Peak Your Profits: Keep on dancing - What the banking business does right

Part two: Keep on caring


Here’s more of my conversation with Roxanne Emmerich, friend, talented business woman, speaker, author — “Thank God It’s Monday and one heckuva dancer!”

Jeff Blackman: You’ve consulted with lots of banks, what do banks and bankers do right, that’s applicable to any business?

Roxanne Emmerich: The good ones focus on customer success instead of customer satisfaction. Who wants to be satisfied with their bank if instead they can be wealthy and sleep at night because they are well taken care of.

They know how to help people buy what they need. When I work with non-bank clients, it’s the same thing.

Many banks/bankers think they have to be boring. It’s like they have pinstripes in their eyeballs, so they must be emotionally constipated! Who doesn’t want their banker to have some personality?! And really show some energy for making their customers’ financial dreams come true.

JB: What do banks/bankers blunder and botch, that should be avoided by any company?

RE: They look like every other bank, they even say it, “We’re a commodity.”

Thanks for sharing but that’s nuts! You’re not going to make it in any business if you’re a commodity. You better not only have a powerful unique selling proposition, but it better mean thousands of dollars of advantages to your customers. Every business can do that. Most are just too unaware and buy into and sell the commodity story.

JB: What impact will the U.S. government’s new “role/involvement” in banking have upon a bank’s performance, culture and ability to serve their customers?

RE: I’m not a fan. I’ve been to Canadian banks which are extremely socialistic, grey with zombies behind the desks. And we’re all going to be in a heap of trouble if banking here, starts to look like that.

Thank goodness for the community banks who never were involved in the funky stuff. They stayed about their business of making good loans to help communities thrive and most of them are still doing great doing the bread and butter job of banking. They’re still making loans and many are having record years! Nobody talks about that. It’s like with every industry, when times get tough, the smart businesses within an industry pull ahead.

JB: How do you handle the underachiever, who doesn’t take responsibility/accountability for their career/life and instead, blames others for their numbers or poor performance?

RE: That’s usually an attitude problem. To address it, I recommend “The Conversation.” It goes like this, “I’m so excited about where this team is going. My sense is you don’t share that excitement. And that’s okay. Maybe this isn’t your thing and if this isn’t your thing, you better go find your thing.”

Then ask them to let you know their decision the next day and walk away so they can ponder their navel.

What you’re doing, is letting them become aware they’re choosing to be a victim. Yet, if you say it that way, they won’t respond well.

So instead, you give “The Conversation.” It’s subtle, yet powerful. It teaches/shows... you’re not going to put up with pouting and they better make a choice within a day.

Attitude shifts can happen in a second. And they’re an inside job!

Lots of clients tell us amazing stories of how their worst performer became a superstar, seemingly overnight ... because they re-channeled their negative energy for gossip and complaints into productive and profitable uses.

JB: How does one prepare for Monday, on Sunday?

RE: Put on your game face and decide to have a “bring it on” attitude. (see part 1, for more ideas on this strategy) Every one of us, has things we could focus on that eventually would bum us out if we focused there for too long, i.e., imminent and unrealistic deadlines, conflicts with team members, demanding leaders, employees and customers, or limited resources. But if you always focus “there” you’ll have a bad day, every day! You need to choose to deal with those challenges with an attitude of being unstoppable!

JB: We both know, there ain’t any “quick fixes” so what’s a game plan for results, for an individual or company, over 30 to 90 days?

RE: You can get radically better results in as few as 30 days. We had one billion dollar organization that hadn’t grown more than 2 percent a year for a decade, grow 35 percent annualized the 30 days following a “kick-butt kick off.” (see part 1)

First, you have to stop buying your story that it can’t be done.

Then, you need to create a significant emotional event that radically changes the attitudes and behaviors of your people and gets them focused on customer success and excited about being unstoppable.

Then, you need to take one area that’s important to your breakthrough, show people exactly what to do and what not to do with a fun skit or playful “interruption.” Then measure it through mystery shopping or in some other way for at least three weeks, with results celebrated every week.

And most important, you need to make sure to keep those results visible and celebrated. All this must ride on the base of a significant emotional event where people make agreements of what they’ll create and what won’t be allowed any more in a “no kidding” kind of way.

And most important, it’s critical to understand that everything is a leadership issue. A result of something leadership has or hasn’t done.

I like to get leaders heads in the game, because most of them have resigned to mediocrity. I always ask each one, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how committed are you to a breakthrough?” If any one of them scores under a 10, we process the heck out of that until we get them to a 10.

Because if you have even one cynic, the entire team will see that and think, “This too shall pass.” Mind you, there are always several who do have a lower number or give that pathetic, “Well, I think I’m maybe, sorta, kinda a 10.” That’s normal and that’s why the business isn’t getting massive results. But, in one day, that can be cleared-up when they get you’re not buying that story any more.

To make it stick, you must have systems of rollouts, measurements, and celebrations that are non-negotiables. A new rollout of a moment of truth of customer service, or a sales process should happen every 60 days where they master yet another critical driver of future results.

Most important, keep it fun! With quantifiable results!

For more results, take a peek at

Jeff Blackman is a speaker, author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer who lives part-time on Marco Island. His clients call him a “business-growth specialist.” Send an e-mail to or go to to subscribe to his free e-letter.

© 2009 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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