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A Cross-Sell Tactic that Brings in New Customers

To a large degree, cross-sell marketing efforts and new customer acquisition campaigns are mutually exclusive.  They target different audiences.

But, like all things in life, there are always exceptions.

In the case of bank and credit union marketing, one of the exceptions is seminars, webinars, and workshops – particularly in-person seminars and workshops.

I was reminded of this the other day when my local credit union sent its customers an email consisting of a list of forthcoming webinars and workshops in the greater Sacramento area during the month of September.

Shown below, when printed it is three pages long with the final page being devoted to the lengthy, yet seldom read, disclosures required for investment products.

It’s only recently that webinars have taken the place of some of the in-person seminars and workshops held at a local branch or designated meeting place such as the local library.

This particular list consists of 15 events – nine webinars and six in-person events.

While this list was sent to customers via email, the intended audience includes non-customers as evident by the second sentence in the opening paragraph: “Our seminars are open to everyone and are designed to provide a relaxed atmosphere, free from any pressure or obligation.

Opening them to everyone makes good business sense.

Customers making the effort to attend an in-person seminar often feel more comfortable bringing other family members, co-workers, friends, and neighbors.  It eliminates the uncertainty that goes with attending an event where you probably don’t know anyone.  And it provides the credit union with an audience of potential new customers.

Webinars are a bit different in that the attendees are invisible to the moderator even though registration is required.  After all, who knows how many people are really watching the screen and listening to the sound in any one room.

Credit union management is hoping that some of the non-customer attendees are impressed with both the moderator and the quality of the presentation to the point where they’ll consider becoming a new customer.  Plus, there’s the peer pressure from the current customers who invited them to participate.

Basically, webinars, seminars, and workshops are a two-fer – a cross-selling event and a new customer outreach activity.

What I find odd is how few banks and credit unions spend the time, money, and effort required to hold such events on an ongoing basis, month after month, year after year.  During my long bank marketing career the three banks I worked for rarely held such events.  When we did so, it was generally during IRA season.

True, it’s not easy putting together a variety of presentations and finding someone engaging to do them week after week.  While the subject matter is critical, success is almost entirely dependent on the personality and skills of the presenter or moderator.  Done poorly and you’ll never get customers to attend future events.

To me it’s obvious that such events can be successful as my local credit union has been doing them on a monthly basis for as many years as I can remember.

If your bank or credit union isn’t holding webinars, seminars, and workshops for current customers and their friends, you should consider testing them.  But before you do, see if you can find one of your competitors conducting them and attend.

They are simply another outreach effort to cross-sell existing customers and attract new ones.  With fewer and fewer people visiting their local branch, such events – especially those held face-to-face – help build and maintain a bond between your institution and your customer base.

TagsBank Marketingcompetitorscredit union managementcredit union marketingcross-sell marketingcross-selling eventinvestment productsIRA seasonlocal librarymoderatornew customer acquisition campaignspeer pressureSacramento areaseminarsSeptemberwebinarsworkshops