business development

Business Development From a Distance

We business development professionals thrive on interacting, helping people face to face, being in our communities and at our SEGs. But now, during these unprecedented times, we are being challenged to rethink our approach to business as usual.

Fortunately, we are problem solvers. As servant leaders within our communities, now, is when we, as credit unions, are needed most.

It’s time for action.

Here are a few ways we can change it up to continue delivering the service and solutions members need.

Be the turnkey solution for Human Resources at your SEGs. They are in unchartered territory and their time and priorities for now, will constantly be shifting. Our communication needs to be easy for them to share.

Provide relevant content that can be easily distributed through the SEGs communication channel (Intranet, email etc.) to all their employees. Lead with education that addresses employees’ most pressing concerns and how you can help.

A few ideas to consider include:

  • Skip-a-pay on loans
  • Information on the safest way for employees to access money
  • Waive fees
  • Special low rate loans to help those in need
  • Financial wellness workshops via webinar such as Coronavirus and Your Money, What You Need to Know or Top Financial Moves to Make During a Pandemic etc.

If you don’t have videoconferencing capabilities – sign up for Zoom or a similar service. Pronto. This is a way your business development team can interact with members if working from home. Videoconferencing allows your team to provide the personal face to face time members need now for answers and reassurance. Send your SEGs information they can share about videoconference options. Members are filled with anxiety and financial stress, be there for them, including, if necessary, during evening hours. According to Prudential Financial, 54% of Americans report not being financially prepared to manage a contagious disease outbreak that furloughs them for several weeks. How can we ease that for them?

Help your community. Collaborate and support small businesses in your community. Be creative. We are all in this together.

Call local stores and brainstorm partnership opportunities that can be mutually beneficial. Maybe they would be willing to offer your members a discount, or your credit union could buy and distribute gift cards from them in bulk that members can use to purchase items online. To help your favorite eatery, maybe your credit union can sponsor DoorDash or UberEats delivery charges that could be waived for members.

Families relying on meals from schools will be struggling. Donate or coordinate with food banks to help families in need when schools are closed. Talk to schools about either fundraising or donating much needed laptops or tablets for remote learning.

These are high value activities business development can spearhead. Think outside of the box in finding solutions that will help the people in your communities get through this. Share ideas on your website members need right now like: 5 free ways to entertain your family while at home, How to supplement your income, Scams to avoid, etc.

We are all servant leaders in our credit union movement. At times like this we must be creative and find new ways to engage. It’s not enough to rely only on our normal channel of email communication directly to our members. Our reach needs to be bigger, broader, and encompass more people within our communities. Let’s show everyone how we live the credit union difference, especially in these challenging times.

Previously published by CUInsight