You’ve probably heard the saying, “everyone is in sales.” While that is certainly true, I would amend it for credit unions: “everyone is in business development.” Yes, everyone. Business development is not a person. Business development is not a department. Business development is a strategy and a culture.
Let’s examine some key people who are responsible for doing business development at your credit union:
- Your CEO—The days of the CEO sitting behind their desk crunching numbers are long gone. A significant portion of a credit union CEO’s job is to network. Let’s be honest: there are certain doors and conversations your CEO can open and have that a traditional business development officer cannot. Your CEO should sit on chamber boards, become active in the community and serve other organizations.
- Your Branch Managers—Branch managers are a lot of things (coach, teller, loan officer, janitor, etc.). But branch managers are also entrepreneurs. That means they should be out more than they are in. Just like your CEO, you should actually require branch managers to participate in so many community activities. It is now a part of their job description. And being out doesn’t just mean attending a chamber event (it requires involvement).
- Your Executive Team—This means anyone on your management team (including your accounting or IT manager). Yes, those back office and support vice presidents should also serve in the local community as well. While they may not have natural networking skills, it sends a strong message to potential SEGs if all your executives are involved.
- Your Tellers and Front Line Staff—What, tellers do business development too? Yes, absolutely. When you make those on-site visits take front line staff (tellers, loan officers, member service reps, etc.) with you. Then when members and potential members from those businesses return to your branch they will see a familiar face.
The position doesn’t matter, but the mindset does. Everyone wants their credit union to grow. But that growth does not happen automatically. And that growth is not tied to any one person or area. The more you involve everyone in business development, the more your credit union will grow. Why? Because everyone is in business development.
Mark Arnold, CCUE, is an acclaimed speaker, brand expert and strategic planner. He is also president of On the Mark Strategies, a consulting firm specializing in branding and strategic planning. Some of the services Mark provides include strategic planning, brand planning, leadership/management training, marketing planning and staff training. His web address is markarnold.com and his blog is blog.markarnold.com. You can also contact him at 214-538-4147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.