Do You Create Amazing Customer Experiences?
July 15, 2020
To Meet Or Not To Meet?
September 30, 2020
Do You Create Amazing Customer Experiences?
July 15, 2020
To Meet Or Not To Meet?
September 30, 2020



What a crazy year 2020 has been!?!

  • Banks have been reinventing the way they engage and help their customers.
  • Businesses have developed more creative approaches to generating revenue.
  • Families have discovered new careers, new work environments and a new perspective on raising/educating their children.

That’s right …. it has been a year of opportunity …. if you CHOSE it to be.



All too often, the phrase “what a crazy year 2020 has been” has been followed by stories of woe, misery and frustration. In fact I have heard many people wish the year was already over.

Don’t get me wrong. I acknowledge that 2020 has been a year of extraordinary hardship for most people.

I have experienced my fair share of hardship in 2020 including a derecho (inland hurricane) with 100 mph winds that ripped through my hometown of Cedar Rapids Iowa, damaging trees, power lines and buildings – including our newly built dream home.

As a self-employed professional Bank Coach, I have had many other reasons to lament the difficulties of 2020. Banks closed branches. Bank staff were working from home and/or busy with PPP loans. Banking Associations were cancelling conferences – that I was booked to speak at.

So I get it. It’s been challenging. But we all have a CHOICE.

We can CHOOSE to be REACTIVE and simply blame these circumstances and our current environment for our lack of success in 2020.

Or … we can CHOOSE to be PROACTIVE and take steps to improve our fortunes.

Successful people CHOOSE to be PROACTIVE …. no matter what the circumstances. They take responsibility for their growth and control of their actions.

Less successful people CHOOSE to be REACTIVE …. allowing external conditions and uncontrollable events to influence their performance. They continually make excuses for their lack of action.


Make “Being Proactive” a New Habit

One of the best (and most popular) self-help books I have ever read is Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. It changed my life over 25 years ago and it will have an impact on yours.

Stephen Covey has consistently proclaimed that the MOST important habit is the first one: Be Proactive.

“Successful people think before they act. They know they can’t control what happens to them, but they can control their response.

If you’re proactive, you don’t have to wait for circumstances or other people to create perspective expanding experiences. You can consciously create your own.”

Powerful, thought-provoking stuff. But only if you want it to be. That’s your choice.


Reactive Bankers vs Proactive Bankers

For years, I have noticed that less successful bankers are generally reactive. They wait for the phone to ring. For customers to walk into the branch. For people to come up to them at an event.

Reactive bankers are generally “Service Providers”. Each day they react to customer requests and perform the tasks required.

Yes …. they diligently processed hundreds of PPP loans this year but many struggled with the long hours, system challenges and failed to recognize the bigger opportunity.

Reactive bankers have allowed the current environment to affect their attitude and their performance.

They chose to make excuses rather than make an effort.

Highly successful bankers are proactive. They make calls. Seek new meeting opportunities. Make many new contacts at networking events.

Proactive bankers are “Finance Professionals”. Regardless of the economic conditions, they find ways to proactively help others by exploring their broader needs and offering valuable advice/solutions.

Proactive bankers leveraged the PPP process and low interest rate environment to generate many new clients and expand their relationships with existing ones.

As I highlighted earlier, they recognized that 2020 was an opportunity to reinvent the way they engage and help their customers.

They CHOSE to make an effort. They found a way …. not an excuse.


Three Simple Tips To Help You Be Proactive

1. Set personal (and professional) goals that you are deeply passionate about. Goals that will motivate you to make an effort and find a way.

2. Consider the impact the current environment is having on your ideal customers and offer (or develop) solutions that can help. Believe that your solutions will make a huge difference in your customer’s life.

3. Identify what actions you can take to engage your customers. Create an activity plan and stick to it. Further develop/learn the skills and beliefs you need to confidently execute your activity plan.


The Future is Bright …. If You CHOOSE It To Be

Most reactive people have already written off “gloomy 2020”. They are looking forward to a “brighter 2021”. But who knows what next year brings?!?

As Stephen Covey famously said …. “Proactive people carry their own weather with them”

Now that is certainly profound, considering I experienced a derecho this year ….. that is, a “derecho” of new business opportunities because I remained proactive in my efforts to help others.


Article written by Joe Micallef – Sales Strategist & Coach – Grow UP Sales. For more advice on how to be more proactive and successful  please email or visit the webpage

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