5 Tips For Meeting With Your Banker
Last year, I set up a meeting with the Vice President of Business Banking at my local branch. Among other things, I needed to discuss the option of getting a line of credit for my business. Unfortunately, I went into the meeting totally unprepared and was not ready for everything that was about to be thrown my way. To spare me having to relive the situation, let’s just say the meeting didn’t go my way.
Fast forward a year. Last month, I had another meeting with the same person. But this time around I knew what to expect, which questions would be asked of me, and how I wanted to proceed.
Now I want to help you avoid some of the mistakes I made. If you are going to be meeting with any sort of banking professional in the near future, the following tips should suit you well:
1. Make it perfectly clear why you want to meet with them so that both parties can be 100 percent prepared. Whether you are interested in a loan for your business or a mortgage for a new home, you need to communicate your agenda upfront.
2. Have a list of questions that you are interested in asking. During my first meeting, I had no idea what I wanted to ask, so I “winged it” while hoping that I didn’t miss anything. Of course, when I returned home, I realized that I forgot to ask about several important details. In turn, I was forced to make a quick follow-up phone call. It is important that you write down any questions that you may have. Even though you may think you will remember them all, once the meeting starts, you can quickly become sidetracked.
3. Have an idea of what type of information your banker will need. During both business meetings, I was asked for the same information: copies of my past two tax returns, as well as basic information such as my name, address, and employee identification number. Depending on why you are meeting with your banker, you may need other information as well. Come prepared!
4. Are you required to bring somebody else with you? A few weeks ago, I opened a joint checking account with my wife. Since both of our names were going to be on the account, the bank suggested that we both be present. In addition to signatures from both of us, the bank also needed identification including our social security cards and drivers license.
If all parties are not present during the first meeting, expect to make a return visit to the bank in the near future. To avoid this, ask who needs to be present when you are setting up the meeting. This can help to save you a lot of time.
5. Be prepared to learn. Every time I leave a meeting with somebody at my bank, I am dumbfounded by how much I learn. Whether it is something small about my business or something more important (such as tips for securing a lower mortgage rate), the information I learn is always invaluable. By going into the meeting prepared to learn, you will secure some valuable tidbits of information along the way.
Be sure to follow the five tips above the next time you meet with a bank representative and you should come out with good results. Do you have any additional tips for meeting with your banker that should be included in this list?
(photo credit: dave_mcmt)