I recently asked a variety of C-level people how often they were called on by a banker trying to get their business. I heard one thing that surprised me—and it’s not what you think.
Several said they don’t really need a loan, so they weren’t that interested in talking to a banker. Wait. What?!
I repeat: they said they don't really need a loan, so they don't need to talk to a banker.
That means they think a loan is all a financial institution really has—or wants—to offer (sell) them.
This concerns me because that means many bankers are positioning themselves as service oriented, order-taking, wait-for-for-the-customer-to-ask kind of people. People who have money to loan.
You might be thinking, “Yes, this is pretty nice. We’re proud of the world-class service we offer to people who come to us.”
I’m here to tell you this is bad. It’s worse than bad. This makes you and your institution a commodity. And it means you’re relegated to lowest price positioning that never, ever engenders loyalty.
Your officers need to get out on the front lines and have meaningful conversations. They need to be listening to the prospect’s woes, then offering strategic ways to attack those woes at the source. What are the real answers that help drive more efficiency and profitability for that business?
- Does the company deal with lots of individual payments? Then what if your institution can help them improve cash flow by collecting receivables faster?
- Perhaps the prospect has hundreds of unbanked employees. Can you simplify payroll processing with a pay card or a FinTech solution that also helps protect their employees from expensive check cashers?
- Maybe your prospect is looking for ways to help lessen the burden of rising health insurance costs passed on to their employees. Can you help them with HSAs that can help save on taxes?
The answer is probably complicated. It might be a loan—or it might be something else entirely. If you're willing to do the work, you can solve it. That makes you a banker people need to talk to.
Your counsel—coupled with your institution’s products—can make positive bottom-line impacts on businesses. You’ve got the power to launch far past the competition because their bankers are also sitting behind their desks waiting to politely answer the phone.
For help making sure your business development efforts actually build your business, call Martha Bartlett Piland direct at 785.969.6203