John Durso’s executive career has been spent at different banks in and around Philadelphia and its suburbs, helping his clients become more successful business owners and connecting them with each other.
Over the years, Durso’s strategy around business development for banks has meant more prosperity for the client and more money coming into the bank.
Now, after 22 years, he’s using his skills and expertise to launch Brilliant Sales Strategies, a consulting business that specializes in helping small businesses, nonprofits, community banks and credit unions in one or more areas of:
- culture building
- hiring for culture
- leadership training
- sales and business development
- banking and lending strategies
The name “Brilliant” derives from the reaction Durso repeatedly got from most of his bank customers when he explained how and why he spent so much time with them, and how it was different from what other banks were doing.
“Most banks are only concerned with new customers. It is a numbers game for them. But what they repeatedly failed to realize is that their salespeople may spend hours working on a prospect to bring in a single new account, but if the existing client base struggles, their balances will decrease and their loan balances will increase when their sales drop, completely negating that new account.” Durso explained.
While that is a normal cycle in the banking world, Durso always viewed it through the eyes of the client.
“I genuinely wanted to help all my clients become millionaires.” Durso chuckled. “I figured if I could work with them and help them reach their goals by becoming a high performing company, then the bank would naturally succeed too. You just need to have faith in this philosophy. Care more for your client than you do for yourself and eventually, your reputation will attract those new clients, and everyone wins.”
“The world is full of incredible people with amazing talents,” the Drexel Hill resident says.
“I believe these folks are trying to make the world better and what I found is that I can help them enhance their abilities by helping them find success and in turn, a happier life.”
Durso helps business owners define their core values, then helps them create a culture around those values.
His clients learn marketing and sales tactics while learning key leadership and motivational techniques.
“Once the culture is defined, they can hire the right kind of people. Then I work with their leaders on how to manage those people,” he says.
From there, he helps them with sales strategies, techniques, and customer service delivery, usually finding something “brilliant” about their businesses which they may have overlooked.
One key factor in Durso’s technique is identifying personality traits, both for the employees that are hired and the customers that are served.
Understanding a customer’s personality makes you a better communicator.
“If you can recognize the personality types and learn the ability to change how you’re speaking, then you’re going to communicate more effectively. It’s sort of like speaking another language.” Durso says.
“The pandemic has also rushed in the era of virtual meetings, which is here to stay,” Durso says.
“Those who think otherwise are going to fall behind. While there is value in physically getting together as a team to bond, the fact is that most employees are more productive, happier, and in some cases healthier, working from home.”
That holds true for many businesses who have learned to pivot during 2020.
Virtual has been good for his consulting business. He can now meet more people and business groups.
He can also work with clients across the country or around the world, like a client he is currently helping in Los Angeles. He helps that client just as easily as the others he helps in the various Philadelphia suburbs.
“If anybody is going to start a consulting business, right now is the perfect time for it, because of the virtual platforms,” he says.
One of Durso’s goals is to obtain 10 clients in Hawaii this year.