How to Develop New Business When You Can’t Travel
What does it take to develop new business when travel isn’t an option? How do you connect with prospects digitally? This week, we turn to Jack Hubbard for the answers. Jack is the Chief Experience Officer at St. Meyer and Hubbard and has provided sales coaching for over 70,000 bankers in his lifetime.
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[Intro] Helping community bankers grow themselves, their team and their profits. This is the Community Bank Podcast.
Eric: Welcome to the community bank podcast. I’m Eric Bagwell, director of sales and marketing for the correspondent division of Center State Bank. We are coming to you from Atlanta, Georgia. I have some guests in the studio with me today. We’re going to talk about sales and I have Chris Wright and Shawn Gillis. Chris and Shawn are business development officers for the correspondent division. They travel around the Southeast and the Midwest selling our products. These guys have a ton of experience. They’re good at what they do and we’re going to get some valuable insight from them as to what they are seeing banks around this part of the country do. And also joining us today we have Jack Hubbard. Jack is chief experience officer for St. Meyer and Hubbard. They’re out of suburban Chicago. They do sales training for banks and they do coaching for banks. Jack has actually trained over 70,000 bankers around the country and Center State is actually a client of these guys. So, everybody welcome. We’ve never had three guests at one time, but thanks for coming on today.
Shawn: Thank you, Eric.
Chris: Yeah. Eric, thank you for having us.
Jack: Thank you. Thrilled to be here.
Eric: Thanks Jack. I want to start with you Jack. Our world was turned upside down for you know, everybody when, COVID hit. Obviously, it has turned upside down for us. These guys sitting in here with me today, Chris and Shawn, their job is to travel to banks. And right now, most banks are closed for not just customers but also vendors. What are you seeing as you’ve talked to customers of yours?
Jack: Well, thank you for having me, Eric. I really appreciate it. You know, just a quick story. I met your boss one of your colleagues. Anyway, Chris Nichols a couple of years ago on LinkedIn, as you know, Chris writes amazingly well and he’s just a terrific gentleman and knows a lot about banking. So, I got introduced to center, state bank through a lot of value that Chris provides. And I would say that there’s certainly a lot of changes and you guys are seeing it too, but I’d like to start out with what’s similar. And I always like to start training classes with a couple of comments. First of all, failing to plan means planning to fail. And if anybody thinks that your great Community Bank Podcast is done just on the fly.
So that’s incorrect, there’s a lot of planning that goes on. The second thing to know is that whether it’s remote or it is in person, the buyer has the answers and the banker needs the questions. The third thing is what you know about your client makes what you know about your product valuable. And the fourth thing I always like to say, it’s better to be interested than interesting. Now those are all similar, whether you are in a 3D motor, a 2D mode, but obviously one of the things that we have to consider now is both training remotely and having conversations remotely. And the third thing that I think a lot of people forget is leading remotely. How do sales managers keep people engaged, their people engaged so that there’s some remote coaching going on? So that’s a little bit from me but you folks are out there all the time. What are you seeing that’s similar and different to maybe before February of this year?
Chris: Yeah. Jack, Hey, this is Chris Wright. Yeah, I mean, I think I a hundred percent agree. There is a lot of similarities the things that I guess most challenging for us is we really enjoy that one-on-one in person meetings with our clients. I mean, that’s how we set up a lot of our new business. But you know, we’ve had to rely on more active emailing you know, we obviously make more phone calls, scheduled webinars with our product experts. You know, so we’re having to really engage through that. And we do that a lot of different ways. I mean, some of it is through providing a different industry articles that we find pertinent to what’s going on in the industry podcasts, like what we’re doing here today through our Community Bank Podcast and then just ideas that we’re using here at our own bank that we can share with our customers and prospects. And then also what we’re seeing out in the field with our customer banks that we serve.
Jack: That’s right. And, you know, I like to always talk about 5 C’s and you all know this from a credit perspective as bakers but the 5C’s of trust-based selling which I like to talk about versus consultative selling. I think you made a great point about value and I think that too often, bankers look at themselves as relationship managers and I think that’s a fine concept, but I like to kind of say, clients want more today. They want that resource manager. If you’re going to be a great resource manager, you got to do the 5 C’s, which are conversations, curiosity, customization, collaboration, and connectivity. And so again, those are all things that you can do virtually. Now it is absolutely not any fun, not to get on an airplane. I mean, truthfully guys, I’ve been on airplanes for 47 weeks a year for the, since about 1987. So, I’ve been traveling a lot. I love to do that and I certainly miss it. Having said that if you’re going to be successful as a bank today, whether it’s a small community bank or a bank like Center State, and now with your new affiliation with SouthState. You’re going to have to make sure that you have those conversations working out really, really well. And that people on the other end of the line, whether it’s across the desk or across the video camera, they have to feel really comfortable that really care about them and more, more care about them than you care about the bank and try to push across [inaudible 06:04].
