Partners First Credit Union


Bob SchaffordHow to Gain Trust in New Clients


AMPS: Okay, so I want you to basically I want you to talk about first of all what’s your name, it’s for the audio?
Bob: Bob Shafford, branch sales manager at Partners First Credit Union.

AMPS: Okay, now how did you get involved with Partners First Credit union?
Bob: I had grown my own business for about 14, 15 years, I was in the mortgage business and back in ‘07, ‘08 the mortgage crisis was starting to slide and I thought it was time for me to move on, find something different. Happened to see a little ad in the paper about Partners First Credit Union, didn’t know where it was at, didn’t know anything about Partners First and it was for branch manager at this position. It’s my home office up in Fort Wayne, which years ago, 63, 64 years ago it was Philips Credit Union and now it’s Partners first. It originated up in Fort Wayne.

AMPS: Oh my gosh.
Bob: So, when I talked to them I knew this was a branch that needed some picking up and some assistance. At the time I walked in the door we had 600,000 in long volume. Today as you and I are talking that would be over 4 million dollars.So the challenge was there and that excited me. I’d run my own business and wanted that challenge, liked that challenge and wanted to get into something that could challenge me as well.

AMPS: So in doing this coming definitely from like a mortgage company, how did you do the transition?
Bob: Number one you’ve got to sell. I had to sell mortgages, now I sell, and now it’s word of mouth. I brought a lot of my people that I had as customers at that time, now they are members here. And not only could I offer mortgages, now I’ve got automobile loans, signature loans, visas, the whole ball of wax. So it was instrumental part of getting to where we’re at today.

AMPS: Okay. So from the word on the street is that you kind of went door to door. Give me a reasonably explanation of why you do that?
Bob: Sure. In our area there were two bank branches that closed their doors fairly close together. And frankly there’s not a lot of other financial institutions in our immediate area. So I thought it would be a neat thing to just go around door to door and drop off flyers and say listen we’re interested in your business, and that’s a whole other tape I can tell you about some of the deals that I ran into. It was an experience and we’ve got people that are here today because of this. I probably spent, I don’t know, maybe a week out knocking on doors and it worked.

AMPS: Okay. Now what makes you think that this one is better or the same as maybe some competitors? Why should I come to you?
Bob: You talk to our members, they know that we take good care of our members. We have a special going on right now. We call them. They don’t have to worry, we let them know about what’s going on. We try to promote our products from within, they’re not going to see us a lot in the paper. It’s all word of mouth. We promote and make sure our members know what we have going on. We have specials periodically, right now we’re running the 1.99 vehicle owner refresher program. So in this month we’ll close over 300,000 in auto loans.

AMPS: Unlike the traditional banks this is considered a credit union, tell my readers that don’t know the differences. Why would Ithey come to a credit union?
Bob: It’s hard for me to compare alright, that’s not fair. What I can tell you is and then the members can decide do they want to come in and sit down and feel like they’re going to be taken care of, and then there’s a national viewers that’s listening and those types of things, and they want to be called when we have specials and not that they have to call us, and that’s why people stay. They see what we’ve done because we have turnover, people buy new cars over and over, they’ll keep coming back to see us so that says something okay. So as best I can answer that they know they’re going to be taken care of here.

AMPS: Your 5 minute spiel when you went door to door how did you, what did you say to those guys?
Bob: I’m Bob Shafford, I’m branch manager at Partners First on 30th street and I want your business. We’ve got all the programs from mortgages to visas to auto loans. I’d like to have you come on board with us. Obviously convenience, here’s my card, give me a call. Just get my foot in the door and some people taken advantage and some didn’t so.