Make Best Friends With Your Bank Manager (Here’s How)16th November 2016
Have you ever come across this problem? Friends of yours are having relationship troubles. One complains that the other partner never talks to them anymore, and that they never discuss problems. The other says…. Exactly the same thing.
You just wish that one of them would take the initiative and start talking to the other.
Unfortunately, it takes two to tango. If you want a good relationship, you both share some responsibility for communicating with each other.
And since this is an email about financial management of your business, not personal relationships, what works for couples also holds true for your company and your bank.
Business owners often complain about their relationship with their bank. It’s almost always the same issues: No one’s available to answer questions… Their bank manager shows no interest in the business….. When you need help urgently, they’re just not responsive.
But instead of complaining, why not pick up the phone and talk to them?
If you want a relationship with your bank manager, you can’t rely on them to do all the heavy lifting. You need to work at it, too.
Make your bank manager your best friend.
Don’t keep them in the dark – let them know what’s going on with your business on a regular basis. Give them good news as well as bad, and send them your monthly management accounts.
Invite them for meetings and to visit your company. They’ll usually come.
They hate surprises, so if you think you’re about to hit a bad patch and need their support, get in touch sooner rather than later. They’ll be more inclined to help if they can see that you have a long-term plan for your business. It’s in their interests to lend you cash, so help them help you.
Find out what networking groups are in your area. Many may include local bank managers – it’s a great chance to meet them informally and start building relationships.
Size could be an issue, of course. Most banks will not have dedicated relationship managers for small-sized companies, but what they consider small varies. Generally, the lower limit is a turnover of £1-£2 million. Some, such as Metrobank, have no lower limit and will be happy to help you out no matter the size of your business.
At Insight Associates, we make a point of nurturing relationships with local banks because it’s so important both for ourselves and for our clients. For example, we get to know local bank managers and invite them to our offices so they can see first-hand how we work.
Having an open line to your bank manager will always pay off in spades.
In a previous email I mentioned a customer who had complained about their banking. We solved that by moving them to a bank where we already had a relationship, helping them to get that too.
Many people consider their bank manager their enemy, but they don’t have to be. They can be your business’s biggest friend and supporter, giving you great business advice, helping you tide over difficult periods and smoothing out issues with your banking quickly.
So don’t leave it to your bank manager to reach out first… The relationship is far too important to leave to them!