because this technique is proven to get people to take action. You’ll have to test it for yourself. But you don’t have to use the tshirt and hat idea. Use your imagination or send me an email and we can brainstorm together.
- I would send at least one or two more letters and include a small promotional item that would be useful to a homeowner (pen, bottle opener, usb thumb drive, flash light etc.). Include something that will have a long shelf life so that the name of your bank is on their mind several times a month.
- One idea you might consider is hiring a photographer to set up a small portrait studio in your bank for a day or two so that you can offer free portraits to your prospects. If you do it right you just might get a flood of traffic into your bank and generate sales leads to follow up on for months. Want more tips and ideas? Let me know.