By David Simula, Managing Director at EPIC Platforms.
Did you know that McDonald's once submitted a 55 page patent request for the process on how to assemble a sandwich? They sure did.
While one might argue that a process so complex could only confuse, it's difficult to argue against the success of this food service behemoth. Ask any McDonald's franchise owner and they'll tell you, they've got a proven process for everything. Right down to the "McDonald's Way" to salt the fries.
Let's pull a few observations from their insistence on going by the book, and look for transferable applications to sales and service within financial institutions.
First, let's begin with the end in mind, a consistent customer experience. Why are people comfortable about eating at a McDonald's wherever they go, even in foreign countries? They know what they're going to get. Financial Institution application: Trust. "I know what to expect when I go there. They make me feel important and help me find solutions to my money matters." If people don't trust your firm and your employees, they'll be moving on, and taking their money with them.
Next, let's think about employees. If you're reading this, you're likely reading this same purport from others. The evidence is overwhelming; employees want to know what is expected of them. Think about McDonald's and their employees. Their processes give their employees simple maps to follow to get to the end. When an employee knows clearly "which lane to run in," they can focus on running. Why do kids, and some adults, love dot-to-dots? All they have to do is follow the numbers to create a masterpiece. Well, okay, a duck with somewhat crooked wings. But you get the point. Financial institution application: Engaged employees. When tested and proven processes are implemented and followed, employees can feel their increasing competency, which leads to increasing confidence, a critical component to any successful salesperson. Profile a top producer in your firm or any other, and you'll be certain to find regular success habits and processes that are leading to their successes. From the macro processes of appointments per day and how they dress, to the micro processes of phone and appointment scripts and the sales process they use to uncover needs and make recommendations, they're following a dot-to-dot.
Lastly, what about the observation and application for managers and owners? While the idea of giving employees maps to follow and then telling them, "See you at the end" sounds appealing, let's face it. Most of your salespeople need more than that, especially if you believe that most great salespeople are made, not born. Consider the McDonald's manager. A well defined process enables both trainer and employee to see what the expectations are. The standard is set. Using simplicity, groups can be trained. Then, using compassion and patience, that standard can be coached to. If Quarter Pounders with cheese are going out the drive through without cheese and in McNugget boxes, there's a simple way to address the room for improvement. Financial institution application: Regular, predictable, growing streams of revenue. Salespeople who are being grown through the use of a strict adherence to a well defined sales process become part of teams that realize their potential. Sales managers who subscribe to this belief and diligently hone the process by adopting the success habits of their top performers will consistently rank at the top of their peers. This same process can also be used to help to develop those on their teams who are not using the proven process. Many groups of employees need continual reminders of the importance of using a sales process, as well the need to revisit the basic components to be certain that competencies are progressing. These processes need to be simple enough to learn and do, while being effective enough to generate revenue.
Who says fast food is bad for you? You just have to know how glean what you can from it. Without having to go to McDonald's, or McDonald's University, we've learned a few things. A carefully crafted sales process can lay the foundation to increasing customer trust, increasingly engaged employees, and regular, predictable growing streams of revenue.
Honest answers to these questions, and actions based on those answers can help keep you on the road to ever increasing profits as you're building your own brand.
EPIC Platforms has a closely guarded, ten year tested and proven simple sales process for developing elite Licensed Branch Employees (LBEs) and Financial Consultants. This proprietary and semi-customizable sales process is available for private labeling and has also been used by EPIC for clients in sales organizations outside of financial services.
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