relationship banking

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. 

Top 5 complaints bankers have about business owners

Top 5 complaints bankers have about business owners

Be honest.  We all kind of complain about each other.  It’s a normal part of being a human being.  As agreeable as most people are, when it comes to dealing with others, there are still ways to improve our relationship.  Even when our motto is “the customer is always right”, with a little nudge they could be perfect! 

During the last few years I have spent a lot of time with small business bankers.  The conversation generally turns to examples from our past experiences, both wonderful and horrible.  It is during these conversations that I noticed a common theme among the things that annoy the banker.  It is interesting because for over 20 years, I was on the business owner side of the desk.  Not only that, I was guilty of some of their annoyances.

Are You a D.U.M.B. Banker

Are You a D.U.M.B. Banker

Not dumb as in the sense of flunking your SATs, but dumb as in Don’t Understand My Business (DUMB). In the world of banking, there are a number of questions to ask, data to analyze and customers to please. But that’s just the surface level of banking. What about the deep-seeded roots upon which this industry was founded? We’re talking about truly connecting with your clients and presenting them with solutions that go beyond financials – it’s their business, their time, their life.