Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Pearls of Wisdom - Norm Morales of Vineyard Bank

I attended a PNG networking lunch meeting today which featured Norm Morales, President and CEO of Vineyard Bank. Vineyard Bank is a Southern California, full service community bank with over $2.4 billion in assets. In both 2005 and 2006, Vineyard Bank was listed in Fortune Magazine's 100 Fastest Growing Companies.

While he has over 25 years of experience as a banker, Norm really didn't spend much time talking about banking products. Not one word on cash flow, remote deposit capture or SBA loans. Instead, he spoke about how to build a successful, entrepreneurial driven organization, what he's learned from working with multi-cultural businesses and how he uses that in growing a successful financial services institution.

Here's a few of Norm's pearls of wisdom...

  • Successful banks build relationships to meet their client's needs over a lifetime - cradle to grave. Provide solutions rather than sell products and you'll have a client for a lifetime.
  • Introduce your clients to other appropriate resources who can help build their businesses. You'll create a loyal customer that will pay off in the long run.
  • Good bankers (and business people in general) don't just sell products. They provide their customers with ideas and solutions to help them grow their businesses.
  • Hire the best talent that complements the rest of your team and fits with the culture and core values of your business.
  • If you serve multi-cultural businesses, acknowledge the operating and cultural differences of those clients. These differences may change over time based upon the number of generations removed from the initial immigration to the United States.

There were other "pearls of wisdom" Norm shared with the group - too many to list all of them here.

My takeaway at the end of the day, businesses become successful by building a relationship with their clients by aligning goals and culture. This message is applicable to any business, not just a bank.

By the way, next time you meet with your banker, ask them if they see the world the way Norm Morales does. Let me know what they say.

Need help finding the right lender or telling your story the right way? Read "Matchmaking for Business Loans" and give me a call!

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