NLP for Financial Professionals in Retail Banking

Filed Under (Life Coaching & NLP) on 31-07-2011

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If you are or know a financial services representative or a financial advisor in retail banking or an independent financial professional, you [or that person] can enhance your [their] performance by simple NLP tricks. Here they are:  

  • whenever a new customer comes to your office with an enquiry about your banking / financial products, have a blank sheet of paper at hand ready to write on.   Banking involves math / numbers and numbers are visual science = need visual references.  I’ve encountered only 20% of retail banking advisors who realize this and write / draw numbers / figures on paper at the time of explaining them to the customer.   The remaining 80% talk like a radio and often get lost in their talk!
  • writing / drawing numbers / figures on paper at the time of explaining them to your customer will inevitably force you to keep your explanations clear, short, sharp, to the point.  While oral communication without the support of visual reference can easily go off on a tangent and in loops, communication supported by visual reference keeps your oral explanations in check.
  • especially if you’re a financial professional with a highly mathematical brain [=highly visual] you’ll highly likely be immensely knowledgeable about your banking products and the financial markets, but will often be immensely poor at calibrating to your customer’s nonverbal communication.  Learn to calibrate [=get attuned] to your environment and observe your customer’s body language.  Is the customer taking notes?  If yes, wait for the customer’s cues indicating that s/he is ready to proceed.  Is s/he fumbling around in his/her bag in search of a pen?  Observe, wait, sense, and only continue speaking when you see the customer to be in a receptive mode.
  • be as procedural in your responses as possible.  Customers who come to enquire about your banking / financial products want responses structured in the a-b-c, step by step form.  Where, when, what, and how questions always seek step by step responses, while why questions seek explanations where including options won’t disturb the flow of the response.
  • always respond EXACTLY to the content of your customer’s question. Then, if you wish, add explaining products in areas of banking other then that which your customer asked about.  Example: if a customer asks about types of accounts that your bank offers, combine all the abovestated tips to tell him/her about the types of accounts without going into the types of credit cards associated with any or all of those accounts.  If you wish to explain about credit cards, finish explaining the types of accounts and THEN prefix the credit card section of your response with a phrase similar to “Some / each of our accounts have credit cards associated with them for your grater benefit.  Would you like to know about any of them?”  This will give the customer a higher sense of structure and completion to your response, prepare him/her for the second section of your response, and give him/her the option to hear or not to hear the second section [which will save time and energy if the customer chooses not to have the second section explained].
  • be especially careful about your state of being at any time during your interaction with a customer.  People are immensely prompt and accurate at picking up subtle energies from you and will quickly sense when you can’t wait to get out of there once you finish with the customer, or when you’re pushy for the sale or acquisition of that customer, or when you’re so eager to help that you go into hyper mode and become tense, breathing high in the chest, and speaking quickly and incessantly like a robot.  Relax, breathe, be physically and mentally comfortble, and enjoy the job – or get out of the job if you don’t totally enjoy working with people!  False smiles and acting won’t cut the mustard any longer.
  • respect people’s privacy and show them that you ARE respecting it!  There’s nothing I hate more than when I go to a bank and the door on the office remains wide open for the entire branch to hear my financial circumstances!  An even worse case is when the advisor opens the conversation with a direct question about my financial circumstances WHILE WALKING INTO THE OFFICE!  Wait till your customer is seated in the office and shut the door to show that you value your customer’s privacy.
  • if you wish to establish rapport, you don’t always have to do it by employing small talk!  Take some time to observe your customer’s verbal and nonverbal communication and you’ll have a choice to establish rapport by subtly near-matching the customer’s voice tone, volume, tempo of speech, posture, gestures, amounts of eye contact, head nodding, smiling, etc.
  • speak slowly and pause frequently.  You’ll be seen as credible which is reassuring for the customer, and you’ll give space for the customer to metabolize the information better.

Contact me if you’re a banking or financial professional interested in NLP enrichment for your career.

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