Commercial banks increasingly regard themselves as marketing-minded service businesses. Whether they are community banks or major regional institutions, commercial banks now offer a wide variety of services to both companies and individual consumers. Today's commercial banks must compete for business. They value bankers who, as relationship managers, can function as the primary bank contact for clients and influence them to use a variety of the bank's services.
The relationship manager's goal is to provide clients with an overall positive relationship with the bank. The relationship manager should understand clients' businesses as well as their industries. This enables him to introduce more services that could be helpful. For example, he could tell one client about a new type of business checking account that might save the company money and simplify its bookkeeper's work. Another client might gain benefits by meeting with the bank's trust department to discuss retirement services.
The relationship manager should be a college graduate with a master's degree in business or finance. Candidates should have five to eight years of experience as a commercial lender and a background working with small-business clients in various industries. Candidates should have an understanding of money management and merchant services. Another important quality is the ability to influence clients' choices of new product sets that enhance their businesses.
The position calls for a banking officer who can develop new, profitable business relationships for the bank and service existing accounts. Candidates should be able to work with colleagues to cross-sell bank services and to network with professionals in the community for the purpose of bringing new business clients to the bank. The relationship manager will be expected to participate in local civic and cultural activities.
The relationship manager should possess credit evaluation skills and a thorough understanding of financial statement analysis. The position calls for someone with excellent verbal and written communication skills and the ability to organize and deliver presentations to groups. Interpersonal skills and an appreciation for the importance of ongoing client satisfaction are definitely a plus.