How many states have you lived in?
My count so far is 8.
Every time I moved to a new state and city, my Dad helped me find a bank. He didn’t actually go to the cities so how’d he do it?
Well, he was an architect in his professional career and his specialty was designing banks. I remember going to visit many of them as a girl. We’d be on trips and in travels and we’d inevitably ‘stop by’ one of his banks.
I loved those visits. In large part because when we walked in the door, the president greeted us – usually waiting for us and jumping up, happily when we’d arrive, my Dad in the lead. My Dad had gotten to know the president of the bank in the design and build process. He connected with them fully to boost the end results: a bank the president loved, that would work well with the vision for the establishment and serve the community.
We were shown right in, greeted robustly and genuinely and shown around, eventually sitting in the president’s office for some friendly conversation.
As a little kid, it felt really special. To get the red carpet treatment, based on my Dad’s connections.
You can likely guess, then, that I was always happy to be introduced to a bank president in a town I was moving to, thanks to my Dad. He’d get out his banking industry book and pick one one for me. It was up to me to then line up a time to meet the bank president, which set in motion setting up my accounts at the bank when I arrived in the new town.
At all of them, I relished getting to meet the president. Now, to be clear: this wasn’t about being any better than anyone else. It was utilizing a connection; fast tracking a new relationship of meaning, based on the good reputation of someone else. It was always about trust. My Dad was trusting me to make a good impression, the bank President was trusting that his architect’s daughter was friendly and willing to do business, and I was trusting that it’d help me get set in a new place – starting with a meaningful new connection.
To everyone else, it was just a bank. I knew better though.
Did any of the Presidents become friends? One did. Were they all friendly and helpful? Definitely. Did I recommend those banking institutions to others, as I got to know people in the community? Absolutely.
That’s the power of connection.
I was reminded of this story last night while talking with My Fine Husband. Banking is a perfect analogy to connection. When we invest in our relationships strategically, we reap rewards. When we invest our money wisely, we reap rewards too. Both require the long-view. Both require effort, energy, intention, and attention to grow and flourish.
When we bank on connecting, we experience many rewards.
Heck, I still have my very first bank register: a gold plastic cover with the original paper book inside to track my activity, starting with my first deposit of $25.
Yes I can bank online – though it’ll always be about the personal relationship to me first. Any bank or credit union will take my money. Sadly, most of them don’t get that the business is about sincere everyday opportunity in every interaction to build personal relationships well beyond a screen. I don’t care about what they’re doing or their board or the rate I can get on a boat loan. I care, as all customers do, that they care about me and SEE me as a person, not an account number.
To this day I seek personal connection with bankers. Right now, I don’t have it and I miss it.
Convenience will never trump connection.