I was really proud of myself!  I had just started my consulting career after years with General Electric, Frito-Lay, Hunt Electronics, Northern Telecom, G.D. Searle and Regal Cookware and had a new client.  My client was taking me to meet his banker in hopes of acquiring a line of credit. I met him at his office, was handed his Financials (prepared by his CPA) and we rode together to his banker’s office about five blocks away….

Upon arriving at the Bank, the Bank President escorted us into a small conference room and my client started bragging on me and how I was going to make a difference in his business management.  He went “on and on” and I was kind of elevated, if you know what I mean.   And, then….the Banker asked me a question:  “Tom, I was looking at the Net Earnings on the Balance Sheet and they are not the same number as the Net Earnings on the Income Statement…how can that be?”  (well, we know that those numbers are always the same….).  Never again did I simply pick up a set of Financials and hand them over to someone before I checked the net earnings on the Income Statement and Balance Sheet!

So much for being the White Knight!

Sometime in the future, I’ll share what I call “the bankers eyes” and once you work with a lot of bankers, you “just know” how their eyes go down a Balance Sheet and Income Statement; and, within thirty seconds, they know your financial situation and whether they want to work with you or just humor or patronize you.  The only thing is:  I already know.

If you need help preparing for a fateful meeting with a banker (or a financier), let’s talk.  I have some more stories to share with you….