Stephanie Schwenn Sebring

Building the SEG Relationship

The most important thing any credit union can do is build relationships.

From the CUES “Cultivate SEG Relationships” article and my interview with CU consultant, Sean McDonald.

…Tools are useful, but they can never replace the credit union’s responsibility for serving its SEGs. “There’s a common misconception that with electronic banking and community charters, SEG marketing is no longer relevant,” says Sean McDonald, credit union consultant, president of Your Full Potential (www.yfptips.com), and founder of The Credit Union Business Development Academy.

“The CU is still responsible for serving its SEGs and keeping a strong foothold within sponsor companies,” he explains.

The most important thing any credit union can do is build relationships. “Look for ways to cultivate relationships and appreciate the partnerships you already have,” says McDonald. This enables you to add value to the companies you serve.

He also offers that a hard-core sales approach, using cold calls and other intrusive sales tactics, is no longer effective (if it ever was). McDonald is a fan of sales guru Jeffrey Gitomer and lives by Gitomer’s philosophy that people “love to buy, but hate to be sold.”

“Use this approach with your own SEG marketing,” says McDonald. Avoid using products as a differentiator within your market. “Everyone has a great checking account or low loan rates; these aren’t factors that separate you from the competition.” When you fulfill employee needs, growth will take care of itself.

In addition, become active with local civic groups by participating in committees or serving as a resource for counterparts, suggests McDonald. “Build these relationships with the centers of influence.” Take the chamber CEO out to lunch or network with your city’s mayor; these connections naturally lead to more business. And finally, “If you don’t have a robust SEG strategy in place now, you’re losing market share. Lost opportunities mean loss of business.”

– See more at CUES CU Management Magazine: http://www.cumanagement.org/article/view/id/Cultivate-SEG-Relationships?page=2#sthash.Hq74bfV2.dpuf

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