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The Best Way to get a Bank Loan is Not to Ask for One

Back in high school so long ago, all the guys tried to attract pretty girls. Nerds like me never had a chance competing with athletes like Fred H., quarterback and all-around American hero. No matter what I said or did, I just could not get any traction. Then I won student council president. Twice. I got lots of attention. Pretty nice. It didn’t make sense to me then, but it does now.

When you want to attract someone to your point of view, you need to understand theirs first. Just like in high school, once I distinguished myself and showed value from THEIR perspective, I got a sympathetic ear. Applying for a business loan is no different. How do you distinguish yourself from the viewpoint of the banker not the borrower (you)? Here are four ideas how you can get you banker to give you more attention:

1. You want a banking relationship, not a loan. You need a financial expert that can think and act strategically with you. Is the financial institution familiar with your industry and can the loan officer offer you insight to take your business to the next level?

2. Is your relationship profitable for the lender? Do they manage your operating account, money market account, retirement account, insurance, vehicle and equipment leasing, and business credit cards? Do your employees bank there? Does the bank hold your home mortgage, personal credit card, and home equity line of credit?

3. For any proposed lending relationship, did you calculate the interest and fee income the lender could make? Stop beating up the lender on rate and “points.” Focus on how attractive the

relationship is for the lender, not on why you should get a better deal.

4. Can you demonstrate why your business is a good fit for the lender? Does the lender have a good experience lending in your industry? Does doing business with your company foster other corporate goals for the financial institution (e.g., market share, community development, local presence, women-owned


Just like in high school - when you present your deal from the perspective of the lender, it’s the lender who wants to connect with you. The lender will seeks a fit with you and work toward those benefits. Try this and turn your banking relationship around. You don’t have to be a Fred H. to get a loan.

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