10 Symptoms of a Broken Sales Culture

broken or torn image of businessmen shaking hands
By Bob Romano , Barbara Sanfilippo

1 minute

Is your credit union guilty of any of these?

The Wells Fargo scandal has placed a magnifying glass on the sales practices at all financial institutions. If you answer yes to any of these 10 questions, your credit union’s selling practices may need tweaking.

  1. Our people are so incentive-­driven they sometimes avoid solving member problems in order to focus on opportunities that can lead to a sale and extra cash.
  2. Our staff makes excuses and avoids making onboarding calls so they don’t get to know the member well enough to generate follow-up opportunities.
  3. We’ve been using the same sales training approach for years, focusing mostly on identifying cues and matching a product.
  4. Our managers tell staff they need to generate more sales but they spend more time focusing on numbers and reports than actually coaching, observing and developing their staff.
  5. Our brand and/or mission statement says we are focused on improving the financial well-being of our members; however, our goals and incentives encourage a short-term “sell whatever you can” approach.
  6. We’re not growing organically because we focus heavily on walk-in and new members, neglecting to reach out and do relationship building with existing customers who no longer visit our branches.
  7. Our staff doesn’t consistently capture members’ conversations, life events, dreams and challenges in a member profile, so we really can’t anticipate members’ future needs and be viewed as a financial partner.
  8. Our staff has not embraced and adopted our customer relationship management system as a true relationship-building tool.
  9. Our onboarding and sales processes are very transactional and product- driven, which sometimes repels members.
  10. We have financial calculators and resources on our website, but our staff still functions more as order takers than financial coaches.



Bob Romano and Barbara Sanfilippo are co-founders of High Definition Banking®.

CUES Learning Portal