Don't Read This Blog Post.

Don't Read This Blog Post

Welp, you did it. 

You saw the title of this post and thought, "Oh yeah? Don't read it, huh? You don't know me. You can't tell me what to do, Internet stranger." You felt challenged and defiant. 

Or you wondered, "Hmmm...I wonder if there's actually something really interesting in here. Maybe it's something they don't want me to know, like they're giving away $1 million. I can't miss out on that kind of money if they're just giving it away for free!" You were afraid the opportunity would pass you by. 

Or maybe you asked yourself, "Oh what the heck? What could it hurt?" You didn't care about the consequences. 

So, what does this have to do with credit union marketing? 

...only everything.

Your members are wonderful people, but they are completely irrational, emotional, and unpredictable. Those aren't bad traits; on the contrary, they're preferred. Those traits make your members human!

Ask any frontline employee - members often come to the credit union to remedy a poor financial decision from the past, like closing their auto loan at the dealership and paying quadruple the rate your credit union was offering. Did it make sense? No. Did it feel convenient to have everything handled by the dealer after an afternoon of impulse shopping. You bet. 

Your member-facing staff will also tell you about times where they presented a member with a completely logical option - like trading his or her checking account with a $12 monthly fee for the credit union's free option - only to be met with a polite, "No, thank you." 

So, how do you combat your members being totally normal, illogical, emotionally-driven people?

Firstly, don't give up. Sales cultures have gotten a bad rap in the financial industry since the Wells Fargo scandal of 2016, but they take a different, more positive form when it comes to credit unions. Years ago I heard the best argument for cross-selling from the Vice President of Operations at my first credit union. He said, "Imagine if you took your car in for an oil change, and your mechanic saw a major problem with your engine but chose not to tell you. Then, 2 weeks later, your car breaks down on the side of the road...after you JUST had it in the shop. Wouldn't you be looking for a different mechanic?" We owe it to our members to tell them where they can save money in the short-term and achieve financial prosperity in the long-term; it's crucial we continue to do that, even if members don't always heed our advice.  

Secondly, look at the stories you're telling in your credit union's marketing. Without context, that competitive mortgage rate you're offering may fall flat with your membership. But when your marketing and staff work together to tell a story - a story about how a member could refinance their home, pay it off sooner, and save thousands to help put their child through college and prepare them for a more stable retirement...
Well, that story may just be compelling enough to guide any irrational, unpredictable, human member to make a logical choice!