Building successful, long-term relationships as a business lender takes time and trust. It is true that those relationships develop over time, but how those relationships start is the best indicator of their longevity. Are you doing the right things now to build strong long-term profitable relationships?
To make sure you take advantage of every opportunity you have to be ready to build the best relationship from the onset. Every business contact is an opportunity to build a partnership the important thing is to start off on the right foot. MZ Bierly Consulting has compiled a 25-point checklist to make sure you’re ready to build the best relationship (you can download the checklist here).
MZ Bierly identifies critical questions every business loan department should as itself. Here are 4 of the 25 areas the assessment gauges:
“I have reviewed my Key Prospect List with my Manager in the last 3 months.”
This takes time, but it is time well spent. To some this review many seem like a “big brother” meeting, but if used properly this visibility can create solutions that can help you over come obstacles. How is management supposed to help close deals if they don’t know what is being worked?
“I create a separate prospect folder for each prospect.”
This is a key first step in the process of building long lasting business relationships. Recordkeeping will help ensure you don’t miss vital information, or put you in the embarrassing position of having to ask for information repeatedly (Ever have the misfortune of forgetting your date’s name?). Remember relationships are built on trust, it is hard to trust a person who always forgets things.
“I think about the possible value I can provide to the prospect.”
To be clear if you thinking your “value” is “I can get you the money you need”, you are thinking about this wrong. Every good relationship is built on win-win and that means you provide value long-term. The true litmus test is if prospects return to you for advice on how to grow their business, not just another loan. Anyone can give a qualified business a loan, you need to provide value only YOU can provide.
“I make goals for new business with prospects every year.”
Goals are more than just number setting; they are the antitheist to progress. Make sure that not only do you set goals, but that progress toward achieve that goal can be easily tracked by breaking the goal into incremental milestones that track to overall success (If I want to close 10 new prospects this year I’ll need to contact 3 new prospects a month).
Real relationships go deeper than an entry in your bank CRM system. Building long-term relationships takes time and commitment (a lesson I learned from my wife), but if you don’t start off on the right foot you’ll never get the chance. Prepare now so you can build right relationship when you get the chance.
Test your relationship building preparedness with MZ Bierly Consulting’s 25 Question Prospecting Assessment: Download it Here