It might be easy to assume that a banker who agrees with you and always gives you what you want is the guy or gal who has your best interests at heart, but that might not be the case. I’ve tried to convince my wife that capitulating to my every whim is a good idea for over 30 years, but I have yet to convince her. In fact, she often gives me news I don’t like and opinions that are contrary to mine. Some of those traits might be worthwhile in a banker too—here are three of them:
- She encourages me to interact with others: I’m not in the least bit anti-social, but the time I spend on my motorcycle alone (although I consider it valuable battery recharging time), my sweet wife sometimes things is excessive (yet again another topic for another day). She would prefer and often encourages me to spend more time socializing with our friends and adult children. This is sometimes problematic since few of them ride motorcycles. In the same vane, a banker with you best interest at heart will make sure you have opportunity to meet and network with those in the community who are in a position to help your business. Bankers know a lot of people. People you likely don’t know. Hopefully your banker is invested in your success and always looking for ways to provide additional value to you and your business. Sometimes that means helping you make connections with people who can help you meet your financial objectives. This is a potential win/win situation for everyone, provided you are willing to let them broaden your circle of influence.
- My wife wants me to be successful: We’ve been married for a long time and she feels the impact of my success on a daily basis. A banker who has your best interests at heart wants you to be successful in the same way. Lest you think that requires them to be totally altruistic, your success bodes well for them too. The more successful you are the more likely he or she will be able to provide the services you need and generate revenue for his or her bank. You should expect the financial strategies your banker recommends are intended to be mutually beneficial—and that is a good thing.
- My wife tells me the truth: She might not always tell me what I want to hear, but I can always trust that she is telling me what she thinks I need to hear. Honest feedback is often difficult to accept. If your banker really has your best interest at heart, he or she will likely give you honest feedback. Of course, they’ll share your optimism for the future, but there may be times when they share frank and honest concerns about what they see as risks, etc. They may even uncover potential problems they can help you solve.
It’s doubtful that you’ll ever feel like your banker is your BFF—he or she is your banker after all, but it’s not unreasonable to expect they will treat your relationship the same way you treat it—as an investment.