If Cross-Selling is a Dirty Word, Re-think it

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If your team breaks out in chills, moans and groans when the phrase “cross-selling” is mentioned, it’s time to re-think some things at your credit union.

First, do you have the right team? One thing I am always cognizant of is taking inventory of who is a natural, who needs coaching and who just cannot produce the results that are required. The last two are hard to tell apart without some time and effort.

Those leaders who believe anyone can be coached to cross-sell, be forewarned: You’re wrong.

Some people have experienced trauma in their past that makes being vulnerable to getting turned down an excruciating and almost impossible task. That’s not to say it can’t be overcome, but without the right expert to help that team member deal with the trauma, you’re fighting a losing battle. And if pushed, it could compound that team member’s trauma.

That said, what about those who just need a little coaching? In his book, “It’s How We Play The Game,” the son of Dick’s Sporting Goods founder, Ed Stack, reminisced about his father’s passion for helping customers.

“He believed in what he was selling. He was also an expert in going for the added-sale. If a customer bought a pair of sneakers, he made sure to push a pair of socks. This wasn’t a mere cash grab. He considered it a disservice to that shopper to leave the store without everything he or she needed to get the best possible results from his or her purchase.”

If you’re selling to sell and meet a quota, that’s just plain old selling. It’s not a win/win situation.

If your credit union member has a problem and you have a product or service to solve that problem for them, and you don’t mention it to them, you’re doing that credit union member a disservice.

Two of our credit unions, Caro Federal Credit Union and Great Meadow Federal Credit Union get cross-selling right. I am constantly hearing and seeing stories from members who have benefited greatly from team members at those credit unions going above and beyond to serve those members well and ensure they are in the best possible financial position at the end of each transaction. That’s not selling. That’s people helping people.

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Alex VanHaasteren

Senior Web Developer

Alex is YMC’s Senior Web Developer and, as the title suggests, she is an absolute pro! While she initially started in graphic design – working long and hard to expertly bring concepts to life – she also felt drawn to technology and applying her natural ability to problem solve. Web Development proved the perfect blend of her creative passion and technical savvy.

When Alex is out with friends – including her YMC colleagues – she’s up for Greek cuisine or some good pulled pork BBQ washed down with Diet Coke. Or an Old Fashioned, if the occasion demands. Someday, she hopes to go to Africa on a safari. Hopefully she’ll see a giraffe in the wild, because – as she’s pointed out – its neck is too short to reach the ground!

When she isn’t jamming out to T-Swift, she’s happy to impart some marketing words of wisdom, “Aim to create something unforgettable.” For day-to-day inspiration, she would remind you of two fundamental truths: You decide your happiness, and Ice cream is its own food group—not just a dessert.

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