We understand that commercial loan leads are often produced by word of mouth with loan officers who have local relationships. To add to this traditional approach, our team has found two proven marketing tactics that will help generate commercial loan leads for your bank. In this article we will guide you through those two tactics. Let’s jump straight in!
#1 Google AdWords
While Google AdWords can sometimes be expensive, it can allow you to reach a much larger audience than the just the leads in your local, relationship based area. Adwords is the closest you can get to selling, but it’s still marketing. If you have run Adwords in the past and not had a lot of success or you are just starting out, read on.
How You Win
The key to winning with Google AdWords is having a target audience to focus on. And then, knowing your audience as best you can before you start. Purposeful keywords can allow you to target a specific niche like investors or business owners looking to expand. Copy/Text is the way you win with Google Adwords. Knowing your niche audience helps you to write an ad that resonates with their needs as they search for a solution.
While Google AdWords can be beneficial, there is a downside that must be kept in mind. At times, Google AdWords lacks consistency because it is based on a number of factors that don’t always work in your favor. Popular keywords, demographics, geography and market conditions are just a few of the major factors that will affect the success of your ad campaign.
Here is an example of how the market can affect your ad campaign:
Generally speaking, COVID has caused people to pull back from investing. So, with the market being down, someone searching for new construction loans in your immediate area may present a problem. However, looking to different market segments or geographic areas that are still growing can help you tailor your campaigns to find better results.
Recently we helped a Central Florida community bank find success during this time in South Florida, a region outside their local community. We ran a short targeted commercial loan Adwords campaign in the entire state of Florida but targeted South Florida as a hot spot that we identified in our research from prior campaigns. This knowledge helped us deliver many qualified loan leads which turned into three deals.
Knowing your target audience is the key to an Adwords campaign. You always want to have some prior knowledge about your audience and then adapt your knowledge to the current market conditions.
When Google AdWords works, it works well. With that said, you have to calculate for yourself what kind of budget makes sense to invest. Consider what you want to get from your efforts and pay attention to the details as you get results on a daily or weekly basis. Whatever you do, DO NOT set it and forget it. You will lose money.
The bottom line: It helps to know what you’re doing with Google AdWords. Hiring professionals to plan and run campaigns is a good idea if your team is limited in your knowledge about the platform. But if you have been giving it a good shot and still struggling to find success, consider implementing these concepts:
• Understand your audience deeply
• Optimize through experimentation
• Adjust based on market data
#2 Supporting the Outside Rep with a Selling System
As we mentioned above, the traditional approach for most banks is to lean on their loan officers and their relationships. But most sales people inherently have limits. They can only make so many connections each day until they burn out and building a personal brand is still a very new concept for most bankers.
Our solution is to put in place a system that will support your loan officers and give them extended bandwidth in front of potential prospects. Instituting a cohesive selling system can boost accountability, efficiency, knowledge of which leads to pursue and more. Setting up a selling system that brings internal and external efforts together on the same page, working in one accord to close new deals.
What a System Provides
• A selling system gives the loan officer structure in their day and makes them more efficient.
• They can manage all of their prospects in one place which allows the bank to leverage that data for other marketing and selling efforts.
• They can more effectively map their quarterly goals to daily tasks.
Here is an example of how a system can optimize your best and worst employees:
It supports your best officer, who naturally knows where to spend their time and with whom. They can identify who is a good lead and who is not. They can increase their productivity and challenge their personal sales goals.
It supports your worst employee so they can be held more accountable to company goals and tasks. A selling system is a built in training mechanism to coach under performing loan officers up into a greater success.
The bottom line: The alternative to an efficient selling system is each sales person coming up with their own system, with some having more success than others. How they approach the day, how they prospect their list of leads and how they go about generating leads. Let’s face it, managing multiple loan officers, each with their own approach can become a management nightmare. It often results in a lot of random conversations that are hard to assess, except that some have sold a lot and some haven’t sold anything.
The more structured this is the more success you will have as a bank. Instead of telling your under performers “why can’t you be like your older brother”, give them all a system and train them by it. It is a clear cut way of managing and produces better results.
The individualized approach to managing takes time, energy and resources away from management, leads to a high percentage of employee churn and requires multiple hires and rehires. \
Does any of this resonate with you?
There are other ways to increase commercial loan leads like brand building and culture building, but these are the top 2 tactics we’ve seen working right now.