“Manny” called late one afternoon and needed a $1.5 million commercial real estate loan. Before discussing his bank relationship over the phone or initiating an application, I had to “authenticate” him. Authentication involves a series of questions about his bank relationship that only the proper owner could answer correctly. He answered them correctly and without hesitation.

Businesspeople who are truly engaged with their finances normally have the correct answers at their fingertips, and willingly cooperate with procedures meant to protect their banking security.

Manny owned a furniture store. The store had been opened since the early seventies and he had accounts with our bank for about that long. His business accounts had healthy and substantial balances, with no recent history of overdrafts. Manny had been renting his store space, but wanted to buy the building he was in. He told me that he had offered $1.5 million for the building, but that the contracted price expired in 45 days.

His loan request fit our guidelines for owner-occupied commercial property (over 50 percent). There was an additional tenant, so he would be able to collect that rent as well.

I asked Manny if he has two years of business tax returns available, and a recent income statement and balance sheet. He did. I asked him if he had a sales contract. He did. I asked him how quickly he could order an appraisal. He said he would do it the moment we submitted an application.

As a customer, he did everything right. He did his homework before calling us, and responded quickly to our requests for documents. As a result, he got his loan approved well within the required 45 days. The interest rate, while historically low, was discounted even further due to his deposit relationship and solid credit.

Key to Triumph: Manny was always prepared. Engagement means preparedness, which means minimal delay. His credit and deposits also helped. Banks compete to win the business of customers like this.

**NOTE: All “Bankable Stories” were written by One Click Advisor founder James Chittenden and are true stories of clients that he assisted as a business banker. Names have been changed to protect client confidentiality.