Always Be Closing: High Street Banks PPI Selling Techniques Revealed
David Taylor from leading Payment Protection Insurance Claims experts Gladstone Brookes reveals the techniques some of the High Street banks use to sell you £50 Billion in often unnecessary Payment Protection Insurance (PPI).
Using the phrase ‘ABC’ - Always Be Closing, 3 former employees of large High St Banks spoke to Gladstone Brookes recently. Not faceless big-wig bankers from London’s Square Mile – we mean the people who you would go to see when you went to get your holiday money in your lunch hour - and we have discovered an atmosphere of sales, risk and reward resulting in massive pressure to sell, sell, sell.
Our research shows that the banks offer incentives to employees to sell at every level: daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly - no matter how crazy the incentive if the manager wanted it they could sign it off.
One former employee of a High St bank even told us of holidays to Paris, 2 week Safari holidays in Africa, laptops, bottles of champagne and straight out cash rewards selling PPI.
PPI was and continues to be massively incentivised by the banks - the reason they've fought so hard against stopping selling it is that its sales represent pure profit. Once they've sold you a policy that's it - they don't pay out on it, the insurance company does. Commission in hand, the bank goes on its merry way.
Banks train their staff to play on the fears of the customers, with PPI two questions form the basis of the training:
• Do you really have a job for life?
• What happens if you get sick and can't pay the bills?
You've immediately got someone on the back foot psychologically with these questions; you put customers in a position where they have to agree with you - a great situation to command a sale.
This is basically the banks' telling their staff to use your own fears and insecurities against you to sell you PPI.
"You always sell the monthly payments, not the total amount of the loan," our banking insider told us.
"The customer wants to borrow £5,000 - you concentrate on the monthly payment amounts and sell it as a protected loan. Try going in to your bank to get a loan, they'll only talk about the monthly repayment amount".
Unfortunately they're not talking about the extra £3,000 you've just borrowed to purchase a PPI policy!
This massive pressure to sell on the staff has turned our banks into nothing more than UK sales sweatshops where we are no longer customers but ‘marks’. With the number of PPI claims rising, how did this happen?
There is even specific training on how to deal with customers who say no - they call it "objection handling" - or scaring people into the purchase was a sales tactic we were trained in", we were told by one former bank employee.
"Customers would often say they had insurance and we were trained to dismiss it or make them unsure if they were covered, we even did role-play in the training for these situations."
Mis sold PPI is a symptom of a larger problem - thankfully the FSA is (finally) taking action, but in order to fight our way out of this recession, banks need to start treating us like customers again and not like sales opportunities.
For more visit: http://www.gladstonebrookes.co.uk