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“I always advise people never to give advice,” wrote P.G. Wodehouse, the English humorist. Recognizing that wisdom is often in short supply, here is the second installment of practical advice on sales from banking veterans. (If you missed the first part, go to our December 22, 2014 blog post here.)

1.) Be likeable.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Friendships trump price, structure and stand the test of time.  

Mark Augustyn Mercantile Bank of Michigan

2.) Follow up, follow up, follow up!

Rosary Falero Coconut Grove Bank

3.) Everything I have received from MZ Bierly Consulting!

Rick Miller First Savings (PA)

4.) Bring value to the table.

Steve Epping M&T Bank

5.) Be persistent, consistent and honest. But above all listen!!! Also try to find a bond of same nature with your target. People like to deal with people they like.

Dave Hammer First Niagara Bank

6.) When the sale is over and you have the order, stop talking! Nothing good can happen. So many times giddy bankers go on and on about how the purchase will help the customer only to reveal something which leads to an objection…and the unwinding begins.

David Swoyer Santander Bank

7.) Be genuine. Also, the true rainmakers always have at least one prospect in each stage of the sales cycle.

Kevin S. Meade Valley Bank

8.) Listen to the person sitting across from you.  Understand their needs. Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions.  Follow through as promised.

Laura  Calvert Old Point National Bank

9.) Target your prospects, research the business and industry, plan the talking points/questions, listen and don’t leave without asking for a commitment for a follow-up meeting.

Burt Blacksher WestStar Bank

10.) The first rule of sales:  Be somebody – always take the time to establish credibility and respect. I have found that to be helpful advice for most endeavors.

Rob Shuford, Jr. Old Point National Bank

11.) Look at each client/prospect interaction as an opportunity to listen, ask open-ended questions, and continue to provide solutions. The numbers will follow.

Jeffrey Orner Santander Bank

12.) Besides doing your homework beforehand, the best advice was not to give solutions on the spot. Take back all of the information, and schedule the next meeting to explore more. It is still one of the toughest points to convince young calling officers not to respond immediately.

Jon Levine S&T Bank

13.)  Persistence is more important than brilliance. No means, “Not yet.”

Mike Comer Citizens National Bank (TN)

 14.) Understand your customer before you sell.  Ask questions and listen.  Only then will you offer solutions that meet their needs. 

Joe Witt Old Point National Bank

15.) Two qualities are predictors of successful selling: a strong ego and genuine empathy. You need a strong, healthy ego to manage sales resistance and rejection, and genuine empathy to connect to clients and build lasting relationships. High performers recognize the need to keep the ego in check and allow empathy to flourish.

Catherine Flynn The Bluestar Group

16.) Be positive, be persistent and add always add value.

Gail Letts C&F Bank

Looking for tips on improving your team’s prospecting results? Ned Miller will be leading a live webinar for bank sales leaders on prospecting on Monday, February 9 at 2:30 PM Eastern. If you can’t make the live webinar, you can sign up to receive a recorded vserion. To find more information and register go the Graduate School of Banking’s website: Leading the Prospecting Effort.