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Are You Superman or Clark Kent?

Are You Superman or Clark Kent?

For comic book fans like me, the debate regarding one of our favorite super hero’s real identity has raged on for many years.

Is his true identity “Superman” or “Clark Kent”?

Is he really world-saving Superman or simply mild-mannered news-reporter Clark Kent?

Which is his authentic self and which identity truly describes his purpose?

What does this have to do with banking? Let me explain.

For many years I have asked Bankers and Salespeople “Why do you do what you do?”

And for most people the response is “I like helping people.”

My follow up question is usually:

“Do you genuinely like helping people or do you really like helping your bank (company) sell more products and services?”

Now before you respond (or suggest the answer is “yes” to both questions), I challenge you to consider what answer your customers and prospects prefer.

You see Clark Kent is an average citizen who works as a news reporter. He has a job to do. And he puts on the tights and cape only when he needs to “save the day” – which also helps him write a great news story.

Superman is an exceptional person who consistently uses his special powers to genuinely help others. He has no ulterior motive than to serve others and do good. He only wears a disguise to blend into the crowd and to take “time off”.

Everyone loves world-saving Superman, while everyone simply identifies Clark Kent as a news-reporter.

Everyone wants help from Superman, while they only need Clark’s help if they have a news story that needs promoting (or a bank account that needs opening).

Can you see where I am going with this analysis?

Are you a super hero that is genuinely committed to saving people from their financial anxieties and concerns …. or are you a mild-mannered banker that simply offers bank products when needed?

If you are a banker that genuinely “likes helping people” then I encourage you to PROACTIVELY HELP THEM, regardless of whether it results in a new bank account, loan or any other bank product.

Use your super powers (financial knowledge, local connections, etc) to become the hero your local community / market really needs and truly wants right now.

Here are four simple tips on how you can always be Superman (or Superwoman):

Reflect upon WHY you chose to become a banker. Is it just a job (Clark Kent) or do you really love helping people (Superman)?

The banking industry offers you a wonderful opportunity to be a super hero in your local community. ALL individuals and business owners need financial guidance to help them achieve their goals and overcome any challenges.

Now reflect upon WHY someone would choose you for help. WHY would they choose you to provide them with valuable guidance to achieve their financial goals or overcome their financial challenges?

Identify your real purpose for a career in banking (and in life) and fulfill that purpose with every engagement.

What is your unique super power that differentiates you from other bankers? What is your value proposition that attracts people to you? HOW do you uniquely help others?

I encourage you to identify your specific skill(s) that sets you apart from others. 

“Providing great customer service” is NOT a specific super power, but “being personable at all times and treating your customers like family” IS a super power. See the difference?

Identify how you specifically help others and share that super power with EVERYONE in your local community.


As a banker, you have access to valuable financial information, articles, contacts and other resources that can help people make better financial decisions.

It’s important that you collate these resources and share them with others for the sole purpose of providing them with beneficial guidance and support.

Recognize that you can significantly help people by being a finance professional (no matter how experienced you are) with access to free information you can share and a local network of experts you can introduce them to.  

Share with an authentic purpose of assisting, rather than gaining something in return. That’s what Superman would do.

I completely understand that it is important for a bank to open more deposit accounts and close more loans in order grow. And as bankers, it’s fundamentally your job to promote all your great financial services.

But that’s what Clark Kent does. He simply does his job every day. And that doesn’t really make him super or special in any way.

If you want to be recognized as Superman and authentically help as many people as possible, then I recommend you are not quick to sell your bank’s solutions.

Rather, be quick to offer professional advice to anyone and everyone regardless of whether they are likely to open an account or apply for a loan with your bank. 

Build trust and credibility …. don’t be a used car salesman. Understand needs and offer guidance …. don’t just recite features and benefits. Be a financial adviser …. not simply a bank employee.

By being Superman and authentically offering advice, you will soon be opening more accounts and closing more loans than Clark Kent ever will.

Successful bankers proactively and genuinely help others. That is what good, authentic finance professionals and sales people do. They don’t “sell”. They authentically help.

They create a target list of people in their community they would like to help and then develop/execute an activity plan to help them. No excuses. No false agendas. Just a proactive and genuine pursuit to help others. 

That’s what Superman does. That’s what successful bankers do.

When you understand why, when you share your specific value proposition and other valuable resources, and when you replace product pitches with financial advice …. you will soon become a successful banker too.


Be confident about your ability to help people. You work in an industry that makes it easy for you to be super …. so stop being mild-mannered.

By authentically sharing your super knowledge and resources you will become successful beyond your wildest dreams ….. and will have saved many people along the way.

Now that sounds pretty super to me!

In a world full of Clark Kents ….. ALWAYS be Superman!

Click the image below to watch Joe’s latest video blog.

Joe Micallef outlines the difference between Clark Kent and Superman. He also shares his five tips to help you become a banking super hero in your local community.



Article written by Joe Micallef – Sales Strategist & Coach – Grow UP Sales. For more advice on how to always be genuinely helping customers strategy please email or visit the webpage

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