Making a difference in the banking

German banks, like banks all over the world, face the challenge of differentiating themselves positively against their competitors. Besides the price and the range of products, it is often the expert advice and service quality provided which makes a real difference in the discerning eye of the customer.

One German savings bank introduced the ‘S-Finanzkonzept’, a financial counselling concept which aims at holistic counselling of their customers. This involved a significant culture change where all sales staff were required to take a completely new approach by:

  • changing their own conversational behaviour
  • adopting a new attitude towards products and services
  • being perceived as completely trustworthy and convincing

Holistic counselling and emotional intelligence

EQ Dynamics International, (a Munich-based consultancy) were engaged to help the Bank make this change. EQDI’s appreciative and emotionally intelligent philosophy perfectly matched the holistic counselling strategy required, and in 2005 they embarked on the change process.

The first step was to educate the 150 sales executives in Emotional Intelligence principles, and then train them how to lead and coach their staff to use these principles with customers.

The EQ Dynamics philosophy centres on the connection between values and emotions:

Basic emotion      Connection with values
Mourning Loss of value
Anger Violation of values
Worry Expectation of disturbance of values, in particular the value ‘safety’
Satisfaction Living of values
Affection Compatibility of values, sharing of values

Finding out, addressing and fulfilling values corresponds exactly to the savings bank’s holistic counselling concept. Therefore, developing these abilities was the outstanding aim of both sales coach education and sales coaching itself.

Emotional Intelligence and TetraMap

In the second phase of training, EQDI chose to introduce TetraMap as a simple and holistic model for dealing with diversity. TetraMap was integrated in various points of the sales coaches’ training:

  • Get to know the model with self-evaluation, get to know the differences and things in common
  • Use for matching-the-type delegation of tasks
  • Use for matching-the-type coaching
  • Use for working on limiting beliefs
  • Use for matching-the-type product presentation
  • Certification for sales coaches

After certification, the sales coaches taught TetraMap to their employees for use in sales and service. Their main message was to appreciate every customer from the first moment.

TetraMap and holistic counselling

TetraMap also provided many interesting and useful discussions for the holistic counselling process. For example:

  • Every customer is different! (Instead of widespread beliefs such as “the price is the most important topic to all customers” or “no customer concludes the sale at the first meeting”).
  • Providing holistic financial counselling also means taking the customer’s type into account.
  • Even if I do not know the values of the customer yet, I can value them from the very first moment.
  • Only few customer types need more than one offer. Two offers are most suitable for people with high Earth element preference because they like making decisions for themselves.
  • Depending on customer type, the ‘S financial check’ can be applied in different ways: for example, a customer with high Water element preference will often be pleased about the comparison of their personal situation with the expert opinion for their peer group.
  • There is not ONE right type of salesperson! An excellent salesperson is distinguished by their ability to appreciate customers of every type flexibly.

The results

EQ Dynamics worked with the Bank for over three years, who have now embedded emotional intelligence philosophies, the holistic counselling approach, and TetraMap into their culture.

Successful results have been identified as following:

  • Improved sales figures
  • Shorter duration of customer talks (saving time, means talking to more customers)
  • Increased identification with the holistic counselling approach
  • Increased self-assurance on behalf of the sales staff

TetraMap was also accepted by the Bank’s marketing staff with enthusiasm. They have used it again and again to ensure sustainability and that creative solutions are found.


We would like to thank EQ Dynamics International for providing us with this fascinating case study. We respect the privacy of the Bank, who requested us not to disclose their name.


EQ Dynamics Case Study

EQ Dynamics Case Study 473.32 KB 76 downloads


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EQ Dynamics Case Study

EQ Dynamics Case Study 473.32 KB 76 downloads