When it comes to selling products and services to financial consumers, need-based selling beats “product of the day” any day. Several factors impact a consumer’s decision to open a new checking account. In fact, the decision process varies as widely as account holders themselves.
One characteristic, though, seems to intersect all the decision factors, regardless of demographics — convenience. Whether it’s defined by branch locations near their errand or commute routes, ATM locations, or online and mobile features, convenience is king. (Why do you think so many financial institutions have branches in grocery stores?)
That said, there are six common reasons that cause account holders to go looking for a new checking account.
- They move to a new area. High school and college graduations or new jobs cause people to relocate, and their money must follow.
- They receive a better offer. Somebody gets in front of that consumer at the right time with an offer that resonates loudly with her or him.
- They can access more advanced features. Large ATM networks and convenient branch locations appeal to consumers — especially younger ones.
- They are dissatisfied with their current primary financial institution. Millennials, especially, won’t hesitate to express their dissatisfaction and make a switch.
- They want a variety of accounts / services. People use accounts for different purposes (bills, loans, small business, etc.) and may need different services associated with different accounts or financial institutions.
- They experience a life-changing event. Marriage, divorce, and the death of a spouse are common life changes that require people to open new accounts.
Additionally, it’s not unusual for account holders to have multiple checking accounts. This may be to manage household expenses, loans, education debt, etc. For example, an account holder may make all loan payments from one account and day-to-day expenses from another.
Here are some common reasons for having multiple checking accounts:
- Spouses maintain individual accounts and allocate household expenses from them
- Spouses maintain individual accounts for personal use and have a joint account for household expenses
- An account holder opens different accounts for different household expenses
- An account holder keeps a previous account open when opening a new account
- An account holder has a separate account for a home-based business
- Child or dependent needs an adult on a joint account
The above reasons for opening new accounts and having multiple accounts can give you an idea of the motivations impacting your prospects and account holders.
Remember that need-based selling is key. Find out what your target account holders are seeking and make them competitive offers on those products and services.
And don’t forget your existing account holders — as you can see, there are many good reasons for them to hold multiple accounts at once.