NLP for Financial Professionals in Retail Banking

Filed Under (NLP coaching for retail) on 01-03-2016

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How can financial professionals in retail banking use NLP to be credible, trustworthy, and different? If you are or know a financial services representative, advisor, or planner in retail banking or an independent financial professional, you or that person can make a big difference with these simple NLP tweaks.

Write or draw it – retail banking is visual too!

Whenever a new customer comes to you to enquire about your banking / financial products, have a blank sheet of paper ready to write on.  Banking involves numbers and numbers are a visual science. Hence banking needs visual references.  I’ve experienced only 20% of retail banking professionals who realize this and draw numbers and figures on paper while explaining them. The remaining 80% talk like a radio and often get themselves and the customer lost in the talk!

Writing numbers and drawing figures while you’re explaining them to the customer will inevitably force you to keep your explanations clear, short, sharp, to the point.  While talking without the support of visual reference can easily go off on a tangent and around in circles, talking supported by visual reference keeps you on track.

Observe – retail is detail and NLP supplies it!

Especially if you’re a financial professional with a highly mathematical brain you’ll likely be immensely knowledgeable about your banking products and the financial markets. But you may be bad at calibrating to the customer’s body language.  Learn to be attuned to your environment. Observe the customer’s body language.  Is s/he taking notes?  If yes, wait for cues that s/he is ready to proceed.  Is s/he fumbling around in the bag for a pen?  Observe, wait, sense, and continue speaking when you see that the customer is listening. And if you’re really good, you’ll even offer a pen!

Be procedural

Customers who come to enquire about banking / financial products want responses structured in the a-b-c, step by step form.  Questions beginning with where, when, what, and how seek step by step answers. Questions beginning with why accommodate options.

Speak to the point

Always respond EXACTLY to the content of the customer’s question. Then, if you wish, add explaining products in other areas of banking then the area which the customer asked about.  If a customer asks about the types of accounts that your bank offers, combine all the tips in this article and tell him/her about the types of accounts. Don’t go into credit cards.

If you want to explain about credit cards, finish explaining the accounts and THEN introduce credit cards. You can say something like: “Some 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 sense of structure and completion to your response, prepare him/her for the second topic, and give him/her the option to hear or not to hear about the second topic. This approach will also save time and energy if the customer does not want to hear about credit cards.

Watch your state

Be especially careful about your state of being all the time during your interaction with a customer.  People are immensely accurate at picking up subtle energies from you. They’ll quickly sense when you can’t wait to finish with them, or when you’re pushy for a sale, or when you’re so eager to help that you go into hyper mode and become tense, breathe high in the chest, and speak quickly and incessantly like a robot.  Relax, breathe, be physically and mentally comfortable, enjoy the job. Or get out of it if you don’t totally enjoy working with people!  False smiles and acting won’t get the sale.

Keep it private

Respect people’s privacy and show them that you DO respect it!  There’s nothing I hate more than when I go to a bank and the door of the office stays wide open for the branch to hear my financial circumstances!  An even worse case is when the advisor opens the conversation with a question about my financial circumstances WHILE WALKING INTO THE OFFICE!  Wait till the customer is sitting in the office and shut the door to show that you value his/her privacy. Then start talking.

Small talk doesn’t make you different

If you want to establish rapport, you don’t have to do it with small talk!  Take time to observe the customer’s verbal and nonverbal communication. It will give you a choice to establish rapport by subtly matching the customer’s voice tone, volume, speed of speech, posture, gestures, amount of eye contact, head nodding, smiling, etc. Skipping small talk will actually make you stand out. The reason is that small talk is so common and standard that people don’t pay attention to it anymore. And there are even people whom small talk insults and annoys!

Speak slowly and pause frequently.  People will see you as credible and credibility is reassuring. And you’ll give space for the customer to process the information.

NLP for retail banking

If you’re a retail or investment banking or financial professional interested in enriching your personal and professional life with NLP, let’s talk about it.

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