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March 9, 2021

Are You a Service Provider or a Finance Professional?

Are You a Service Provider or a Finance Professional?


When coaching bankers to achieve greater success, I always ask the question: “Are you a Service Provider or a Finance Professional?”


Invariably I receive a lot of mixed responses. Some say “Service Provider”. Some say “Finance Professional”. Some say “both”. Some say “why does it matter?”


The reason it matters is because in order to achieve greater success in a professional service industry like banking (or insurance, accounting, law, etc), it is essential that you extend yourself beyond simply responding to a client’s immediate request.


Your clients will always be interested in your valuable advice …. your expertise.

Regardless of your role at the bank, you have a heightened level of financial knowledge that could make a client’s life better.


So when you think about this question, I want you to consider these differences:


Service Provider (similar to a server at your favorite restaurant) is generally reactive and transactional, responding to the customer’s immediate request to ensure they are satisfied.


I have no doubt that the service you offer is memorable, but it is usually memorable for a moment and provides little additional value beyond what the customer needed at that time.


So is that our primary job in banking? To simply service our customers by responding to their requests.


It is to a server or waiter at a restaurant. But think about those servers who make a lasting impression.


They engage you in conversation. They ask you a question or two about the occasion you may be celebrating or about your taste preferences. They make suggestions. AND they create highly memorable experiences.


Now doesn’t that server deserve a BIGGER TIP?
Wouldn’t that bigger tip make it a MORE SUCCESSFUL shift for the server?


We may not get “tips” in banking, but we can certainly be rewarded in other ways if we ask our customers (clients) a few extra questions and offer recommendations.


Make the move towards being a FINANCE PROFESSIONAL. Stop simply being reactive and start being PROACTIVE.


Finance Professional (similar to a doctor or a mechanic) is very proactive …. exploring all their client’s needs/problems because they want them to be happy. They are focused on building a long term beneficial relationship with their clients as they expect to see them often.


A Finance Professional aims to be memorable for a lifetime by adding lots of value that will make their client’s lives better and help them achieve their goals.


As I stated earlier, it doesn’t matter what role you are in at the bank …. YOU ARE A FINANCE PROFESSIONAL.


To confidently position yourself as a Finance Professional and achieve greater success for your clients, your bank and yourself, I encourage you to consider these three practical tips:


  1. Take the time to pre-determine ALL your client’s potential needs and to study ALL the wonderful solutions you can offer.
  2. Develop new ways to start conversations with your clients about their broader needs by learning a few additional questions you can ask.
  3. Tell great stories about how you have helped other clients with similar needs.


It really does not take much effort to become the Finance Professional I know you can be. Just a little courage to move out of your comfort zone and a shift in your service mindset


This is my favorite Dr Seuss quote …. “You may think you’re only one person at your bank, but to your clients you are one person that can make a WORLD OF DIFFERENCE to their lives.” 


You just need to believe you can and learn some simple ways how.


Check out my short 4 minute video below for more personal insights on WHY & HOW to be a Finance Professional.



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

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