The Rainmaker in Business Development

“We have 537 Select Employer Groups.” Pick a number, but how often have we heard this kind of boast? It can be the boast by a multi-common bond or a community field of membership credit union. Is this model of adding hundreds of small businesses into our FOM really creating anything other than incremental growth of members and balances? Is there a better way to grow scale in a community or multi-SEG FOM?

Here comes the Rainmaker.

The Rainmaker is a reference to the great dust bowl times. Agricultural towns across the Midwest and West were dying because they could not grow their crops. They got desperate and as history repeats itself, whenever a population gets desperate there are fast talking con men ready to take their money for a promise they could not deliver on; in this case the promise was to make rain and bring in bountiful crops. In today’s lexicon a Rainmaker is a person that can bring the metaphorical rains that will yield a bumper crop. A sales person that can close big deals with big opportunities.

We know that employer groups of 5, 10 or 20 employees will never create significant growth of balances and assets or change any key ratios. What the credit union needs are large companies, 500 or more employees. These kinds of SEGs will drive growth. To land these whales, the credit union needs to hire a Rainmaker, a person that can close big deals and talk with top executives at prospective companies.

But, landing the big SEG is only half of the strategy. The other half is getting engagement, putting in place all of the tactics that will result in getting the employees engaged in our products. These tactics need to include email, direct mail, out-bound calling, “bank” at work days, lunch and learns, wellness fair and benefits fair participation and the continuous work to make the SEG’s HR department’s life and the employees’ lives easier.

Manage 100s of small business SEGs or 50-100 large business SEGs, which is a more efficient and effective way of growing the credit union’s assets, balances and members?

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