Category Archives: Referral Generation

Tellers Make All the Difference


Think about the number of people the average teller sees in one week. Ten people a day, five days a week. That’s 50 people a week. In a year (48 weeks), that would be around 2,400 contacts.

Every organization has a certain set of “service” expectations for tellers, such as greeting the client/member by name, being courteous and pleasant, accuracy, closing the interaction with words of assistance, and the most valuable of all—creating awareness and making referrals.

Yes, I said valuable. There are dollars attached to creating awareness and referrals. If only 5% of the 2,400 contacts a teller makes during the year result in an account being opened, this would come to 120 new accounts. If the annual revenue of an account is based at $50 (and that is on the low side), the teller has generated $6,000 for the year. How many tellers are in your organization?

Very simply, have tellers use this phrase, “Has anyone told you…” Now, add in a benefit, “…how you can save time…” Finally, include the product or service “…with our 24-hour on-line banking?” “Has anyone told you how you can save time with our 24-hour on-line banking?” Now use this phrase with CONSISTENCY!

The client responds, “Tell me more.” At this point, the teller makes the introduction to the sales professional. “Let me introduce you to Amy, who can provide you with all the details.”

Script it with your team, role-play it, use it live, and let me know how much income the tellers in your organization generate next week.

Cynthia Whitmer Griffith is a Performance Results Network Results Consultant for Community Banks and Credit Unions at Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.

Turning Clients Into Referral Sources


When I first went looking for a job, I got a friend of my dad to give me a referral. He said he thought I was a hard-working young lady, and he was willing to go to bat for me. It was really important for me to have someone who could talk about my strengths and work habits.

So how come it’s so easy to forget the people who know us best when we’re working on getting new clients? That is…our current clients.

How many people have I sent to my hairdresser? Hundreds if not thousands in the last 10 years.

But here is an interesting fact: in private banking, more than 80% of clients say they would provide referrals, yet only 12% remember being asked. The better you are at relationship-managing your clients, the more likely you are to receive referrals—but you have to ask!

The best way I’ve found to ask is to use multiple-choice prompts, provide clues to the types of referrals you are looking for (including key attributes), and always close the loop and follow up. And make sure you discuss with the referral source what information will be disclosed and then inform the lead that you have permission to disclose it.

In our business, our best advocates are our clients so it really is malpractice on my part not to ask for a referral. So, “Did you find our conversation to be of value to you today? Thank you. Maybe you know of another colleague in another organization that could benefit from our services.”

Hands down, clients are the best advocates for your company when a job is well done. You have created the loyalty, and they are most likely to be helpful when they have received value.

And remember to ask. It’s like the lottery—you have to play to win.

Your thoughts?

Melissa Marvin is the Performance Results Network Director for Community Banks and Credit Unions at Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.