The Sales Honing® Academy

Because Banking Isn’t Just About Gathering Deposits and Making Loans Anymore

“Our lenders, entire staff and the bank are benefiting
greatly from our participation in the Sales Honing Academy.”
Rebeca Romero-Rainey
CEO and President,
Independent Community Bankers of America
Former Chairman and CEO, Centinel Bank of Taos

We’ll Help You Transition from Banker to Trusted Advisor

Customers today are tired of training their banker to understand their business and industry issues.  They want to work with bankers who bring more to the table than the ability to simply make a loan.  Your customers want to work with a banker who will help them with their business strategies and navigate the risks and complexities of running a business today.  Yes, financial strategies are part of the conversation, but finances are only a piece of the many important conversations bankers need to have with their customers.

Today, customers want to work with bankers who can find resources to solve a myriad of problems, help them build strategies for the future, and grow revenue and profits.  Simply said, they want their banker to become part of their informal board of key business advisors.

The Sales Honing Academy is a unique, “sales refinement process” designed to coach seasoned, successful bankers to hone the business development and sales processes most bankers have relied on for two to three decades!

If your bank is looking for more quality deposit, C&I and Owner-Occupied customers, the Sales Honing Academy is your solution!

The Typical Participant Has Been In Banking For Twenty Years

The vast majority of lenders, RMs and Branch Managers in the Academy have been in banking for 20 years or more and are very successful.  What made us successful in the past isn’t likely to sustain our success in the future.  High performing athletes never stop honing their skills.  The finest, most expensive knives in the world need sharpening occasionally.  The same principles apply to high performing, seasoned, and successful bankers.  The value proposition of our Sales Refinement Process makes the “honing” concept easy to understand.

The Academy Is Designed As A Two Year Sales Refinement Process

Obviously, the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors developed by bankers over twenty to thirty years aren’t going to evolve rapidly or without a lot of support.  Accordingly, The Sales Honing Academy consists of two, one-year refinement programs:

1.) Trusted Advisor Business Development Strategies – One Year Duration

2.) Trusted Advisor Relationship Development Strategies – One Year Duration

  • Each process and program include one 75-minute webinar and one 60-minute group coaching call every month for one year.  Webinars and group coaching calls are scheduled two weeks apart.
  • Several Behavior Reinforcement Tools Include:
    • Participants receive The Edge, our monthly newsletter that reinforces the content delivered in each monthly webinar.
    • Monthly 30-Day Action Plans provide a clear execution path that provides sales managers’ the opportunity to coach and hold bankers accountable.
  • Additional Support Available: Ray is available to consult with your bank to refine, align, and implement “best practices” approaches designed to evolve your bank’s culture, sales management, and your incentive compensation structure.  When these are aligned, improved performance is assured.

“I’m at 200% of my annual goal and it’s only July.  Ray’s taught me how to be productive rather than busy.”

Sam Ortho
Vice President, Relationship Manager
Banner Bank


“The Sales Honing Academy is the best sales training program I have ever seen offered in the market over my 40 years in banking.  The program is uniquely designed to support and create value for a wide variety of relationship managers, commercial lenders and team leaders no matter what their experience level or market.  The program focuses on helping our folks to hone their marketing and sales processes for bringing in quality new relationships and for deepening and leveraging existing ones.  It also focuses on helping our sales managers become better, more competent sales managers.  It’s easily accessible for everyone, isn’t overly intrusive, yet provides a powerful “drip” process of new ideas, concepts and tools that build upon each other while empowering our folks to “practice and hone” their skills necessary to compete successfully in today’s market conditions.  The traction and the biggest benefit come from the simple, 30-day action plans that create tremendous weekly engagement, new perspectives, discussions and accountability among sale staff and sales managers in our commercial banking team.  It is a very unique and powerful process that doesn’t require that we take our teams out of the market or incur all of the customary and substantial travel related costs associated with old-school, instructor-led sales training.”

