A Banker’s Voice is Mightier than the Pen and the Sword.

We have entered the era of total competition. No matter your industry, company, or nationality, there is a battle-ready competitor somewhere who is busy thinking how to beat you. There are no safe havens.

Yet the hard truth, for all the talk of new paradigms, reengineering, and organizational learning, is that most executives in most companies are still equipped to fight the last war. Their strategic assumptions, management structures, information systems, and training programs are geared to a competitive battlefield that no longer exists. The rules of engagement have changed. Strategic mind-sets have not.

In the life-or-death quest for strategic change, business has much to learn from war. Both are about the same thing: succeeding in competition. Even more basic, both can be distilled to four words: informed choice; timely action.

The key objective in competition – whether business or war – is to improve your organization’s performance along these dimensions:

  • To generate better information than your rivals do
  • To analyze that information and make sound choices
  • To make those choices quickly
  • To convert strategic choices into decisive action

Together they represent informed choice/timely action.

This is Kelly Coughlin, CEO of BankBosun, helping bank C-Suite Executives navigate risk and discover reward.

Kelly Coughlin is the CEO of BankBosun, a management consulting firm helping bank C Level Officers navigate risk and discover reward. He is the host of the syndicated audio podcast, BankBosun.com. Kelly brings over 25 years of experience with companies like PWC, Lloyds Bank, and Merrill Lynch. On the podcast Kelly interviews key executives in the banking ecosystem to provide bank C suite officers, risk management, technology, and investment ideas and solutions to help them navigate risks and discover rewards. And now your host, Kelly Coughlin.

Greetings, this is Kelly Coughlin, CEO of BankBosun, helping bank C Suite execs with risk, regulation and revenue creation in a sea of threats and opportunities. Just to remind you, in case you don’t recall from podcast shows from last year, a bosun is a nautical term referring to the crew member on a ship that helps the sea captain (that’s S-E-A ) in all areas of the ship’s navigation, operations and management. As such BankBosun, me, I’m the crew member that helps you, the C-Suite Captain of your ship… your bank… in all areas of risk, regulation and revenue creation. Got it? Pretty creative isn’t it. Here’s a boatswains whistle for you.

Today’s podcast is on revenue creation. And specifically the use of audio podcasting as a cost-effective tactic to get your value proposition communicated to your market to get new customers and create new revenues.

Some smart guy, they don’t actually know who, said “The pen is mightier than the sword,” implying that a person can change the opinion of others with words more effectively than with force and violence. Well, I have a corollary or addendum to that. It goes like this: While the pen is mightier than the sword, the voice is mightier than both.

Some of you might remember the TV ads against drugs. I think they were in the 80s led by Nancy Reagan. It went like this. A guy picks up a whole egg. And says, this is your brain. And then the guy cracks the egg in a hot skillet with scalding hot grease and it bubbles up and he says, “This is your brain on drugs.” Well, you might ask, what the heck does that have to do with banks and revenue creation. Permit me to demonstrate.

Here is a mashup of some sales pitch lines from five top financial advisors in the US.

Here is what they sound like when they are READ by their intended audience in say printed material. This equates to the brain on drugs. The fried egg.

I’m a professional wealth manager who provides custom financial solutions for your unique financial challenges and goals. My entire firm is passionate about helping people like you make smart financial decisions. We help people make sound decisions to enjoy a full life. My expertise is in the development, implementation and ongoing management of a customized portfolio builder and diversification strategy created just for you. Personally, my mission is to help you build wealth and successfully maintain your financial security every step of the way.


There it is…financial planning platitudes fried up in the skillet.

Here is what it sounds like when the reader has taken your printed material and put it in their briefcase to read on the plane.

Professional wealth manager…custom financial solutions…financial challenges…passionate…helping people…sound decision…expertise…implementation…management…customized portfolio…diversification…mission…wealth…financial security. Flight attendant, would you please take this and throw it out.

Now, here is what they sound like when they are HEARD. This equates to the healthy brain, the whole fresh egg.

I’m a professional wealth manager who provides custom financial solutions for your unique financial challenges and goals. My entire firm is passionate about helping people like you make smart financial decisions. We help people make sound decisions to enjoy a full life. My expertise is in the development, implementation and ongoing management of a customized portfolio builder and diversification strategy created just for you. Personally, my mission is to help you build wealth and successfully maintain your financial security every step of the way.


Academy award nominations for that performance would be much appreciated.

I hope you can see, rather hear that the human voice, your voice is the key. Your voice showing what I call the three Es: emotion, emphasis and empathy. These are the key and critical differences. Even today, in this world where people are obsessed with digital communications, email, and texting – people are hungry for the communication and connection of the human voice…your voice.

Here is what I propose and I guarantee it will help your bank claim market share and grow revenues. You create a podcast channel with your brand…ABC Bank Podcast show…once or twice per month with one or more representatives of your company from your CEO down to your product technical specialists would be interviewed and recorded. We talk about your industry; your market space; the needs, issues and challenges your customers face. And what your industry does to help them deal with those needs, issues and challenges; and why and how you are so much better and different than anyone else. We can even interview your customer prospects. Trust me on this, it’s a great way to build a relationship with a prospect. You are put in a position where you get to truly LISTEN to them and show empathy for them. An opportunity to understand their outlook on life, family, business world. It’s a great way to build a relationship with existing customers and more importantly with prospective customers.

