3 Reasons it Pays to Have a Banker in Your Corner
Executive Banking Relationship Manager Peg Silverwood explains the importance of relationship banking and why she loves helping clients find creative approaches to their financial needs.
There’s one lesson from working in retail that has served Peg Silverwood well in her 20-year banking career: “I never ‘sold,’” she says. “I paid attention to the client and I knew my merchandise very well.”
Bringing those skills with her to Zions Bank as an Executive Banking relationship manager working with clients of emerging wealth was an easy transition because in many ways, banking products are a lot like clothing.
“You have to be able to explain what each banking product does and why it would benefit the client,” she says, “just like you have to explain that a piece of clothing would look good on someone because of the style or color.”
For Silverwood, it’s all about offering personalized service and relationship banking that is focused on uncovering needs rather than “selling” products.
Silverwood highlights three main reasons why it pays to have a banker in your corner who is passionate about relationship banking.
Relationship Banking Benefit #1: A banker who is committed to you
Your relationship manager offers a single point of contact to help you navigate your financial institution’s products and services.
“Relationship banking means being able to go to the person who has the answers, and if they don’t have the direct answers, they have a team of experts surrounding them who can help,” Silverwood explains. “You should feel like you can rely on that person to get the answers you need.”
She recalls a new attorney client who had mistakenly written a check from the firm’s IOLTA account for an office purchase — on New Year’s Day, a bank holiday — and was concerned about potential professional ramifications. “They were just frantic,” she says. “I told them that we will take care of their mistake. I would be in the office the day after the holiday and would get it straightened out. Because of that, they could get on with setting up for their first business day.”
Relationship Banking Benefit #2: A banker who offers strategic thinking
An experienced banker can often provide creative approaches to challenging situations. Silverwood remembers the client who was bogged down by medical debt but didn’t qualify for debt consolidation, so she helped them develop a repayment strategy.
“Through collaboration by reviewing their finances, they were able to pay down the debt and refinance their home and it was wonderful they could reach their goal,” Silverwood says. “I didn’t say ‘No, I can’t help you.’ I am a relationship manager. I care deeply. I could see possible options just by reviewing their finances. It’s such a reward to know that you’ve built this relationship and you can see them achieving their goals.”
Another client was grappling with how to purchase a new home before his current home sold, so he called Silverwood for ideas. “The client said, that’s exactly why I wanted to talk to you — I knew you’d have the answer,” she recalls. “It’s good for our clients to have a second opinion. We can’t make decisions for them, but we can provide them with information by listening to their needs and asking targeted questions to offer them options based on our experience.”
Relationship Banking Benefit #3: A banker who helps you get what you really need
There’s no shortage of information online about different types of financial products and services. But it can be hard to know which loan, for example, best fits a client’s individual needs based on a Google search alone.
“Having a banker who has expertise, that opens up doors,” Silverwood says. “I’ve had clients come in with the thought that they need a certain product and when we have the discussion and I ask questions and I gather the information, I find out there are other options that might be a better fit.”
At the end of the day, Silverwood says, the best bankers know that the client comes first.
“It’s always about them — the word ‘I’ has to be put in a box,” she says. “When I’m talking to a client it’s about them: what’s in it for them, their benefits. The person in front of me has a great story, and I have a wonderful opportunity. Relationship banking is making a difference in clients’ lives.”
Zions Bank’s Executive Banking team provides concierge-style services to clients of emerging wealth. To learn how an Executive Banking relationship manager like Peg can help you achieve your financial goals, visit your local Zions Bank branch.
Nicola McIntosh is Social Media manager for Zions Bank.