Chris: Yep. Hey Jack, I want to inject to add one more to that. You know, when you’re going through things and you’re having to make changes you know, that isn’t always the most fun thing to do, but I always try to find some benefits. And in, like you said, not being on a plane or not having to schedule travel time. I found that to be really freeing of my schedule. So, when I’m scheduling these webinars or zoom type meetings, I’m not having to, you know, figure out how far, you know, I have to drive to the next account. So, I’m able to be a lot more flexible and actually schedule more appointments and be more efficient at actually what I’m doing and it also gives me much more prep time because of that as well, so.
Jack: Yeah, no doubt about it. And I think one of the challenges that we have now, and we’ve been virtual for 21 years as a company. So, this pandemic, well, it’s absolutely horrible. It’s not unusual for us where we operate out of our houses in any case but I think the real challenge for the majority of people who have suddenly gone from in the office to in their home office is the inability to turn things off. I’ve talked to bankers who are working very late at night, very early in the morning. And because it’s there because the computer is there because the technology is available, it’s really kind of hard to turn that off. And to your point, I think we can maximize our time more when we’re on a virtual meeting, the challenge is you don’t want to become a zombie. We were trying to be really careful to tell our bakers, do three calls a day, do them at whenever you’re most fresh and certainly when you can get a hold of the buyer, but don’t try to do call after call after call because you don’t want people down the line in the afternoon to become victims of zoombism either. So, you got to be fresh. You got to keep it fresh, but you’re right. You could really max, this is, the pandemic is the greatest time management tool ever created and that’s unfortunate, but it’s absolutely true, guys.
Eric: Let’s talk about this real quick. Let’s go down the list. Let’s say there’s a community bank and they’ve been like us. They’ve totally relied on knocking on doors, seeing people at a lunch, a rotary club, or at a lunch, taking them to lunch. Maybe they see them at a golf course. We kind of joke that this pandemic has forced us to change how we’ve done business. We probably should have been doing it. You guys said y’all were virtual for 21 years. We’ve had to get there and are still in the process of getting there. I know Shawn has been very active with LinkedIn the last four or five years. Something I’ve not been very active with. Shawn, talk about what kind of community banker, maybe that’s like me, what are some things you do that they probably need to start thinking about as far as social media goes?
Shawn: Well, there’s a couple things, you know, I just kind of go back to, you know, talking about going to see your clients and your customers. And, you know, granted, we do have a lot of relationships with a lot of existing customers and all that much like our banks do and it’s like what you wouldn’t give to get in the car to go see them these days, but we just can’t do that. So, you know, the computer is our car and how do we get to see that? So, one thing that and Jack just mentioned it like with our blog, that Chris Nichols writes for us. You know, I continuously share that on LinkedIn. And as I’m on LinkedIn, I do notice that many banks are now using LinkedIn or other, social media sites, whether it’s a Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook to kind of get their message across and to try to stay in touch and in contact with our customers and kind of be visible. So, I think more important today is having that right, the right content out there to your customer. So, by using LinkedIn, you can, you know, you want to provide value and you want to have that right content. And today that’s in the blogs that you see in the articles that people are writing or in the podcast that they’re doing because you can’t talk to your customer face to face. So, this is a great way to be able to get your message across.
Jack: Yeah, I agree with that. You know, I’m pretty obsessed with LinkedIn. The average banker to give you a little perspective on it before the pandemic started was on LinkedIn, about 17 minutes a month. Very few bankers had a background. Very few bankers had photos. Very few bankers had an about section. And there weren’t many bankers that were posting articles and we’re seeing that a lot more. Now we need to get better at this. We need to customize our connection requests because when you do, you’re 82% more likely to have the person connect with you. We need to make sure that our headline is intriguing because to Shawn’s point, if I’m a business owner and I wake up at three 17 every morning, like most business owners do, and you’re looking for a new bank and you say, gee, I had a lot of trouble with that PPP process or I need some ways to manage my cash better. You look at somebody’s profile, they don’t have a photo. They don’t have a background. They don’t have an about section, or it says vice president, commercial lending app, name of bank. Well, there are 1.3 million commercial lenders in banking and you just commoditized yourself. Why not do something that’s more active? My favorite headline is from a banker up in Stanford, Connecticut, and his headline is banker in charge of getting things done in Stanford, Connecticut. That is something that it treats people and it makes them curious. So, you guys, you know, I’m pretty big on LinkedIn and I’ll just say, one other thing as I throw it back to you. Posting content is really important. Curating your own content is critical because it takes away that product push. Following great people on LinkedIn, like Charles Green and Brynne Tillman, et cetera, all very critical and posting a couple of times a day, seven days a week. Yeah, I know we need balance in our life but if we’re going to be successful at doing this on an ongoing basis and cut through all the clutter, we need to make sure that we’re providing a lot of value. So, resource manager. So, I agree with Shawn on the LinkedIn profile.
