THE MONEY ACADEMY
Meet the Bank! 6 key elements which can generate a successful meeting with any financiers
1. Be Ready –
Prepare your presentation (a short 5 minutes one) about you and the business; prepare marketing materials like business cards, flyers, which reflect that your business is alive and active. Even if you are a startup, you shall make the effort to present a complete “ready for clients“ approach.
Your marketing materials represent you! If they are messy, wrinkled, dirty, have spelling mistakes…they reflect your approach to details and to your business. Your readiness level for this meeting is important because indeed there might not be a second meeting. You need to know your numbers, your target audience and to present your expertise.
Being ready also means you need to know what your needs are - How much money do you need? For what? How can you return? What will be your future incomes to reimburse?
Prepare your business plan and cash flow. If you do not know how to do it, it is better to get professional support. Remember that bankers see hundreds of clients, they can easily spot a good professional level or a bad one, in many of the cases, they will be very focused in identifying the business weak point and mistakes in your plan, which will lead to declining you.
2. Sleep well / eat well
Being ready also means physically ready.
I remembered days of early flights to Rome, meeting with banks and going back to Bucharest on the same day. Such days are a true effect on your success within a meeting. Being hungry or tired can be a deal-breaker. Do not neglect the most basic needs, sleep well before the meeting, eat a healthy meal a few hours before and arrive fresh.
3. Think like a banker –
If you were a banker what will be the questions you will ask when meeting your business plan?
If you are known already your weakest points and you are so “afraid” the banker will ask you about it, it’s better to prepare for the hardest questions. Actually, this methodology will reduce 80% of your stress. The effect will be so strong that you will actually be in a “waiting” position to be asked any kind of question. Preparing yourself to any kind of scenarios is the key point, however, there might be a situation in which you will be asked and will not have an answer. In such a case do not use an answer such as “let me think”, “it’s the first time I am asked this question” etc. Simply answer that you will send this information by email as you need to verify this information. Delay your answer and do not answer on the spot.
Remember, a banker sees you and thinks “RISKS”, therefore, your challenge is to comfort the banker by providing all the reduction risks elements which they can predict when they analyze your business and business plan.
After every meeting, prepare yourself a summary, pointing out in which points you were not ready enough to answer correct. You will see that very fast, after 2-3 meetings, you can be so strong and effective that no one can surprise you anymore.
4. Beware of overselling
Sometimes I meet entrepreneurs that are so excited about their business, about their plan (about themselves …) that they can’t notice the other side is already “in”, interested and agreed. In such cases, continuing and selling, pushing yourself and continue talking about how good is the plan, can only create damage. Be attentive to knowing how to stop and let the other side lead the meeting.
Once you identify the reaction is good, you do not need to continue and push. It is ok to add a small positive value at the end of meeting, but better not to “oversell” yourself as this can actually reflect your lack of confidence in the whole deal. Knowing when to stop and listen is also a kind of art!
5. Look good -
We all know that good looking people have better access to resources. However, you do not need be a supermodel to be successful. Looking good means to be clean, aesthetic, dress in accordance to your business, check your breath smell, beware of smelling like a cigarettes, clean your shoes (or buy new ones!) … respect yourself and the other side who is meeting you.
Dress to the occasion- no need to wear a tuxedo or an evening dress, but do not come in dirty jeans.
You are asking the bankers to trust you and your capabilities, your appearance must reflect this as well. A good looking appearance represents the fact that you take care of yourself and this is a strong non-verbal message that can create comfort for entering a business collaboration with you.
You do not have to wear fancy brands to look successful, it is perfectly fine to dress nice, use the right colors, arrange your hair, nails and make up to fit your age and present your inner beauty.
Eventually, when you feel good about yourself and your appearance you send good energies to the surroundings and this I believe, is one of the key elements that create the synergy between beauty to success.
6. The bottom line + few obvious ones….
Come on time, be positive, be polite and respectful, do not enter to the bankers sentences , keep an eye contact… things might happened, you will not be successful in 100% of your meetings but believe in yourself , think you are so good & successful and you are on the right way - only then things will start happening to you !
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Osnat Peled, General Director of Mentor Finance (from Mentor group Holdings consortium) has relocated to Romania from Israel. Having 19 years of business experience she has been working with banks, governments and leading companies in assisting them to achieve their business goals and recruit financing.
Mentor Finance provides financing solutions to companies, developers, entrepreneurs and NGOs in all types of domains. www.mentor-finance.com
Foto: Sebastian Moise Make-up: Monica Panait Şedinta foto a avut loc la Hotel Prince Park Residences Bucureşti *Articol apărut în Business Woman Magazine, ediţia 66
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„I set in front of my banker and I felt I am frozen, I knew that if he does not approve this loan my business is dead and I will never be able to do it…this has brought negative feelings to my head and I started to feel so dizzy, just wanted this to finish…” this is how Cristina, which has just opened her new business handling event organizing, described me her meeting with the bank when we met to discuss about her business strategies. Allocating funding for your business is not an easy task. The position of asking money, from a third party can bring stress, especially when your emotions toward your business are involved.
By Osnat Peled, Mentor for Business Excellence and Director of Mentor Finance.
I started to think back on hundreds of meetings I had had with bankers, investors and private equity funds. Indeed they are stressing because you feel the element of “getting a single chance” in the air, however, through the years, I have learned how to control the stress and increase the success rates of these meetings, and this is exactly what I am going to share with you today based on 6 key elements which can generate successful meetings with any financiers and mainly when meeting the bank.