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One of the most overlooked relationships that can add some serious value to your business is your relationship with your banker. It may not seem like a big issue at first, but it will if your business is ever in a financial pinch. Having an ally on your side can make all the difference in negotiations. This article will cover some of the best actions you can take to cultivate a personal connection with your banker that will lead to significant benefits for years to come.
How to Build a Good Relationship with a Bank
When thinking about your relationship with your bank, it’s a good idea to think about them as your business partner. Like any valuable business partner, your banker can become a strategic asset to you if utilized properly. If that partnership is strong, then your bank will be much more likely to offer you favorable terms on key services such as loans or invoice factoring.
Thinking of your bank as a partner also helps you to understand the need to have honest, open communication with your banker. Relationships are built on trust, and trust is built through honesty. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to spill your guts about every small detail of your business. We’ll take a better look at what openness with your bank looks like down below.
5 Best Banker Relationship Building Tips
Like any good relationship, your relationship with your banker will grow through conversations and experiences overtime – but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything you can do to speed that process up.
Let’s go over some of the 5 best tips that you can actively employ to foster trust with your bank.
1. Just Show Up
It sounds simple, but don’t underestimate this important action you can take. Showing up physically to your bank to conduct business gives you the opportunity to talk with key bank members face-to-face. Although banking relationships have changed recently with the popularity of online banking, there’s still no better way to build a relationship than by having an in-person conversation.
Build further rapport by making the effort to talk about other things than just your day’s transaction. Doing this is especially important for working with large banks. They have so many accounts to work with that it’s easy to slip through the cracks as just another client.
2. Frequent Communication
Take the time to proactively reach out to communicate with your banker regularly. Doing this at least once a quarter is recommended to ensure that you standout as a client.
These regular updates create a personal connection that many business owners don’t take the time to make. Some good things to share in these reports are general company news or changes in your goals.
3. Share Your Business Plan
Each industry has unique circumstances and requirements. Talking these through with your banker helps build trust. Openly share the concerns or risks, then show them your plan to overcome these obstacles.
Not only will you gain their trust by doing this, but they will also be able to better help you in making sound financial decisions.
4. Give a Tour of Your Business
If you have a physical location, invite your banker to stop by and visit for a tour. A tour gives them a chance to see evidence of financial statements, and also exposes them to your brand and employees. A good impression from a visit can give your banker a greater sense of confidence in you and your business’s success.
A personal invitation like this also aids you in your effort to build a positive relationship with your banker. The more personal and proactive you are with your banker, the better.
5. Be Honest About Your Business
All businesses face challenging financial circumstances at some point, and banks know that. The best thing you can do is be open and upfront about them with your banker. Explain the challenges you are facing and the effects of them on your business.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should tell a sob story about all the horrible things going wrong. Conveying a sense of hopelessness to your banker will weaken their confidence in you. Instead, stick to the facts and focus on how you are dealing with the challenges. Leave your banker with plenty of reasons to hope for a bright future of your business.
The Bottom Line
Establishing a strong connection with your bank representative is worthwhile. Not every business person does it, but those who do reap the benefits. It is an active process that requires some extra effort on your part to forge that relationship.
Have you thought of any other tips for building a strong business relationship? Comment down below to share your ideas.