But the real hidden benefit and it truly is the secret sauce, the algorithm, the black box…that I am going to share with you and you alone in this podcast. I call it tactical ecosystem marketing. In short it works like this, you include in your podcast program interviews with anyone and everyone who exists in  your banking ecosystem. Picture your bank and your customers as a big coral reef. And you have all these creatures, eels, sharks, groupers, all swimming around the reef. Let’s say your ecosystem is banking services for individual lending, business lending, personal wealth management and trust services, private client; portfolio management for institutional accounts and of course traditional depository banking. That’s a big reef. Some of you might not have trust and wealth management by example. Regardless, there are many, many influencers who exist in this ecosystem. You have accountants, lawyers, pension consultants, board member of pension plans, other business owners, all of whom have desires to get their brand and name exposed to your entire ecosystem. Your goal is to keep building a big-league ecosystem. The traditional way of building this ecosystem is to exchange business cards and hope like heck the other members will think of you when an opportunity comes up. And then you periodically follow-up with them to make sure they continue to think of you.

A better way is to include them all in your bank podcast program. Interview them. Record it. They will want to send out the link to the podcast to all their clients, this gets your name out there in front of all their clients. They benefit. You benefit. You create value and you capture revenues.

Big banks and brokers can’t do this, because they can’t possibly let their local branches create their own messages in any media, but certainly not audio podcast channel. And financial advisors don’t have the diverse products lines, depository, credit, insurance and wealth management to offer. They talk about a few of these product lines. Banks have many products and services to talk about. I’m going to list a handful so you can get an idea on what I’m talking about.

Here’s some podcasts related to your bank’s culture and market position:

  • History, Mission and Purpose of Your Bank
  • Community Involvement in Your Bank
  • The Importance of Community Banks in the Community.

Here’s some Podcasts related to Wealth Management:

  • Why do I need a wealth manager when I can use the Internet?
  • Is there a difference in fees between banks, brokers and financial advisors?
  • Are brokers fiduciaries?
  • Are bank fiduciaries?
  • Do I need a fiduciary?
  • What is a fiduciary?

Podcasts related to Lending:

  • Five issues that kill a business loan.
  • Which is more important for a bank loan: Revenue, Profits or Assets?
  • Accounting records: Will and audit help me get a business loan?

And how about some podcasts related to trust accounts:

  • Can a broker serve as a trustee for my kids’ trust accounts?
  • If a bank fails are my stocks, bonds and mutual funds guaranteed?
  • Do I need a trust account?

These are just a handful of topics. We could go into financial instruments; explaining what mutual funds are..or portfolio risk; portfolio management; the topics are unlimited. The goal is to get your target audience whether it be current customers or prospective customers, listening to your messages.

Sun Tzu said, to beat your enemy you must Avoid his strengths and attack his weaknesses. The weakness of big banks and brokers is all marketing and branding and promotion comes out of their centralized corporate office. Imagine a top ten bank allowing its 500 branches creating their own podcast channel. It just ain’t gonna happen. But a community and regional bank can easily do this. So, don’t listen to me…listen to Sun Tzu, “Avoid the strengths of your competitors and attack their weaknesses.”

There are a couple additional benefits to a more human connection you get with audio it allows executives to multi-task while listening like driving, exercise, watching a sports event on TV. Now, you might ask, if the human voice is so important why don’t I just call them on the phone. Answer: Because you are interrupting them when you call them. And it’s not repeatable and shareable. With a recorded audio podcast, you give your audience the opportunity to hear from you at their time and place of choice in a non-intrusive way. And many of the business development people like trust officers, wealth management execs and credit officers at banks aren’t real keen on cold-calling …like brokers in a bullpen. But sending links to podcasts and following up on that. Well that is a much different story.

Memorializing your story in an audio podcast is so much more effective than sending them a printed document. By the way we transcribe all our podcasts. So you get both the printed and audio media. But this enables you to tell your story once with the energy and passion it deserves, and then have it shared between husband and wife and even kids to help them get more educated on your bank or among board members or officers for commercial business. Millennials connect with this. Since they hate talking on the phone and dread stepping foot in your bank, so we are told.

Well, that’s my story, and I’m sticking with it. I encourage all of you to give serious consideration of this. It will generate new customers and new revenues…guaranteed. I know banks don’t have a lot of discretionary funds. So, I am all about coming up with a program that you can afford. The investment in this program can range from zero, for banks holding bank owned life insurance asset or if you don’t have that asset, a one-time fee to generate one or two podcasts for the year; or a monthly fee to generate one or more podcasts each month. The average fees are about $3,000/month for a monthly program. Give me a call at 612-232-6640 or send me an email at Kellycoughlin@bankbosun.com

Thank you for listening.

We want to thank you for listening to the syndicated audio program, BankBosun.com The audio content is produced by Kelly Coughlin, Chief Executive Officer of BankBosun, LLC;  and syndicated by Seth Greene, Market Domination LLC, with the help of Kevin Boyle. Video content is produced by The Guildmaster Studio, Keenan Bobson Boyle. The voice introduction is me, Karim Kronfli. The program is hosted by Kelly Coughlin. If you like this program, please tell us. If you don’t, please tell us how we can improve it. Now, some disclaimers. Kelly is licensed with the Minnesota State Board of Accountancy as a Certified Public Accountant. The views expressed here are solely those of Kelly Coughlin and his guests in their private capacity and do not in any other way represent the views of any other agent, principal, employer, employee, vendor or supplier
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