That's the advice business executive and author Scott McKain gave during his keynote address at NAFCU's 42nd Annual Conference and Exhibition.
He noted that if a credit union can't define its message and mission in clear and concise terms, its members and potential members won't be able to either, and this will hurt credit unions' ability to grow.
McKain said the four keys to success in devising and implementing a strategy for keeping members and getting new ones are clarity, creativity, communication and a strong focus on the member's experience doing business with your credit union.
"Make sure you know exactly what it's like to do business with you,'' he said.
McKain urged brutal honesty when doing self-assessments.
"Define what you are and aren't, and fire clients and prospects outside your strength area,'' he said.
He also urged credit unions not only to listen to their members but to implement their suggestions. McKain said when his company bought a motor coach company, it made massive upgrades to the interior of its vehicles only to find that what customers, mostly entertainers, wanted was better drivers.
Focusing on such changes helped his company move from fourth in its market to No. 1, he said.
On a personal level, he said he was eternally grateful to a credit union for teaching him and his late wife about the virtues of financial planning.
He also said his wife's death from ovarian cancer reinforced the importance of focusing on the joys that people experience every day and not going through life just trying to check things off your to-do list.