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Build A Solid Relationship With Your Banker

Jan 06, 2011

During my last coaching session, I had discussed with my business coach how being a partner in B2B CFO was a great job:

#1 You enjoy a flexible schedule.

#2 You have the feeling of helping people

#3 You get paid well

#4 You get to meet and know very interesting people.

One of the things I like the most about being a partner in B2B CFO is the opportunity to develop great relationships. On the other hand, the thing I hate the most about my job is when people do not listen, especially when it comes to their bankers.

I truly believe that clients need to get to know their banker personally and work together for the long term. While he will be in a better position to explain things and provide you with solid financial advice, you will also be in a better position to understand what he is doing and getting a better grip over your personal finances.

Another advantage? Who do you think is gets better service? The guy calling for a rate and doesn’t want to hear about any strategies and doesn’t care about the relationship with the banker or the guy that makes an appointment and explains his whole situation to his banker? I’ll let you guess…

In order to develop a great relationship with your banker, here are a few good tips:

#1 Pick the right one

Dealing with money is dealing with a person first. So you need to find someone who understands you and that you feel comfortable with. Since he needs to be one of your closest confidents (financially), I think it is only normal to meet with a few bankers before making your decision.

#2 Choose him for the right reasons

While personality is very important, you should also look for a banker with an impeccable sense of integrity and professionalism. You want someone who will take your calls and get back to you within the very same day. Drop anyone who can’t do that. Financial background or diplomas are important too. While they are not a guarantee of competency, it is still better than nothing.

#3 Work with him

Some people go see their banker and think that hiding things is a good idea. They think that he won’t find out or that it will slow down their application. In fact, if you don’t work with your banker, you are just making his job harder… and getting something approved harder to get too!

#4 Talk numbers – learn his language

Bankers evolve in a world of numbers and ratios. While he must teach you how it works in a bank (how we calculate stuff, understand your investment statements, etc.), you should also answer his requests with your numbers. Bring statements with you, it will help to establish a greater strategy with real numbers.

#5 Meet him twice a year

You probably see your mechanic a few times per year for oil changes and car maintenance, you should see your doctor and dentist for an annual check-up. This is the same thing for your banker. Twice a year is just enough to keep track of your plan and financial goals. You can take the time to review your financial situation and if there are any better products to improve your balance sheet.

Developing a relationship with your banker is a really good financial move as you will now be part of his priority when there is important news that comes out.

 

More from Rob Frasier…

About the Author

As a Southern California native, Rob has nearly 30 years of financial and operational experience holding positions as CFO, controller, V.P. of operations and trusted advisor for dozens of mid-market business owners and executives. Nearly ten of these years have been successfully serving clients as a Partner in B2B CFO. Rob has an extensive background working with early stage through 3rd generation companies, young and seasoned entrepreneurs alike, and companies facing growing pains or restructuring challenges.

View Rob’s Personal Website

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