Monday through Thursday of the 2016 GSBLSU session, many students found themselves seated in 152 Coates Hall. The class was Banking Small Business, the professor was Mike Milan, and the intent was to introduce students to the intricacies that come with banking for small businesses. With over 28 million small businesses nationwide, small business is, in fact, very big business, and one on which all banking professionals should have a strong grasp.
In his role as Senior Vice President of Business Development at Finagraph, Mike Milan helps small business owners make sense of the financial aspects of their business through the use of software and training. He also has over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience, including many of his own business ventures. In short, there are few more qualified to offer such detailed perspective on the relationships that lie between small businesses and their financial institutions.
Among the many takeaways that students can expect from this course, is a breakdown of personality profiles and how to morph your approach to each in order to solicit the best results. Business owners want local delivery. They want an institution that is reliable, trustworthy, and understanding of their own unique circumstances. They also want someone with whom they can effectively communicate. Personality profiles can be broken down into four main categories:
Driver – Drivers are task-oriented, competitive, fast-paced, and results-oriented. These personalities need the bottom line up front. They want their information to be brief but thorough, so they can make a decision as quickly as possible.
Expressive – Expressive personalities are the ones you gravitate to at parties. They light up the room and can be friends with anyone. But beware, expressives are poor with details and follow-through.
Amiable – Amiable individuals are timid. Expect little information or even eye contact from them. It can be exceptionally difficult to gain their trust but exceptionally rewarding when you finally do.
Analytical – Analytical personalities need to know as much information as you can give them. Be prepared to offer ample facts and to answer many questions before the ultimate decision is made.
While the majority of all business owners fall into the driver and expressive categories, bankers and accountants are just the opposite. Learning how to engage those with differing personality types means that banking professionals must be chameleons of sorts and is just a blip of what students can expect from this course in order to improve their small business banking acumen and relations.