Bankers

If Bankers Want More Sales – Start Here

If Bankers Want More Sales – Start Here

As I work regularly with bankers, commercial lenders specifically, I’m frequently involved in conversations about the pressure of sales growth. Revenue growth isn’t unique in business by any means, but it takes on a slightly different angle in banking. Banking resides in a sales category one step removed from where sales typically resides.

What I mean by that is — most bankers I talk to call themselves relationship bankers. In fact, Relationship Manager is the most common title used for this position. They are set-up very well by the bank. They have branding and fantastic products behind them. They have a great presence about them, — their dress, ability to communicate and demeanor.  I love the sales environment they’ve created. When a business owner walks into a branch, the relationship manager exudes confidence and personality. He’s in the best spot in the world from a sales perspective. But the next moment is critical.

The Great Awakening of the Small Business Owner

The Great Awakening of the Small Business Owner

In the last 10 years, the most often stated characteristic of the small business owner by bankers and accountants is the lack of awareness and sophistication. Being a serial entrepreneur who prided himself on understanding my company’s financial position and using technology to help me in that process, I usually felt slighted by this comment. What I didn’t understand was that I was part of the “early adopter” group of entrepreneurs.

An article on Capterra.com presented the results of a survey of over 500 businesses who use accounting software. One results stood out in particular. It stated that over 52% of users saw a decrease in financial errors by adopting accounting software. Over half is significant. I thought about the financial wake that’s bound to occur when small business owners are presenting higher-quality accounting information to lenders. Heck, think about the operational efficiency of managers within small business when they have a cleaner set of numbers to make decisions from. 52% means that the early majority of software adopters were experiencing positive results.

Good news. Banks are taking small business loan requests seriously.

Good news. Banks are taking small business loan requests seriously.

I have the good fortune to talk to banks and marketplace lenders almost daily. In every case, the focus is on expanding their portfolios and reviving the branch banking system. That’s right, reviving. Branch banking is dead, but it is also in the best position to help small businesses.

Not long ago, the average business owner visited their local branch about 29 times per year. Today, it’s less than 3. With all of the banks investment in technology, banking has become easier and you can do it from anywhere. Great for the consumer, terrible for the relationship manager who used to excel at talking to his business clients who visited the branch. 

How Training Bankers Can Save Main Street

How Training Bankers Can Save Main Street

A CFO asks a CEO, "What happens if we invest all of this money in training and people leave?" The CEO replies, "What happens if we don’t and they stay?"

With major conglomerates like Walmart, Google, Apple and Facebook trying to move into the banking space, many are left wondering – how can smaller, regional banks compete?  

Community banks support the local mom and pop shops that give character to our towns and cities. It’s crucial that community banks invest in training, in order to pass on the necessary knowledge that small businesses need to survive in this economy.

Progressive bankers work to educate and develop good borrowers and prospects.  When the education process is ongoing, the result is a more successful borrower, a stronger loan portfolio, and a common basis of communication and understanding between the banker and borrower.

You're a Boring Banker

You're a Boring Banker

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!