Getting Funding: Empathize With Your Banker

Jessica SarterSmall Business Lending


By Brian Hamilton

If you don’t have empathy for the loan officer sitting across from you, you won’t understand how to get the funding you need.


Empathy is an essential characteristic of a successful business owner. In all aspects of business development—whether is customer relations, labor management, or seeking a strategic new business partnership—assuming the viewpoint of the person across from you is an invaluable practice.

One group of people that most entrepreneurs typically fail to empathize with is bank lenders. This is not surprising, since bankers and entrepreneurs tend to have fundamentally different personalities.

As entrepreneurs, we always think bankers are conservative geeks–boring guys who don’t want to take risks. Entrepreneurs, however, are forward thinkers that shirk conventional wisdom and are willing to pivot their business and operate without a well-defined monetization model for extended periods of time.

But if you ran a bank, you’d understand that losing money is simply not an option.

Risks are an inherent part of any loan or investment, but if you want to know how to put a banker’s worries at ease and score that loan, you’ll need to effectively answer these two questions.

1. Does your company have reliable cash flow?

2. Do you have enough collateral?

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