John Grauten California President, First Bank

InformationProgram 1Program 2
NameTrusted Advisor Business Development StrategiesTrusted Advisor Relationship Development Strategies
SynopsisTrusted Advisors don’t rely on referrals from real estate brokers and CPAs for deal flow. They know how to strategically source their own, high-quality relationships. We’ll teach and coach you to implement business development strategies designed to generate high-quality, face-to-face sales appointments with the top companies and businesses in your market.The sales process used by Trusted Advisors is much more like the sales process used by wealth managers and private bankers than the transactional focus of most lenders and relationship managers. We’ll teach and coach you to implement relationship development and negotiation strategies that are relational as opposed to transactional. The end result is your bankers will be in a position to close business with better net and non-interest income.
AudienceRelationship Managers and Commercial BankersRelationship Managers and Commercial Bankers
PlatformWebinar and Group Coaching CallWebinar and Group Coaching Call
Duration1 year1 year


$2,750 per person
Team of 5 Pricing $2,000 per person


$2,750 per person
Team of 5 Pricing $2,000 per person

Invoicing Available as Alternative Payment Option!

Discover What BTI Growth Advisors Can Do For Your Bank

Call (760) 720-9270

Here’s What People are Saying About the Sales Honing Academy and BTI Growth Advisors

Chris Walsh
Director of Banking
Blue Gate Bank

Rick Sanborn
Chief Executive Officer and President
Seacoast Commerce Bank

“Having participated in a good many sales development seminars over the years, and having conducted many of them myself, I came to BTI’s Sales Honing program with a critical eye demanding to be impressed…and I was! I found the sessions to be spot on the target in terms of sales focus and techniques, and the material presented was concise and stripped of fluff. My colleagues and I enjoyed the participatory nature of the sessions, and we all walked away with clear, actionable items that immediately produced results.”

Bruce G. McClellan
Vice President, Manager
F&M Bank

“Our net interest margin has increased by an average of 20 basis points. This is substantial when you consider each basis point equates to $3,500 or $70,000 per transaction after-tax income to shareholders. Our fee income has also increased by 20% as a result of utilizing BTI’s winning strategies, training and coaching.”
Lyle Hansen
Executive Vice President,
Baker Boyer Bank

“Ray Adler shares a unique approach to selling that is unlike anything I have read, heard or experienced before. After just 2 sessions, I was using new, innovative strategies that have already changed my business. The material is comprehensive, well organized and well presented.”

John Marder
Senior Vice President, First Bank

Dan Yates
Chief Executive Officer
Endeavor Bank (In Organization)

John Grauten
California President
First Bank

“We experienced a 300% increase in the number of business DDAs opened on a monthly basis. In addition, we achieved 162% of our deposit goal. Given current market conditions, our Board couldn’t be happier. BTI Growth Advisors’ expertise, strategies, training and coaching just plain work!”
Jeff Jones
COO, Bank of Idaho

“BTI’s training and coaching have helped me hone my business development and sales approach so much that I hit my annual $22M sales goal by May and I’m on track to double that number by year end.”
Morgan Lanchantin
First Vice President,
American Business Bank

“Sales Honing has been the most valuable tool for consistently improving my personal business development skills over the long run. I have been through lots of sales training over the years, but Sales Honing is focused more on enhancing, not completely replacing the way I approach business development.”
Ben Price
First Vice President, Regents Bank

“Developing a Sales Culture in a bank is a long term process involving many factors. We chose BTI to help support our efforts to develop a sales culture and have been extremely pleased with their expertise and commitment.”
Ramona Bee
EVP, Far East National Bank

Choose The Program That’s Right For Your Team:

Program #1

Trusted Advisor Business Development Strategies

Targeted Audience:  For the banker who needs to go on more quality sales calls each month.

Over the course of this next year, we’ll help you develop a cohesive, integrated and well-thought-out marketing and business development system!  You read that right…a business development system!  How is your current business development system working for you?

Now, we can’t do the work for you but we guarantee that if you do the work, we’ll guide and support you such that over time you’ll double or triple the number of quality face-to-face appointments you go on every year…for the remainder of your career!

We’ll teach and coach you to hone the following processes:

  • Marketing Plan Development
  • Time and Priority Management
  • Market and Prospect Segmentation
  • Referral and Warm Introduction
  • Follow-up and Lead Generation
  • A process to Leverage Trade Association Membership
  • Goal Setting
  • Positioning
  • Personal Branding
  • Personal Accountability

Program #2

Trusted Advisor Relationship Development Strategies

Targeted Audience:  For the banker who needs a little more confidence and stronger negotiation skills to close business with premium pricing.

Over the course of a year, we’ll help you develop a much stronger and more systematic sales approach, one that strives to have every customer appreciate the value, distinctiveness and expertise that you and your bank brings — by choosing your bank over the competition.

