Your bank leadership is telling you that you need to be using Vertical IQ to prepare for every client or prospect call. And…maybe you’ve even popped into it to see what the big deal is.

But how do you leverage it to your advantage?

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by all of the industry information within Vertical IQ’s 350+ Industry Profiles, you’re probably not alone. After all, each profile includes roughly 25 pages of content specific to that industry.

For those of you who might not be sure to start, here are seven simple things you can do to begin integrating Vertical IQ into your call preparation process

  1. Pick your favorite chapters within Vertical IQ and go straight to them.
    Once you dig in to Vertical IQ, you’re likely going to discover that there are a few go-to sections that you find most helpful based on your specific role within the bank and your level of experience. For some people, it’s the Industry Trends or the Quarterly Insights chapter, where you can learn about the latest happenings within the industry. For others, it may be How Firms Operate, where you can gain a better understanding of the inner-workings of your client’s business. Do some clicking around, and you’ll quickly find information that gives you the specific industry knowledge you need.
  2. Review the Call Prep Questions before each call.
    This is just about as easy as it gets when it comes to preparing for a client or prospect call. Every Industry Profile contains a chapter called Call Prep Questions where you’ll find approximately 25 industry-specific questions. With topics ranging from working capital and capital financing to industry trends and risks to watch out for, pick your five favorite questions from the list based upon the customer and what the call is about. With questions on topics that are unique to their industry and business, you’re sure to get them talking!
  3. Put call prep on your calendar.
    It’s kind of like how you have to put “Go to gym” on your calendar to both block the time and remind yourself that it’s something you need to do. By deliberately scheduling time in your day for call preparation, you will make it a higher priority, and it may just become a second-nature part of your daily routine. Plus, by using Vertical IQ for that call prep time, you can get it checked off of your to-do list much quicker…in as little as five minutes when you use the Call Prep Sheet for the industry you’re calling on.
  4. Find out how your customer’s business is addressing the issues in the Industry Trends chapter.
    This section is packed with details about the latest challenges and opportunities going on within each industry vertical (including employment and wage trends). Use the information found within the Industry Trends as great conversation starters as well as talking points to use within your presentations. Your client is not only going to be eager to talk about these topics, but they’re bound to be impressed that you knew to bring them up!
  5. Print out relevant content and take it on your calls.
    All of the content on Vertical IQ is yours to use and share with your clients and prospects. And it’s industry-specific information that they will be interested to read about. So, pick out a chapter or two that you think will best resonate with your client, and print those off to take with you on your call. It’s a great way to get a conversation started and also a value-added leave-behind.
  6. Investigate the Risks to Watch Out For chapter before underwriting a loan.
    If you’re a loan officer, this section of each Industry Profile is GOLD for you! You’ll find information about the business failure and merger rate within the industry. There’s also information on risks to watch out for within the industry as a whole and for individual businesses within the vertical. That’s right: We’ve done a lot of the time-consuming investigative legwork that you used to have to track down on your own!
  7. Send current industry articles to clients/prospects as a non-pushy way to remain in touch.
    This is a simple, yet high-impact way to create a valuable client touchpoint. Each Industry Profile contains a News section, where you’ll find the latest articles relevant to that industry. Print one of those bad boys, write a personal note to your client/prospect at the top—“Hey Sarah, I saw this article on XYZ and thought you might find it interesting”—and attach your business card. Just two minutes of your time, but your client will remember the fact that you made this effort to find relevant, industry focused content for them…something many business owners simply don’t have time to do themselves.

Making call preparation worth your time

You know that you should be preparing for each call, but you also have a million things on your to-do list for today. And therein lies the beauty of Vertical IQ.

By using a few of the simple ideas above, you can quickly get up to speed on the specifics of your client’s industry and feel better prepared for your call in just five minutes. You can even grab a cup o’ joe and multitask on your coffee break! It’s going to be time well-spent.