Everyone Sells

Written By: Deborah Gavello

Cross selling is one of the least expensive methods to Increase revenue.

All of the marketing and advertising activities in the world are no replacement for a well-trained group of employees and directors.


It is amazing to see how many of the non-traditional businesses engage in cross selling. Did you ever think that flight attendants would be cross-selling products? On a recent Alaska Airline flight, I inquired into their sales program.

The flight attendant informed me that the person who collected the-most approved Visa applications was going to win a new PT Cruiser. She also told me that Alaska Airlines was making more money on their revenue sharing agreement than they were making on selling airline seats.

Furthermore, on a recent client-training day at the Columbia Tower in Seattle, the restaurant cook approached me asking if I wanted to upgrade our meal to steak. McDonald’s cross-selling slogan is “Service That Sells”. Whether you want them or not, Mc Donald’s will try to cross-sell you either fries or a dessert.

In the 21st Century, everyone sells.

The object of the game is to effectively train your entire staff and directors how to cross-sell for your bank! I have successfully trained over 75 banks in the areas of professional selling and cross selling.

The most successful bank sales programs have been the ones that invested in the training of their entire staff.

These banks substantially increase their bank’s franchise value. (Rancho Vista National Bank sold for close to 4 times book. Judy Stewart, the former President said, “We became a strong sales machine, with everyone selling there was no stopping us.”)

All employees and directors should be having intelligent conversations with people they meet about the value their bank can bring to either a business or to an individual. Training everyone in the area of cross-selling” is similar to quadrupling the size of your sales-force without adding a single new employee to the payroll.

Ensure that everyone knows that they can make a huge contribution to the bank without stretching beyond their abilities. Most people don’t realize how easy it is for them to cross-sell. Once they have been trained, they will garner more· referrals and sales then they had ever imagined. Some of the less obvious departments such as security, data processing, note department, finance, couriers, and accounting staffs can all cross-sell; in some cases these individuals win sales contests beating out tellers and new accounts!

As Gary Findley stated in his January article, employees want a boss that offers them a change and a chance. Learning how to effectively cross­sell is their chance to change for the better.

A recent success story is Gilmore Bank in Los Angeles where in 6 weeks the one branch staff generated 419 referrals. At Pacific Western National Bank, 3-branches generated over 500 referrals in 6 weeks. Evergreen Bank in Seattle has also sustained high numbers of cross selling results from the entire staff for the past two years.

8 keys to a Successful Cross Selling Program:

  1. Invest the money to train the entire staff Outsource the project to an expert
  2. Train the bank directors on how to solicit referrals and conduct business development
  3. Reward the staff for all accomplishments (Monev is preferred)
  4. Monitor results weekly
  5. Type a paragraph of the different types of businesses and personal accounts the bank is interested in pursuing. (To ensure that the staff and directors are looking for the appropriate clients)
  6. Senior management team needs to completely buy into the program and come to an agreement on the bank’s strongest value propositions.
  7. Include follow up support and ongoing coaching (Sales training is not an event, it is a process)
  8. Recognize and reinforce good performance as it appears

In summary, selling is a learned skill, which can be taught at all levels. Develop your people, motivate them, and with a little practice these newly acquired skills will transfer into a huge increase in new bank business.

As always, good luck and good selling.


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    Testimonials

    "Deborah is the most competent and skillful trainer I have ever met. I am a Senior Banker with over 20 years in commercial banking and investment banking. I have always been one of the top producers.
    Consequently, I have accused of being quite set in my ways and not easily convinced of new sales skills. This being said, I learned both new and valuable skills from Deborah's classes and her one on one coaching. I gained a rejuvenated enthusiasm in my craft. Developing business and relationships are my livelihood and perfecting it is a gift. I am proud of the fact that in 2001 I was the number one producer of new business in Bank of America's Private Banking group, in a good part due to the assistance and guidance of Deborah"

    Cheryl Paller - Vice President
    Deutsche Bank, Los Angeles, CA