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Even Better Than a Handshake: Financial Focus

Posted March 13, 2020 by Bobby Martin

Connect as a Proxy CFO to Help Guide Small Business Owners

Face-to-face meetings and firm handshakes have been staples in the banking business forever. So what happens when the meetings and events where we typically connect with clients and prospects are canceled and handshakes are off the table? With the coronavirus (COVID-19) dramatically impacting industries, financial markets, and businesses around the globe -- now is the time to focus on financials to help small businesses make important financial decisions when revenue and the future are uncertain.

The simple fact is, most businesses with less than $5 million in revenue do not have a chief financial officer. They are struggling on their own to navigate the potentially catastrophic effects of the current health and financial crisis. You can and should step forward to help.

Make technology work to your advantage

If you haven’t already, get yourself set up on an online meeting solution (e.g., Cisco WebEx, Go-To-Meeting, Zoom, or Skype) so that you can still meet with current or potential clients via video and share documents. Long-lasting relationships are built between people, and eye contact matters. A disconnected voice on the phone and emails alone won’t cut it if you truly want to be considered a trusted advisor.

Step in and help financially advise the business

Remember that many businesses do not have a true finance expert on staff. Accountants are costly, and controllers and bookkeepers often lack strategic planning skills. You thus have the opportunity to work with your contacts to identify the financial strengths and weaknesses of their business.

When you do connect, be sure to discuss current cash flow and access to capital. With offices, streams of income, and supply chains impeded or shut down entirely, many businesses need immediate help to survive. You also can collaborate with business owners to assess any key performance indicators (KPIs) they may have put into place for 2020 that now need to be adjusted.

Bring your data to life

FinTechs and banking bots can deliver a ton of data. But they can’t bring that data to life. When you share financial information, particularly in times of stress, be sure to communicate what it actually means.

Today, many business owners are distracted and concerned about the health and wellbeing of their family, friends, and businesses. Consider the context of your questions. Use simple, relatable stories to convey information. It’s called data storytelling, and it works much better than throwing financial information at clients.

Instead of numbers and charts, you’re communicating on a human level and sharing insight that helps business leaders understand what the data means for them -- and how they can apply it to address their specific business requirements.

Get real

Real intelligence beats artificial intelligence every time when it’s delivered with context, care, and a plan of action. (More on this in our recent eBook Beat the Bots: 5 Ways Business Bankers Win in the Age of FinTech and AI). Being human and getting real about how COVID-19 (or any crisis) is impacting the lives and businesses of your customers and prospects is essential. Reach out now to set up a video chat so that you can:

  • Review overall financial position
  • Identify critical financial challenges
  • Uncover potential savings and profit centers
  • Provide access to working capital and credit
  • Revise or refine KPIs to improve financial performance
  • Share strategies, solutions, and services to sustain or grow business

By stepping in as a substitute CFO, collaborating with business leaders, and communicating how they can use the data you provide for a more profitable financial future, you’ll deliver a powerful customer experience and long-term value.

>> Download our free eBook, Beat the Bots: 5 Ways Business Bankers Win in the Age of FinTech and AI

 

Tags: small business owner, business owner, advisor, cash flow, financials, relationship manager, prospecting, coronavirus

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