How to Build a Personal Relationship with your Banker
Relationships are essential for success in every area of life. Relationships with your neighbors foster a more harmonious community. Relationships with your family produce a meaningful life. Relationships with your business’ customers and suppliers support marketplace growth.
Likewise, a relationship with your banker helps you attain financial goals for your business. The past two years have demonstrated how important it is to have a banking institution in your corner to help you navigate challenging times.
A solid relationship with your banker can be a valuable resource to ensure your company’s needs are met at every stage, from securing necessary funding for starting up to establishing an appropriate line of credit to ensure smooth cash flow. Creating a positive relationship with your banker requires time and attention. The tips below provide a framework to help you forge an enduring connection with your banker that will benefit both you and your business:
The first step to build a relationship is engaging in regular communication. This shows that you are a personal contact, not simply an account. Regular interaction allows a banker to become an advocate for you and your business. Connect with your banker at least once a quarter to build that foundation.
When speaking with your banker, details matter. Explain what’s happening in your business and the goals you’ve set. Schedule a time to present your business plan and review financial documents to gain your banker’s recommendations. Share regular updates to communicate how the company is progressing. This includes discussing the positive and negative. Bankers offer much more than funding – they offer guidance and wisdom gained from other businesses that faced similar issues. Being honest about your business challenges creates trust and an opportunity for bankers to offer different types of assistance.
Take a Long View
It’s commonly said that the time to request money is before your business needs it. Consider applying for loans in advance of when funding is needed to ensure there’s plenty of time to process the loan. Waiting until the last minute to apply for loans needed to fulfill orders or provide services could result in lost opportunities.
Explain Your Vision
Let your banker know about the big goals you have for your business and where you see it in the marketplace. Articulating a clear, thorough plan for growth positively reflects upon your business, reducing the appearance of risk. Bankers can help guide ambitious business owners to establish appropriate targets and suggest potential growth opportunities. Bankers often have extensive networks of vendors and customers alike that can benefit your business.
Go Behind the Scenes
Do you have a local office or facility? Give your banker a tour of the premises to bring your business plan and financials to life. Seeing the key pieces of your business’ success such as customer service, fulfillment, and product development actively engaged in day-to-day operations present a much more robust picture of your company’s performance and potential than any pitch deck can.
Build a Track Record
The best relationships are built over time and being patient in that process increases your understanding of each other. Consistent communication that demonstrates a company’s financial fitness is most effective over time. Taking a disciplined, long-term approach will foster a banking relationship that lasts.
At community banks, like Allegiance, relationship banking is the rule, not the exception. We are excited to support your goals and dreams – especially when they benefit our community. In 2021, Allegiance Bank serviced 42 SBA loans, which created 483 jobs – that’s 483 families positively impacted by our relationship banking efforts.
Schedule a meeting today with your banker and allow us the opportunity to help you achieve your goals.