This is the 12th in a continuing series of articles from Ron’s newest book, Getting to Yes with Your Banker, which includes 93 secrets you likely didn’t know about dealing with your banker. In a Click and Clack format, from an entrepreneur’s and a lender’s perspective, the book is co-authored by Ron Sturgeon, a serial entrepreneur, and Greg Morse, founder and president of Worthington National Bank, a community bank with four locations throughout Tarrant County.
The book is packed with tips and advice about how to choose and get along with a banker, what your banker wants to see, and other valuable tips for both start ups and existing businesses from a banker’s and entrepreneur’s perspective. Today’s article discusses the importance of being seen at the bank and the basics of personal financial statements.
Being Seen at the Bank
Ron: After creating a solid banking relationship, customers need to be seen in the bank. You don’t even have to speak to the banker; he or she just needs to see you.
Greg: It’s important to keep building that relationship. At our banks, we put the coffee machine in the back on purpose. I want the customer to have to walk all the way through our building and see every employee. And, I tell every employee that I don’t want the customer to see the part of their hair; they’d better have their heads up and tell that customer “hello”. I want every administrative assistant and teller to say “hello” before that customer makes it to the back.
Ron: Customers also need to understand that it’s all about the relationship.
What Happens After 5 p.m. Counts
Greg: It is. The customer needs to feel welcomed. But as a customer, you should want to go into the bank because you want the teller to tell everyone what a good customer and what a nice person you are. Then when the doors close at five o’clock, everyone else who works at the bank is going to hear that from them. Those are the kinds of comments that get heard by your banker, and these comments truly do factor into the kind of relationship you’re going to have with your bank.
Greg: If you come into my bank and you’re a jerk to my employees, that’s going to get back to me. And it could cost you the business, because why would I want to do business with someone my employees don’t like? We have plenty of people who want us to loan them money, so jerks aren’t the kind of people we’re going to do business with.
Creating Your Personal Financial Statement
Once the leg-sniffing is done, the champagne glasses have been clinked and everyone seems to be getting along, it’s time to get down to business. That means really digging into the numbers, especially the personal financial statement.
This is where many customers make small but significant mistakes. By overestimating the worth of some of their assets, they can raise a red flag with the banker. In this area, subtlety and honesty win out over flashiness and boasting — and how you handle your personal financial statement will set the tone for the relationship that follows.
Remember only you can make business great!
Ron Sturgeon, founder of Mr. Mission Possible, small business consulting, combines over 35 years of entrepreneurship with an extensive resume in consulting, speaking and business writing, with seven books published. A business owner since age 17, Ron sold his chain of salvage yards to Ford Motor Company in 1999, and his innovations in database-driven direct marketing have been profiled in Inc. Magazine. After the repurchase of Greenleaf Auto Recyclers from Ford and sale to Schnitzer Industries, Ron is now owner of the DFW Elite Auto suite of businesses and a successful real estate investor. Ron is a web expert, but he is also an expert in helping all types of small businesses become more successful and more profitable. Ron can be reached at 5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX 76117, 817-834-3625 or by email at rons@MrMissonPossible.com.