Shawn: Yeah, Jack, I like what you said about the guy who had his description like that. You know what happens whenever you do put something on LinkedIn these days, I mean, it’s kind of, I think LinkedIn has kind of changed their model a little bit but when somebody does make a comment on an article, you know, it will show up in your timeline again and again, anytime somebody makes a comment. So, if you can get somebody to check out your blog or your podcast it’s going to repeat itself. So, if you’re trying to reach a customer and people are commenting on something that you’re doing, whether you help them on PPP or you’ve got the best savings account in town, you know, it will continuously resurface and get you that attention definitely.
Jack: And I think people make a lot of mistakes in banking where they’ll send banking, articles out. What I really like about your blog is it helps bankers with a variety of different things. From marketing to HR, training, the PTP, it’s always a little different, that’s something bankers should be thinking about. Sending articles about strategic planning going forward and marketing and HR. Those are issues that businesses are facing and they’ll remember the banker that sent that article out.
Shawn: Absolutely. We’ve always talked gosh, for years now that anytime you go see somebody, you’ve got to bring value, you just can’t walk in and talk about, you know, the football game Friday night or Saturday, you’ve got to bring value to the banker. And especially in times like these, you know, to a customer, no matter what industry that is, people are busy. They’re probably worried they don’t have time to mess around. It’s even more critical to come to come with value and obviously there’s great channels now to do that. Let’s shift just a little bit. Let me ask you this. What are some things that bankers should be doing before, during and after a virtual call? What do managers need to be doing to make sure that these calls are productive?
Jack: Well, that’s a great question. There are three different buckets that I’ll put this in. The first is technology savviness. Second is conversation expertise. And the third thing is unending leadership. So, let’s go quickly through these. You’ve got to know your technology and you’ve got to know your bank’s policy. What can you do? And what can’t you do? When you’re sending out a meeting request and anything that you do, it should be customized. You should make sure that your room, when they come to your house in effect, they’re visiting your home, that you don’t have to have the biggest office in the world or the most professional but it needs to look clean and neat. And truthfully guys, when we started this whole thing, there was a lot of age over whether the dog or the child came into the picture. I think we’re over that now but we need to have good enough space. There’s a tool on Twitter called room Raider, it’s a website, and they actually rate the backgrounds of people.
So, having a good, solid background is really, really important. Knowing the technology and things like the white, being able to do white boards, being able to annotate, being able to switch between documents, if you need to seamlessly, all of that is important. Your buyer is tired of hearing bankers say, you know, I’m just getting used to this technology. We should know it by now. The second thing is the conversation itself. We do something we believe in something called Turkey feather. So, I’ve got all my notes right up on my computer. So that way I can look up at the camera, not off to the side. You want to see me in the camera, you don’t want to have my eyes downcast to be looking at my notes. And the Turkey, and can allow you to ask great questions, allowing you to make great snippets of comments and all of that is really important. And then the follow-up, here’s the great news about this. You can record every single call and I’ve got it automatic that I record every single call.
So, if I wanted to, I had to call the other thing with a banker and I sent them the recording of the call. That way, they’ve got a record of it, and I’ve got a record of it. And the last thing I’ll mentioned because you asked me about leadership. Banker, bank managers can now coach more than ever before, they can be on joint calls more than ever. When was the last time your market managers, your team leaders could be on every single joint call they can, because if you record them, send them to your manager, they can provide coaching counseling reinforcement? This was a great question. Tell me why you asked that question? I think remote selling while challenging and I think we all agree that we love the press, the flesh but remote selling could be even more effective, done well and done right than face to face selling for a variety of reasons.
Chris: Hey Jack, that’s a great point. I was actually on a call yesterday with one of my bankers and we were having this conversation about, you know, people more and more people working from home and how it’s really going to change the landscape of you know, jobs moving forward. And she said to me, well, the only thing I worry about is, you know, how do people get promoted based? You know, because you’re not around people, you don’t have that office time. You don’t have that interaction that you’ve always had where your managers really get to know who you are and what you’re doing. And so, I think you bring up a great point and I didn’t even think about that, but yeah, I mean, you know, sometimes you go a long time and you may not have anybody on a joint call with you. Whereas now with this more virtual, you know, without travel time we talked earlier, there’s more and more time for that and that’s consistent feedback as well.
