United States / Commercial Banking
Relationship Managers’ Open Secret for Industry Information
by Vilan Trub
Aug 18 2018

The title “relationship manager” is misleading because it discloses an organic process that never really takes place. Clients, or prospective clients, have needs and are interested in a party that can best help them reach their goals. What they don’t have is time, or desire for that matter, to educate a partner on the intricacies of their business. It’s stating the obvious to say a Relationship Manager (RM) and a client are not two childhood friends from summer camp with matching lanyard bracelets (unless they are but that’s not what we’re really talking about here). There is however a relationship rooted in information. It’s the tactical quest for that information that differentiates a high-performing RM from someone who just doesn’t bring enough to the table.

Let’s take a look at two conversations. Both involve an RM and a potential client looking to make a loan to open a fast food restaurant in Texas. The exchange on the left features an RM that did their homework, utilizing professional market research featuring key data points. The conversation on the right features an RM that went into the meeting blind, relying strictly on instinct or basic, unassisted research, if any.

A Tale of Two Business Conversations

The conversation involving a RM who did their homework is a conversation rooted in information. It allows both parties to see that the other knows what they’re doing and to quicker get to the nitty gritty of efficient decision making. The second conversation, featuring a RM who makes an assumption based off of an observation forces the potential client to become an educator. Instead of focusing on the business plan, conversation time is spent on going over basic business theory. The conversation doesn’t build confidence for the loan applicant and doesn’t help the RM get to the real core of the business plan they might be investing in.      

Overcoming obstacles of "studying"   

Studying is a time consuming process with concrete steps: identify location of accurate information, consume said information, and break down information into digestible language. We all remember the days of burying ourselves in a text book, highlighting paragraphs, writing notes and creating outlines then again studying those outlines. Adults need to study too, especially in the commercial banking sphere. Understanding the current state of a client’s industry benefits both relationship building as well as issuing intelligent loans. The difference between a student and a professional is that a student’s time is designed to be dedicated to such activities whereas a professional’s day is jam packed with other necessary work. Enough so that coming home is designated to clear the mind so that the cycle can continue without a physical and/or emotional breakdown. It’s stressful being a professional, but there are tools that exist to our benefit. Enter the specialists.    

Report at a Glance

IBISWorld analysts utilize resources and techniques developed over decades of research. By accessing verified information such as RMA studies and census records, as well as other sources, the foundation for creating a snapshot of the current state of the economy can be laid out. That’s the starting point of how the industry reports get put together, 716 reports in total based on NAICS listings and 655 specialized reports. The information is then analyzed and used to determine a multitude of information such as key economic drivers, industry risk, projected growth, and industry structure.  

Information is a valuable resource and easy access to information is invaluable.

Find out how you can access IBISWorld’s Industry Research Reports and start having the right conversations with potential clients.