Bank sales consultants work on behalf of a bank in a customer service role, engaging with potential clients either in person or over the phone. Their main responsibilities often include recommending clients to useful financial services or answering bank-related inquiries. It is therefore essential for bank sales consultants to have a thorough knowledge of a bank's various portfolios.
A bank sales consultant - sometimes called a financial services sales agent - works directly with potential customers to determine their financial viability or needs and sell them a variety of financial services. Bank sales consultants can work individually or on behalf of a larger organization, using many different methods to appeal to various customer bases and sell products, including by telephone or face-to-face. Educational and experience requirements vary by employer, and some bank chains may require licensure.
|Required Education||Varies by employer; formal education may not be necessary for entry-level positions, though a bachelor's degree in financial or business-related field may be beneficial|
|Other Requirements||Clean credit record and previous sales experience may be required; some banks require licensure through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||10% for all securities, commodities and financial service sales agents|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$71,550 for all securities, commodities and financial service sales agents|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
A bank sales consultant works as a salesperson and customer services agent, deducing a customer's needs, answering their questions, and matching them to financial services they may find helpful. Bank sales agents need to be familiar with their bank's offered checking or savings accounts, mortgages, or securities portfolios in order to deduce which would best fit the prospective customer.
Many bank sales consultants interact with customers face-to-face on a walk-in basis. Others work mainly as a telephone operator for their bank, answering phone call inquiries from potential customers who have questions about their bank's services.
Earning Potential and Advancement
Most bank sales consultants start off with a salary position with the potential earn more on commissions as they acquire more clients. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), national competition for these jobs is expected to be fierce from 2014 to 2024; however, applicants with an aggressive sales record and excellent customer service will fare better in employment opportunities available to them during their first years (www.bls.gov). The BLS also notes that advancement within the industry can occur with experience, but for many management positions employers seek out candidates with a combination of experience and additional education, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA). The projected employment growth for securities, commodities and financial service sales agents is 10% from 2014 to 2024, according to the BLS. The same source published the median annual salary earned by these professionals as $71,550 in May 2015.
Educational and Licensure Requirements
Educational requirements for a job as a bank sales consultant can vary depending on the size of the company hiring new recruits. For some smaller banking institutions, a clean credit record combined with previous sales experience in a similar line of commission-based work, such as retail or real estate, will qualify for an entry-level position. Other chains might require the applicant to have a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as finances, business administration, or accounting.
Some bank chains require their employees to be licensed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) by passing the Series 6 and Series 63 exams. Employees must be sponsored by a financial institution in order to qualify to take the test, which consists of 100 multiple-choice questions. Once licensed, an agent can sell mutual funds and order securities on behalf of a customer. In order to remain licensed, agents must engage in continuing education and re-register every two years.
Although the postsecondary education needed to become a bank sales consultant varies based on employer, a high school diploma is required, and job candidates who hold a bachelor's degree in a field related to business or finance might find themselves at an advantage. In addition to a clean credit record, certain banks also prefer to hire individuals who hold the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's Series 6 and Series 63 licenses.