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Banks, credit unions and retailers have seen tough times of late. Specifically, bankers–and even some credit unions–are seeing a gloomy period ahead due to credit losses and the liquidity restraints due to the need for more loan-loss reserves. For businesses, much like consumers, liquidity is paramount to survival. Growing the balance sheet with low cost deposits will sustain an organization through this period, but credit unions lack the soft sales skills to matriculate a member encounter into a sale.

Our desire to exceed board expectations led us to consider the MSR as more than an order taker, and many organizations began changing the culture and compensation structure; many going to salary plus commission. Yet, changing the compensation plan may not lead to the desired behaviors. To succeed long term, a business must balance sales and service with an honest desire to help each person improve their financial lives. We are fortunate, however, as credit union employees are a trusted lot, yet we’ve grown complacent in our sales education and training of our employees.

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