10 to 30 basis points premiums on every deal are possible when relationship managers abandon the old “needs-based” sales approach popular in the 20th century.  Today, “aligning with the customer” is a far more contemporary and effective approach to winning new business with premium pricing.

If you’re willing to refine the ways in which you think and approach each sales opportunity and be willing to position yourself out of your comfort zone as you develop yourself, Program 2 will provide the necessary guidance and support to allow you to shorten the sales process and close more business with premium pricing.

We’ll teach and coach you to hone the following processes:

  • The Be-Do-Have Alignment Model
  • The structure of an alignment conversation as opposed to a sales conversation
  • How to shorten the sales process
  • Abandon the antiquated concept of “closing” sales.  In 2018 customers buy!
  • Creating a “buying environment” where customers naturally want to do business with you over your competitors
  • Pre-call planning strategies and tools
  • Post-call debriefing strategies and tools
  • Effective questioning strategies
  • Advanced positioning and communication strategies
  • Value creation strategies

Our Fall Academy Starts on September 11th

“We achieved a very favorable ROI over the three years we worked with BTI and utilized their Sales Honing System to improve our sales execution.”
Steve Sefton
Former CEO, Regents Bank

Meet Ray Adler

Bank Culture and Sales Expert
CEO, Author, Speaker
BTI Growth Advisors, Inc.
Call (760) 720-9270

“What made your bank successful in the past, won’t sustain your success in the future.”

For over 17 years, BTI Growth Advisors has helped more than 100 Premier and Super Premier performing regional, business and community banks bring their sales efforts into the 21st Century.  Our efforts, strategies, tools and practices brought each bank impressive and measurable results.

8 Reasons to Participate

Unlike three-day boot camps and sales intensives, we’re not going to dump a ton of content on you and hope for the best.  The Sales Honing Academy is a virtual year-long program designed to fit realistically into the portfolio management and regulatory responsibilities of today’s busy relationship managers.

1 You’re Not Hitting Your Sales Goals. Don’t worry, you’re not alone!  Half of the relationship managers in this country don’t hit their annual sales goals.  The Academy provides a proven system designed to support you every step of the way to achieving all your goals – even your stretch goals!

2 You Value New Ideas. Banking is rapidly changing, and you personally recognize the importance of being open-minded and value learning new strategies, ideas, and approaches to gain a competitive advantage.  Using the strategies, processes, and tools presented in our Academy can double the production of every relationship manager – even your top producers.

3 You Want More Quality Referrals. We’ll teach you how to start generating more quality referrals on a consistent basis from a wide variety of sources – not just CPA’s and brokers.

4 No Longer Compete on Price. The way to win business with stronger margins is a function of how well relationship managers sell the value of their solution and the value of having a relationship with your bank.   We’ll show your relationship managers how to consistently close business with 20 to 30 basis point premiums.

5 Make Your Marketing Efforts More Productive. Most relationship managers don’t have 40 hours a week dedicated to developing new business.  We’ll show you how to make the most of your time to develop new business ensuring you hit your annual sales goals.

6 Bring New Deposit, C&I and Owner-Occupied Client to Your Bank. Many banks are challenged to fund growth while balancing the CRE concentrations in their portfolios.  Nearly everything we do is designed to help your relationship managers find, develop, and close more of those prized deposits, C&I and owner-occupied clients.

7 Become a Skillful Negotiator. Your relationship managers will develop the confidence, poise, and patience to become skillful negotiators with the ability to close business with 20 to 30 basis point premiums.

8 Your Branch Managers Need More Visibility. Our Academy is equally ideal for branch managers who have lending goals and need to get out into their communities and develop small business relationships.

Register for the Sales Honing Academy

Regular Price $2,750 Per Person

Register a Team of 5 for only $2,000 per person

Call 760-720-9270

Our Fall Academy Starts on September 11th

2 Programs To Choose From!

With over 30 hours of instruction and lifetime membership into the Sales Honing Academy community, the Academy is an exceptional value!

We recognize that changing behaviors isn’t easy!  When a team of employees from the same bank share a common goal, we’ve discovered the evolving camaraderie and focus produces results dramatically quicker!

The Sales Honing Academy programs can also be customized and delivered on-site exclusively for your bank.

We can customize and deliver the  Sales Honing Academy exclusively for your bank. Call Ray Adler at 760-720-9270 to discuss the program that’s right for you!