Often entrepreneurs believe banks and lenders only compete on the price of checking account services and interest rates, but as a business owner, you should expect more from your lender. You may even be surprised to find out that there are ways to have banks competing over your applications.
Look for a lender who helps your company by competing for your business by working to help educate you about their products and processes. Since lenders deal with business owners with varying degrees of financial knowledge every day, they should have resources prepared to get you up to speed on the financial products they offer. Not all banks have understandable resources for laymen when it comes to the products they offer. Even if the bank does not provide their individual lenders with educational material, that doesn’t excuse your lender from making sure you that know how the financial products your business utilizes are the best fit.
Another indicator that you have chosen the right lender is if they are referring others to you as potential customers. They know a lot of people, a typical branch manager is going to have 30 or so business accounts, plus all of the business owners they know but don’t have a banking relationship with currently. Chances are they know someone who is interested in your products or services that they can refer. On the flip side, your lender should be referring you to other businesses that could help you cut costs. If one or both of these aren’t happening, you should consider whether you are happy with your banking relationship.
Find a lender you get along with at least on a warm professional level. Finding topics to talk about other than strictly business shouldn’t be hard. But don’t lose sight of your objective, you should change accounts if it means accepting much worse financial products.
This step serves to get your lender excited when talking about you. A lender that can personally endorse you will help out immensely with word-of-mouth referrals. Also, if you have a warm relationship with your lender, you won’t feel imposing when asking for help or that expansion loan.
Banks compete on more than just the price, they also compete on service, make sure you are taking full advantage of everything your lender can offer.