How strong leadership can boost credit union employees’ sales confidence

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Leadership starts at the executive level, but it shouldn’t stop there – all of your employees can be leaders in their own right, with competence and confidence in their abilities. The more capable they feel, the better they will be able to perform exceptionally, and sell products and services that fit the needs of current and potential members at your credit union.

The key to sales is delivering a compelling, cohesive and assured message. Here are five ways you can inspire sales confidence in your employees to deliver that message effectively:

  1. Treat everyone with respect. As a credit union leader, you expect your employees to come in each day and perform their best. You hope that you have the leadership skills to inspire respect in your team members, but keep in mind that respect is a two-way street. Treat your employees with the same attitude you expect from them. Employees who feel valued are more productive in their work, and are empowered to perform better when they aren’t micromanaged.
  2. Acknowledge successes. Whether it’s a new sale or a positive member interaction, let your employees know when they are doing a good job. Small wins can get lost in the day-to-day grind, but it’s important your employees know that you notice their contributions to the credit union. Rewarding smaller successes inspires confidence in employees that they can meet their goals and win new business. Consider giving employees rewards like a gift card to a popular lunch spot for meeting sales goals.
  3. Delegate management and coaching responsibilities. Although leadership starts at the top, leaders of credit unions must assign responsibilities to others to succeed. Identify people at your branch who are willing to take on bigger sales initiatives and give them the opportunity to teach others their skills – everyone will learn something new, and your employees will know you trust their abilities.
  4. Provide employees with challenging goals. Providing challenging goals helps your employees extend themselves beyond their comfort zones and grow professionally. If they are meeting sales metrics, increase their goals reasonably. If you see an employee performing well, give them larger tasks to take on. Let them make decisions and judgment calls on how to manage a member relationship or new sales initiative. Ownership of a project can increase motivation.
  5. Listen. Listening is a core component of leadership. Listen to your employees and let them know you hear what they are saying. What are their goals and how can you help them achieve them? What kind of work do they get the most fulfillment from? If your employees feel they can’t talk to you, they certainly won’t feel confident in meeting with prospects to sell business. You also need to take action and make changes that take your employees’ opinions into account.

By listening to your employees, acknowledging their work and providing opportunities for them to lead, you can inspire confidence which will boost sales at your credit union. No one wants to buy from someone who doesn’t personally buy in to their organization’s mission and believe in what they are selling. It’s up to management to promote a supportive, positive sales culture.

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