Jack: You know, it’s an interesting point. I think if you talk to a bank president, their greatest concern in having their bakers work from home is productivity. Will my bankers actually work as many hours as they do when they’re on site. The fact is they’re more productive. The biggest challenge Banker space when they’re in their homes is isolation. How do I interact with other human beings? Maybe I have a spouse that I can talk to but other than that, I can’t get out. So that’s where a great manager can help the level of engagement through good team meetings that are very, very interactive, ongoing learning and training, sharing of ideas and making sure that people aren’t as isolated. And I agree with you and I’ll add one other thing to the promotion situation. If you’re a young Banker and you guys recruit no doubt out of college, look at young Caleb over there. Great father, Neil Stevens. He raised them really well, but you’ve got a young banker who’s just out of school and wants to start a career in banking and you’re going to hire them and now they’re all over in their home. You all remember when you were starting in banking, when you had a manager and mentors and folks that you could go out and have a beer with, that’s just not evident right now. So, my daughter is a chief people officer of a technology company up in New York. And she’s actually working from home here in our home in [inaudible 19:24] Illinois. And one of the things that she really works on is constantly engaged in games, activities, virtual kinds of lunches that people do. And that’s especially true when you orient new bankers onto your scene and onto your rope. That’s I think that’s going to be the biggest challenge going forward in this remote learning system.
Eric: Jack, let’s wrap it up here in the next 5, 10 minutes. One of the key subjects you always speak about is this concept of resource management. What is that and how can a banker move from relationship manager to a resource manager?
Jack: Well, it’s a great point. A resource manager is that next level of relationship manager, which is relationship manager has a hundred, 200, 50, whatever, depending on how big the credits are those numbers of relationships. And too often, I think what happens is Baker’s become very reactive and part of this because of time. We only have about 37% of our time to actually be belly to belly with people and that’s obviously less now. So, what we have to do is to make that 100% effective challenges. What does that mean to a lot of banks cross sell, which I’ve never believed in, I like cross solving, solving people’s problems. So, when you’re trying to get deep and wide in cross solve, you want to use tool that you have vertical IQ, REL Pro Hoovers, those kinds of things, LinkedIn, those things that add value to your clients and then be proactive.
I’ll give you a very specific example. We have a client that does something called three before eight, and this is this resource manager concept. Every morning, before 8:00 AM the resource managers find articles, white papers, best practices, leads that they could send out. And they send them to three people, clients, prospects, and centers of influence to land in their email box before 8:00 AM. They do it every day, five days a week. The bank doesn’t measure how many they did, what they can measure is the value that the banker provided to the client. And it’s led by a manager who, during their pipeline meetings, the first thing in their pipeline meeting the manager says, tell me something of value you sent to a client this week. What tool did you use? How did they react? How do you feel about that? When you shine a light on something that you want your people to do, they do become a resource manager. Look, every banker wants to be successful and they want their clients to be successful but I’ve even reached relationship manager, not that they’re bad, it’s more of a passive individual resource manager is much more active.
Eric: That’s a great, that’s an awesome idea. I love that three before eight that’s, that’s a cool thing to do. And Jack, we appreciate all the information you have given us today. It’s been great, Shawn and Chris, great insight as well. This is going to be a good listen for folks not only managing but also having to get out in front of clients. So, Jack, we appreciate it, Chris and Shawn, thanks for coming on.
Chris: Thank you.
Shawn: Thank you. Thank you, Jack.
Jack: Thanks everybody.
Eric: Jack Hubbard and Shawn and Chris for coming on today. If you want to get in touch with Jack their website, it’s St. Meyer and Hubbard, but it’s S M A N D H.com. He would love to hear from me if you’ve got questions, he has done sales training here at center state for a few years, has actually spoken at our conference. Jack’s a wealth of knowledge when it comes to sales. So please reach out to him and thanks again for him being on. And also, Shawn and Chris, hopefully they will be in maybe in your bank sometime here in the near future. Thank you for everybody that listens to us. If you have not subscribed on Spotify or iTunes, please do that and you will get notified once we post a new show, but we’ve got some cool shows coming up. Later this week, we’re actually going to record another show on digital banking with some new information, Tom, will be back. And then next week our actually most popular show on the investment portfolio. We’ve got a couple more of our bond salesman coming in to do that. So, keep on the lookout for shows and we appreciate you listening. Thanks. Have a great week.
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