Nine out of ten lenders walk into a prospect meeting without knowing anything about the business. Their mode of operation is solely focused on trying to secure new clients by building rapport – they are what we call surface bankers. Their standard procedure for approaching new business includes looking up a NAICS code, visiting the manufacturer and utilizing various analysis tools. But they are missing a pivotal step – business acumen with a touch of enthusiasm!
Don’t hide behind collateral, come up with a different approach. Tailor your message, build curiosity and instill trust in your services. Here are three steps to make the change from boring to inspiring.
1. Why would anyone talk to you?
First you have to take a good hard look in the mirror and decipher your key differentiators. What can you bring to your clients’ business that no one else can? What do you have to say that will affect their bottom line? What services do you offer that will benefit them?
There are a number of products, consultation courses, and software programs that lenders can provide their clients to help augment their practices and create successful companies. It’s your job to take the time to find your client’s weak spots, decide which solutions are best for their business, and keep them on track to financial health.
2. Organize your practice
You can’t have a deep discussion with your client and build a relationship without understanding their business. Congruently, you can’t fully understand their business without seeing all perspectives within your own organization. Many banks are unorganized because the front and back room aren’t communicating efficiently. How can you provide tailored, accurate recommendations when the structure of your business makes way for information loopholes?
Try using new software systems to streamline your processes. Using advanced technologies enables you to instantly analyze the overall financial health of a company. That means gathering and organizing finances from previous months, quarter and years! Just imagine what you could do with all that time you’d be saving…
3. Provide recommendations that spark innovation
More often than not, the typical banker throws figures at the wall hoping they will stick – simply because they don’t know the specific lending parameters. It’s time to stop giving lip service and start providing specific recommendations that will benefit your client. Using new software programs, you can see information like the current ratio, quick ratio, debt-to-equity, gross margin, net margin and ROI within seconds. With this insight, you can:
- Immediately flag problem areas to mitigate risks
- Compare industry averages and ensure your clients are up to par
- Monitor the financial health of your borrowers 24/7
- Review key business ratios and explain them in a way that makes sense to your clients
- Position yourself as a trusted advisor for their specific business
The formula for success lies in going beyond sales preparation, and focusing on what you can bring to the long-term business relationship. This means identifying your worth, honing in on your practice and providing stellar solutions. Bringing cookies and doughnuts just won’t cut it anymore, it’s time to stop being boring and show them a flying car.