financial products, immediately have a blank sheet of paper at hand ready to write on. Banking involves math / numbers = it is a visual science = it needs visual references. I've encountered only 20% of retail banking advisors who realize this and write / draw numbers / figures on paper at the time of explaining them to the customer. The remaining 80% keep talking like a radio and don't know when to stop!
Writing / drawing numbers / figures on paper at the time of explaining them to your customer will inevitably force you to keep your explanations clear, short, sharp, and to the point. While oral communication without the support of visual reference can easily go off on a tangent and end up going in loops, communication supported by visual reference keeps your oral explanations in check.
Especially if you're a financial professional with a highly mathematical brain [=highly visual], you'll highly likely be immensely knowledgeable about your banking products and the financial markets, but will often be immensely poor at calibrating to your customer's nonverbal communication. In this case you need to learn to calibrate [=get attuned] to your environment and observe your customer's body language. Is the customer taking notes? If yes, wait for the customer's cues that indicate s/he is ready to proceed. Is s/he fumbling around in his/her bag in search of a pen? Observe, wait, sense, and only continue speaking when you see the customer is in a receptive mode.
Be as procedural in your responses as you possibly can be. Customers who come to you to enquire about your banking / financial products want responses structured in the a-b-c, step by step form. Where, when, what, and how questions always seek step by step responses, while why questions always seek explanations where including options won't disturb the flow of the response.
Always respond EXACTLY to the content of your customer's question before you go into the over helpful mode of explaining products in areas of banking other then that which your customer asked you about. Example: if a customer asks about types of accounts that your bank offers, combine all the above stated tips to tell him/her about the types of accounts without going into the types of credit cards associated with any or all of those accounts. If you wish to explain about credit cards as well, finish responding about the types of accounts and THEN prefix the credit card section of your response with a phrase similar to "Some / each of our accounts have credit cards associated with them for your grater benefit. Would you like to know about any of them?" This will give the customer a higher sense of structure and completion with regard to your response, prepare him/her for the second section of your response, and give him/her the option to hear or not to hear the second section at all [which will save you time and energy if the customer chooses not to have the second section explained].
Be especially careful about your state of being at any time at the start, during, and at the end of your interaction with a customer. People are immensely prompt and accurate at picking up subtle energies from you and will quickly sense when you can't wait to get out of there once you finish with this customer, or when you're pushy for the sale or acquisition of that customer, or when you're so eager to help that you go into hyper mode and become tense, breathing high in the chest, and talking quickly and incessantly like a radio. Relax, breathe, be comfortable physically and mentally, and enjoy the job - or get out of the job if you don't totally enjoy working with people! False smiles and acting won't cut the mustard any longer in this day'n'age.
Respect people's privacy and SHOW THEM that you ARE respective it! There's nothing I hate more than when I go to a bank and the door on the office remains wide open for the entire branch to hear the content of my financial circumstances! An even worse case is when the advisor opens the conversation with a direct question about my financial circumstances WHILE WALKING INTO THE OFFICE! Wait til your customer is seated in the office and shut the door to show that you value your customer's privacy.
if you wish to establish rapport, you don't always have to do it by employing small talk! Take some time to observe your customer's verbal and nonverbal communication and you'll have a choice to establish rapport by subtly near-matching the customer's voice tone, volume, tempo of speech, posture, gestures, amounts of eye contact, head nodding, smiling, etc.
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