Check You're Not Seen In As Bad A Light As Your Bank's "Advisers"

I cannot hide it. I hold banksters in utter contempt.

Not just down to their casino capitalism and its obvious atrocities. I’m also thinking of my own personal and business banking.

I have been ripped off and misled over the past quarter-century so many times. On only one occasion was the “service” I received acceptable. And even that had to follow a nasty piece of maltreatment I suffered.

So I read with interest a tv personal finance commentator list ten pieces of monetary wisdom he would pass on to his younger self. And by association, to anyone just setting out in work today.

His fourth point was so on the money that it deserves to be re-broadcast in full;

A Bank’s Job Is To Sell To You

If mass hypnosis were possible, I’d use it so that every time people walked into a bank and saw the word ”adviser”, they’d see the word ”salesperson”. Banks sell.

When they offer a product it means it’s good for them; it doesn’t automatically mean it’s good for you. Just look at the various scandals – PPI, Libor, packaged bank account mis-selling and more. Billions wrongly taken from the trusting public through lies, fraud and hard sell.

The one silver lining is that this has increased the degree of scepticism with which the public treat banks. While it’s good to communicate with your bank, take its “advice” with a pinch of salt, and do your own reading and research to make your own decisions.

At various times my bank have hounded me with sales calls.

Yet their arrogance prevents them from seeing them as such.

They think they can command you to let them provide you the privilege of dedicating some of your hard earned with them. Just because they say so. Spend away. Because they’re your bank.

I once had a ludicrous conversation with one bank manager who demand that I trust him. When all the evidence was hugely that I should do the contrary.

What disaster awaits if our customers see us as vendors rather than partners.

Just the other day a pal of mine in retail was bemoaning the inability to find a recruitment consultant that doesn’t blindly insist on each of their suggested candidates being perfect for the job.

Banksters are a million miles from being seen as that much vaunted solution selling position, the Trusted Adviser.

So take a moment to think how they got there. Institutional disdain for the customer is rife. I’ve come across the odd corporate with similarly offensive cultures. You know the kind. I’ve even had contracts negotiated and then the rep has “mistakenly” slipped you the original, unamended, one to sign.

Being seen as out for your client is not the same as suggesting they can look elsewhere, either.

It’s not difficult. Asking what they want. Giving options. Explaining why which might be best. Transparency, not necessarily in terms of open book accounting, but certainly in terms of calculations and sensitivity.

To take a central point from the above quoted analyst, forget why what you propose is good for you. Focus on genuinely, collaboratively, finding out whether and why it is good for your prospect.

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