Star Banc Corp.'s cash management division has devised a simple yet compelling software tool to market its products to corporate customers.
The Cincinnati-based bank has developed a PC-based demonstration diskette that explains how its cash management products can help potential clients.
Susan Brown Whitman, vice president of corporate cash management services at Star Bank, said she was surprised to find that many businesses in the bank's markets were unaware of the cash management services being offered.
The software diskette, called Star Bank Technologies, cuts through the confusion or lack of information at many businesses that try to assess how these services could increase company profits, she added.
Ms. Whitman said she had found that executives often didn't have time to learn about these services and were indifferent to the bank's sales efforts, especially when they came in the form of bankers "speaking in acronyms."
"A lot of people were frankly embarrassed to ask questions about what cash management was," Ms. Whitman said. "The demonstration diskette really electrifies sales because it makes the uninformed consumer a really informed consumer quickly."
Star Bank, a $9.2 billion-asset bank holding company with branches in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, sends out demonstration programs to existing and potential clients. The bank soon follows with phone calls.
Ms. Whitman said the program was developed by the bank's management information systems group and took six months to complete.
She said the program has already paid for itself by bringing in more than 100 new customers.
The demonstration diskette is Microsoft Windows-based and interactive.
It was designed for companies of all sizes, including large corporations.
It offers definitions and overviews of lockbox, controlled disbursement, balance reporting, and funds transfer services. It also explains how these cash management services work together.
Larry Forman, market research manager at Ernst & Young, said he was unaware of any banks using diskettes to market cash management products, but he called it a "good approach," since it allowed the sales force to have greater coverage.