When it comes to efforts by banks and credit unions to cross-sell investment and insurance products, their attempts may be coming up short.
That's according to a survey of 120 U.S. financial institutions by the Bank Insurance and Securities Association and Truebridge Financial Marketing. The data revealed that members and customers still do not realize that the institutions offer things like investments and insurance and most front-line employees do not produce enough referrals.
"In a financial institution, you can't turn the staff necessarily into salespeople," said Steve Ryerson, of UNFCU Financial Services, a subsidiary of $2.8 billion United Nations Federal Credit Union, which has used Truebridge to boost its referrals through member education rather than a "hard sell approach."
Cross-selling is more important than ever as banks and credit unions present themselves as trusted partners for consumers bewildered by the financial crisis, according to the survey's data. Selling additional products to existing members and customers is less expensive than acquiring new ones, the respondents said. Five new appointments per week can add $160,000 in gross annual revenue. Citing a Grant Thornton survey, Truebridge said 80% of senior bank executives said they planned to increase cross-selling efforts this year.