When I Grow Up…I Want to Be a Salesperson
in League Initiatives
By: David Frankil, NJCUL President/CEO

We all knew someone like this growing up. They had two paper routes. In the summer, split time between cutting grass for neighbors and manning a lemonade stand right by the bike path. A couple of years later in high school, they learned to do magic tricks, performing at kids’ parties to save money for a car.

Those friends were born salespeople, which sometimes carries a negative connotation, especially from people that have never been in a sales role. The very best salespeople are those that take the time to understand what a prospect needs, and then work like the dickens to meet those needs – or walks away if they can’t. That is the definition of consultative selling, and it is a perfect fit for the credit union ethos.

But how many people with this skill set work at credit unions?

Not many. It’s usually a different set of values that draw people to work in the industry, but those revered “people helping people” values can work hand-in-hand with learned cross-selling skills to drive the employee and the credit union to success. 

Everybody agrees that lending lies at the core of credit union growth strategies. Once you get past the fundamental transactional infrastructure, there is one element crucial to success – the business development and consultative selling capabilities of your lending team.

The good news is that those skills can be developed even if you’re not a born salesperson. There are plenty of training options out there, but they come with costs – usually the better part of a week out of the office, plus travel to a distant city, which means significant hotel and travel expense.  Plus the training itself is expensive. All of which means that many credit unions can’t afford to train more than one or two people at a time – or maybe not even one person.

We took that on as a challenge at NJCUL, to identify a solution we could bring to NJ that would provide a cost-effective and local training option for our members. Timing is everything – just as we began to look, our friends at CUNA Mutual Group came up with a solution – ULEND Academy.

ULEND Academy is a streamlined two-day workshop that covers all the ground a typical week-long program does – at a far more CU-friendly price, and local too. NJCUL is one of the first of three Leagues in the country to offer it.

Click here for a more detailed overview, but ULEND Academy matches the other conferences topic-for-topic, including –

  • Social Savvy
  • Plan & Prep
  • Consultation
  • Structure the Loan
  • Underwriting
  • Present the Right Solution
  • Close with Purpose
  • Channel Optimization

We’ve also structured the training to make it as convenient as possible - one session in North Jersey (Aug 22-23, at North Jersey FCU in Totowa) and second one in South Jersey (Aug 24-25, at ABCO FCU in Willingboro).

As for price, we’ve kept that reasonable: discounted NJCUL Member cost for the two-day session is $599 per attendee ($999 for non-members). The registration includes all meals, breaks, refreshments, and conference materials.

Learn more and register here, or for questions contact Barbara Agin at bagin@njcul.org.