How To Sell To Today’s Credit Unions (Part 3)

Tips, tricks, and insights from Callahan & Associates on how to successfully sell to credit unions.

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Credit unions are a breed apart, and Callahan has been serving them for more than 30 years. These tips, tricks, and insights draw on what we’ve learned about the movement and what you need to know to drive adoption of products and services within this growing niche.

Preparing For The Call

Getting a sales call scheduled with a credit union prospect is an accomplishment. These are busy people with multiple vendors competing for their attention. They’re not taking calls from just anyone.

So, after a quick pat on the back for getting this far, it’s time to prepare. And that doesn’t mean 30 minutes of cramming before the call.

That won’t cut it. If they’re making time for you, they expect you to be organized and knowledgeable about the product and about them. You must also be able to clearly demonstrate value, both to them and to their department.

Here are some preparation tactics that can ensure you are ready to roll when it’s time to pick up the phone. Take the time to use these. They’ll help you acquire more credit union clients.

Read Articles Featuring The Credit Union

Credit unions focus on member service and community, often carrying out initiatives that get featured in local and sometimes national media stories. A quick Google News search of a credit union’s name can return results of these stories plus other news like board elections and executive changes. These are all possible talking points.

Here on, we’ve written case studies on hundreds of credit unions to provide an inside look at their strategy and operations. A Media Suite subscription provides access to all of them plus performance data for every U.S. credit union that you can review prior to your call.

Research Your Contact(s) On LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of the ultimate tools for sales professionals. Go there for background on the people you’ll be talking to, and make sure that includes the Summary section. That’s a great place to learn what they consider to be their specialties, interest, and areas of focus.

Browse The Credit Union’s Website

Most credit unions invest significant time and resources ensuring their website accurately portrays their values, which is something you can focus on during the call. Try to find the mission statement that sums it all up.

The About Us section is ideal for learning about a credit union’s history, who it serves (field of membership is important!), and more. Of course, you’ll also want to browse around to find out about the types of products and services it offers.

Get Your Materials Ready

Have your supporting materials ready to send immediately after the call while you’re still top of mind. In fact, consider sending them before the call to help your prospect prepare and formulate questions.

Make a big impact by creating a PowerPoint with graphs showing their credit union’s performance compared to your current clients. This makes it easy for them to see where your solutions can help. Callahan’s data software allows you to pull together these types of presentations in minutes.

Review Your CRM

Does your organization use a CRM like Salesforce or Zoho? Whichever platform you use, make sure to review the credit union’s and contact’s profile to look for previous interactions. Some even capture information such as the pages they’ve visited on your website.

If you don’t have a CRM, you still likely have some method for tracking the interactions you have with prospects. Go ahead and review any notes from there.

Brush Up On Your Credit Union Terminology

Banks and credit unions are similar in many ways, but there are big differences. For example, you don’t want to be on a call with a credit union talking about how your solution will impact its customers or clients. Credit unions have members who are owners of the cooperative. They take this difference seriously.

There are also many acronyms you might hear over the course of a call. FOM, SEG, NCUA, ROA, and the list goes on. The Credit Union Directory, available individually or through Callahan’s Media Suite, includes a listing of all the major acronyms to ensure you don’t get caught off guard.

That first sales call is your chance to make the best possible impression. Take full advantage of the opportunity. Focusing the right amount of time on preparation can be the difference between I’m ready to sign up and Maybe next year.

February 23, 2018

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