Blog

3 Ways to Improve Cross Selling in the Branch

cross selling at a bank

It's no secret that many people bank with multiple institutions. According to a Deloitte survey, only 19 percent of retail bank customers held three or more products besides a checking account with their primary bank. That compares to 49 percent who have three or more products with other financial firms.

Cross selling can improve the bottom line because the incremental cost of selling to existing customers is much lower than acquiring new ones, according to Deloitte research. Having a larger share of wallet also makes it harder for customers to move their business elsewhere.

Here are three ways to improve cross selling in your branch.

  1. Know which products customers like.

    Sometimes called “sticky” products, it's a good idea to determine which ones keep customers walking through your doors - and asking for more. Understanding which products add the most value and focusing on cross selling those will help generate loyalty, writes Jen Joly, marketing director at BlueSpire. Look for products and services that have features unique to your institution and offer savings in time or money.

  2. Focus on guidance, sales and service in the branches.

    As more customers move daily transactions online and through automated systems, bank staff should focus on listening to customers and offering guidance to help with problems, writes Venkat Rangamani for Credit Union Times. That means that customers will likely come in with more complex problems, providing an opening for selling more products.

  3. Ask for the sale.

    While loyalty and trust are important in making sales, nearly one-third of banking products in the U.S. are sold, according to Bain & Co. research. You have to ask customers to make a purchase, whether that is in-person or through marketing materials.

“To remain competitive in a largely saturated market where revenue opportunities from new customers tend to be limited, deepening relationships with existing customers will likely remain critical to increasing banks' top-line growth,” Deloitte wrote in its paper. “One important way this might be achieved is through more refined strategies and targeted execution of cross-selling programs.”

As basic banking continues to move toward a commodity business, institutions that offer innovate products to save time and money will capture more business. But it's also important to listen to customers' needs and determine what products they actually need or will add value. Training staff to listen and solve financial problems is one way to increase the rate of cross selling. It's also important to give employees, especially tellers, the time to meet with customers and the ability to offer products.