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How to Build Rapport With Your Bank Manager


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If you are looking for a Bank to support your new business or help expand your existing business then it’s very likely that you have had to deal with a Bank Manager. Depending on how well the Manager knows you very often you will have to attend an interview.

Everything you do and say in the interview will have a bearing on whether you are assessed as a good or bad risk. Building rapport between you and the Manager is part of this process.

Let’s look at just some of the tools you can use to build rapport with your Manager.

Speak With Confidence

There's no getting away from it, human nature is such that we naturally feel more comfortable with people who are confident and can express their ideas and thoughts with conviction. Your voice has to convey your inner strength. It has to say to the listener, "I'm going to make a success of this business" or "I know that the additional money I'm asking for will help me increase sales turnover by 100%".

Your voice is an expression of the strong belief you have in yourself. People are drawn to those who are confident. Portraying confidence will help create rapport.

Make Plenty of Eye Contact

Stare him straight in the eyes when you want to put across a particularly powerful point; this demonstrates confidence. Avoiding eye contact gives the impression you are so uncomfortable with what you're saying that you can't look him in the eye. Your discomfort could give the Manager the feeling that you either lack confidence or are lying.

Not looking him the eye, especially during crucial statements, will lead to him asking himself questions such as, "He's trying to hide something. What is it?"; " He doesn't seem very comfortable with what he just said. Has he got a problem with that area?"

Your eyes can give away so much about your thoughts. Make sure they say you are confident, not afraid of the task ahead and worthy of support.


A miserable person is not going to endear themselves to anyone. It's a fact that we gravitate to people who are happy and smiling. They appear to be having a ball in life and we want to be part of it! If you walked into a department store and you had the choice of two assistants, one who was smiling and welcoming and one who was down-in-the-mouth, who would you choose to go to?

A smile has the power to melt away any opposition or ill feeling. It's another aspect of our body language, which shouts out confidence and helps builds rapport

Watch His Body Language

You will be able to gauge his initial reactions by observing his body language and reacting to that. If you learn to read body language then misunderstandings can be rectified early on and you'll get an important insight into what the other person is thinking.

Here are some of the things to look out for:

• If you see him leaning back in his chair, it's almost as if he's trying to get as far away from you as possible. The hidden meaning could be that he's trying to distance himself from what you are proposing; in other words he doesn't like your idea. If you see this, you need to immediately find out what is on his mind, so ask a question. Ask if he has any comments on what you've said so far and this will give you the chance to get him back on your side. If he has misunderstood something which has led him to switching off, then it's important you clarify the problem, correct it and move on

• If he has started supporting his head with his hands, it may be that he has lost interest in what you're saying. If you see this "loss-of-interest" signal, again ask a question such as "Do you have any queries so far?" Asking questions of someone who looks bored or left out, brings them back into the conversation and again gives you an opportunity to check their understanding of what you have covered

• The opposite of the "bored pose", is where he starts leaning towards you. This may indicate a high level of interest in what you have to say and shows you that you're on the right track. Spotting this will help improve your confidence even further

• Crossed arms and legs may indicate a negative feeling towards your proposal. Again, ask questions to uncover what the problem or concern is, so you can clear up any misunderstandings

• If he is maintaining a very "open" position i.e. arms apart, nodding in agreement, he is indicating that he's keen to know more about your project and so giving you the green light to carry on with your presentation

If you see evidence of negative body language, ask questions to get him to express his feelings or thoughts. Such questions would be: "What do you think about what I've covered so far?"; "From what you've heard so far, what are your impressions?"; "Have I made myself clear?"

Learn To Use Success-Based Words

As a successful or potentially successful businessman, you do not want to be using the same dull words as the general masses. In line with your strong belief and confident talking style, you need to use words, which propel you above the average person and backup the belief you have in your success.

Your words have to shout out that here is a successful person who knows what he wants! The words you use have to convey your enthusiasm and energy - these are success-based words - all of which is necessary to run a successful business. Success-based words are ‘can do’, ‘will do’ phrases. Changing your vocabulary to a "success-based" one will take some practice and constant vigilance on your part.

Try and think of the words you use on a daily basis. Do they convey what you really want to say? Are they non success-based or success-based? Can you change them to ones that are?

When you use success-based words, remember what we said about the use of emphasis. Success-based words are the ideal ones to emphasis. Properly emphasised they do convey power, success, confidence and a strong belief.

We have looked at some of the tools you can use to help build rapport with your Bank Manager. All of them will help you get ahead of the game, so study them and practice their use.

Robert Warlow 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 Also subscribe to Rob’s free weekly newsletter, Small Business Success, which is packed with small business ideas and tips at

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2006-09-11 15:01:37 in Business Articles

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