Our guest today is Steve Gareau. Steve is a Vice President of Commercial Banking with First Merit, where he is responsible for bringing new relationships to the bank and acting as a client’s primary contact within the bank. Steve has also been a commercial banker with Huntington, Citizens (formerly Charter One) and KeyBank, and started out of college as an Import Analyst with UPS Supply Chain Solutions.
When you listen to this conversation you’ll notice that Steve loves what he does. He genuinely enjoys helping his clients and the process of bringing in new clients. He is also very real so you’ll get a great sense of what it means to build a business as a commercial banker.
I use the term own your career a lot on this show. Listen to Steve’s explanation of how he started in this business. His story is a perfect example of what it means to take hold of your career and own it. He literally built his career from the ground up, pushed through the good, the bad and the difficult and has done very well as a result.
In this episode:
- Steve’s path from getting an accounting degree, to import analyst, to derivatives, to commercial banker (portfolio manager then relationship manager)
- What is attractive about being in a sales role at a bank (often called a relationship manager)
- Differences between a credit analyst, a portfolio manager and a relationship manager
- Getting used to difficult conversations with clients, especially during tough economic times
- The benefits of being part of a team where you connect with management and are in alignment
- How difficult conversations can often draw you closer to the other party
- Having the boldness and confidence to pick up the phone and call prospects (most people won’t do it)
- How to grow your relationship with a prospect and become one of their core advisors
- The opportunity that exists in commercial lending due to industry changes and retiring senior lenders
- Why you can do well in any finance career when you find one that fits you
Music by Elijah from NOMADS