Starting a small business means having as many allies as possible and few allies are as important to new business owners as the banker.
It always pays to be on the good side of the person who has a say over whether or not your emerging business will be extended the loan it needs to get through the initial stages. Well as you might already know, it’s important to be on the good side to anybody that influences your business in any type of way.
Here’s a tip: Take your banker out to lunch and build a relationship with them.
For years, entrepreneurs and company associates have taken clients to lunch as a way to either establish a potential relationship or strengthen a rapport that had already existed. Why not do this with your banker?
There is a peculiar relationship that people have with their bankers. Often entrepreneurs view their banker as somebody they can only talk to within the bank. Why have this relationship with somebody that has such a big influence over your business?
By dining with someone with whom he or she could do business, the person who made the meal plans shows an approachable, congenial nature that would compel the client to see that the relationship between the two entities that either person represents goes further. Take advantage of this easy relationship building activity with your banker.
Tips for business lunches:
- Always greet with a firm handshake and thank them for their time. Towards the beginning of the conversation make sure you ask them how much time they have. This will give you an idea of how you should structure the conversation for your lunch.
- Small talk is important. Relax, just talk to the person. Unless you are in a time crunch, don’t bring up your business plan or your loan application until they start talking about it.
- Be in the present moment. Limit glancing around the room. It’s a sign that you’re looking for something better. Let them do most of the talking. Find out what they like to do, and stick to it! People love talking about themselves and the more they do it, the happier they’ll be (for the most part).
- Stay up to pace with your lunch date’s eating habits and make sure you order something that will take a little longer to cook. Every minute is important.
About The Guest Author: Manny Skevofilax is a business financial consultant whose influence has secured fiscal stability for businesses across the United States as well as overseas. He possesses experience in various industries including web design and marketing, banking, real estate, educational counseling, hospitality and manufacturing. When he’s not spending time at PORTAL CFO Consulting, you may find him at local business-related events in Baltimore, MD.