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How to Be a Better Banker: Stop Selling Transactions, Start Fulfilling Transformations

When you think of selling or introducing a client to a new product, it’s easy to practice transactional selling, spouting out investment regulations, competitive interest rates, timelines, and other package features. But is this really what your client wants to hear about first? When you explain the features and attributes, their eyes may glaze over and they might think, “Why should I care?” That is the question you want to answer for them, before touting all the bells and whistles. By answering this question, you’re delivering them a transformation— what their life will look like if they accept this new offer. This is known as Transformational Selling™. Continue reading to learn how to be a better banker who delivers transformations and becomes a trusted advisor for their customers.  

1. Actualize Your Purpose the Right Way

Purpose matters to you and your company, and your work is an optimal way for you to live out your purpose.  

In a Purpose-Driven Banking study conducted by Accenture, they identified that: 

  • “Purpose-Driven Banking Leaders achieved an average return on equity that was three percentage points higher than that of other banks in the study.”  
  • For employees “one in three strongly agrees that the mission or purpose of their organization makes them feel their job is important.”  
  • “53% of customers are attracted (after price and quality) to companies that put purpose before profit and do the right thing for their customers, their employees, and the world.” 

But do you know how to clearly articulate your purpose and align it with your company and customers? Do you know how to demonstrate your purpose through the work you do with clients? Knowing the answers to these questions is imperative to becoming a Transformational Seller and successful banker. 

My tip for you: don’t use your company’s purpose as an overarching branding tool or marketing strategy. While it’s the tie that binds your people and profit, personalize it for employees, customers, and communities. Then it will be a powerful way to drive growth and generate shareholder value.  

2. Adopt a Financial Well-Being Strategy

A top priority for customers and their bankers is trust. 

According to a Statista survey, “among more than 75 thousand bank customers across 32 nations worldwide, the most important factor when thinking about their bank was trust. In fact, trust ranked first across every country surveyed.” 

Trust is often built by bankers looking out for their customer’s financial well-being. 

However, according to Accenture’s 2020 Global Banking Consumer Study: “29% of customers trusted their bank to look after their long-term financial wellbeing, down from 43% two years before.” 

So, to stand out among the banking crowd and bolster your banker skills, you need to build trust with your clients by focusing on their well-being.  

Financial well-being is your clients being financially healthy and wealthy. It’s the ability for your customers to spend less, save more, carry sustainable debt, and plan for the unexpected.  

Gallup found that customers who said their bank looked after their financial well-being were more engaged and had a higher net provider score (NPS). This means your customers are likely to do more business with you and refer and recommend you to their friends and family. 

The offers you sell are how you facilitate a financial well-being transformation for your clients. Put your clients’ financial well-being first and foremost, and you will be rewarded with more clients, profit, and impact. 

3. Don't Settle for Relational Selling

Relational selling is focused on building strong and reliable relationships. The emphasis is on the know, like, and trust factor.  

In Tara-Nicholle Nelson’s book, The Transformational Consumer, she states that the primal motivation behind most purchasing decisions is transformation—the Transformational Consumer seeks to live healthier, wealthier, and wiser lives. They engage with brands that help them make the change they seek for themselves. 

Here’s a graphic to show you the difference between transactional, relational, and transformational selling: 

Your clients don’t only want a relationship with you. They want a financial wellness partner who will help them be, do, and have what they want and need. They want someone who helps them see what is possible for themselves. 

Banker Skills to Practice and Strengthen Today

Actualizing your purpose, creating a financial well-being strategy, and moving beyond relational selling, will all help you become a better banker. But here are some skills to focus on in today’s banking landscape to nurture your clients even more:  

  • Customer service etiquette.  
  • Problem-solving abilities. 
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.  
  • Teamwork and collaboration with fellow employees and your clients (it’s not you against them—you’re one team). 
  • Honesty, transparency, and integrity.  

How Will You Improve Your Banking Skills?

Now you’ve learned how to be a better banker who prioritizes your customers’ transformations, experiences, and wellness. If you’ve already been practicing some of these techniques—amazing! If not, find what works best for your process and hone it until you feel confident to call yourself a Transformational Seller and trusted advisor. Afterall, you’re so much more than a banker—you’re a transformation deliverer.  

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