IMG_0250Our goal is to be our member’s primary financial institution. To do that we will need to cross-sell products that meet our member’s needs. And if we manage to get a bigger share of their wallet (say 3.67 services per household) we’ll have a profitable relationship and meet our goals. 

Sound familiar? Yuk. Also sounds, sterile, sales-y, and a little sleazy, in my opinion. What if we were to look at the new member experience as a first date.

How do you get that first date?

a) A friend recommends: “Hey, you should join my credit union and date my cousin.”

b) They respond to your advertising: “When you open a new account with us, you’ll get a free iPod and can I buy you a drink?”


c) They’ve done some research (on or “I like free checking, bill pay and long walks on the beach….”

You’re on this first date now (the member is sitting across from you) and it’s a little awkward so the best thing to do is strike up a conversation. You know, find some common bond.  

Good Ice-Breakers:

a) How did you hear about us?

b) What brings you in today?

c) Have you been a member of a credit union before?

Bad Ice-Breakers:

a) “Um, we’re gonna need to see your driver’s license and it’s $25.00 to join.”

b) “We have to make sure you are who you say you are (aka NOT a terrorist) before we can go any further.”

This would be like asking a first date to see their medical records and dating history before the cocktails come! Now, don’t get me wrong, all of these things are important, just NOT in the first five minutes.

I am considering dating. That is to say, moving my checking account. The thought of it makes me sick. I don’t want to have to “chat ’em up and be charming” so the MSR won’t put 20 day Nazi holds on my checks for the first 30 days. I’m gonna have to get to know them and trust them. What if I don’t like them?

It’s a big deal. My entire financial life – my mortgage payments, Netflix subscription, wine club, cell phone bill – everything is going to have to physically be moved over. Then I have to wait for my new VISA debit card. Give up the one with the photo of Portland, Oregon (that I love so much) and getting what? Stock art! A picture of a share draft with a fountain pen poised to write? Arrrggghhhh….

It’s a scary world out there. Clearly the press is not great when it comes to banking. Maybe I should just stay in the relationship I have. It’s been a long distance one for years now. Maybe I can hang in there a little longer…..