Applying for a Small Business Loan - Preparation Before Meeting Your Bank Manager
Submit Articles Back to Articles
We all know the 5 P’s when it comes to preparing for a big event – ‘preparation prevents particularly poor performance’ and when it comes to facing your Bank Manager with your begging bowl in your hand, this has never been more true!
But there are some steps you can take before the meeting to ensure you don’t suffer from a poor performance.
Prepare a Script
If you have prepared in advance your Bank Manager should have your Business Plan in front of him. Reading a Plan though cannot give him a feel for the real person behind the business. He needs to see and hear that for himself and this is your chance to win him over and show what a great businessperson you are!
To be ready for this you have to prepare a script, which sells you and the business. Take each aspect of the Plan and come up with a list of the main points you wish to put across. Against each point, write down some of your key thoughts and then play around with how you would phrase it. You don't want to ramble on and put the Manager to sleep, so make your points exciting, interesting and not too long.
Your pitch should also include the strengths and weaknesses of both you and your business. Yes, your pitch is about presenting the positive aspects of your business and the opportunities within your grasp but it is also the time to acknowledge the negatives. Any experienced Banker will quickly pick up on the flaws in your Plan or a questionable background. Be up front and honest and weave this into your pitch.
Learn Your Script
The interview is your first chance of selling something – yourself, your idea and your business. An actor's job is to go on the stage and make people believe he is the person he's trying to portray. He does this by thorough preparation, which includes learning his script, how to stand and sit, how to put across meaning in what he says.
All of this is achieved through knowing and understand his script and learning it. You have to think like an actor. Your script is your Business Plan. Spend time to come up with questions you may be asked, so all that remains for you to do is practice your delivery.
Prepare Strong Opening and Closing Statements
Two of the key elements of your presentation, which has to be thoroughly prepared, are your opening and closing remarks. These have to concisely sum up what you want from the Bank and portray confidence in your ability to achieve. The words used and the presentation has to be up beat and positive.
People are more likely to remember the first and last thing they heard, so make your opening and closing remarks powerful and compelling. Whatever you do, don't start the interview with an opening line such as,
"I know you probably can't help me but.........."
Start off with something along these lines, "Thank you for seeing me today. I trust you have had the chance to review my Business Plan. As you know, I am looking for a loan to ……"
Similarly, your closing remarks have to be prepared in advance and rehearsed. Try something along the lines of, "Thank you very much for your time. I'm sure you can see that I'm fully committed to making this venture succeed. If you want to know more, give me a call. If not, then I look forwarding to receiving your answer soon."
A weak close such as, "Oh I do hope you can help me", is not going to get you very far! Your closing statement has to be upbeat, positive and demonstrate that you are raring to go!
Knowing what to say and how to say it will make you look professional and worthy of support and that's your aim. Someone who stumbles over their words and whose sentences are full of "ums" and "ahs" will not impress.
A salesperson that has a prepared sales pitch will reap the benefits, and so it will be for you in your request for finance if you have a well prepared and practiced presentation.
Small Business Success
About the Author
For more information on how to deal with your bank and increase your chances of getting a small business loan check out Rob’s e-book ‘The Secrets of Getting Your Bank Manager to Say Yes!’ at http://smallbusinessloansecrets.com
Also subscribe to Rob’s free weekly newsletter, Small Business Success, which is packed with small business ideas and tips at http://smallbusinesssuccess.biz .
Follow us @Scopulus_News
Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2006-09-11 14:54:57 in Business Articles