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By Monica Paslawski, Financial Literacy Coach.



Patience, my friend

Patience – that’s the key to getting what you want from your Bank.

The Big Bad SCARY Banker Expert Types. Yikes!

Oh yes – we’ve all been there.

We go into our banks to open an account. This place is so fancy. The people there all wear suits and nice clothes. We catch a whiff of cologne and a tall man in a striped suit and very shiny shoes welcomes us into his office. As he asks us to sit, he towers over us for just a moment before sitting across a massive, shiny desk, leans in, and with a professional smile asks,

“Can I help you?”

By now, we find ourselves slumping slightly, feeling small, greatly intimidated by this place, and with a tiny voice, we say,

“Sir. I am trying to send a transfer, but my bank card keeps getting declined.”

A gentle smile from Mr Banker Expert Type. This man seems so smart, confident, and knowledgeable. He must know everything. He wisely comments,

“Do you have sufficient funds?”

This is slightly insulting – of course, we do – so we try not to feel annoyed and quietly reply,

“yes”. By now, we are completely rattled and out of our element. It doesn’t take long!

“Well, let’s see here. Oh, this is an international transfer that you attempted. Hmmm. Did you know that there are fraudsters out there who are very good at scamming people like YOU?”

You manage to mumble out a pathetic,

“Yes, I know that, but I do want to make a payment to XYZ and I know they are not scammers.” Banker Expert Type. “I’m sorry, we cannot authorize this at this time”.

STOP! STOP RIGHT THERE! DO NOT quietly leave the bank now. I know you want to. You feel small. He must know the rules – and what do you know?

But – here’s the thing. There are some secrets to negotiation that you MUST learn.

1. Wear nice clothing. This will bring your confidence level up.

2. Do not sit down first. If you can politely remain standing until your “opponent” has seated themselves it will give you a subtle position of confidence and authority.

3. Always smile, be polite, but be firm and clear in your request. For example – in the above conversation, you could follow up with, “Thank you for the information, but may I speak to a supervisor about this matter?” That’s it. Now we come to #4

4. Wait. Once you have stated your request politely – wait. Don’t speak. Let them do the blustering. You have made a perfectly reasonable request. Keep your head up, sit up straight, and be PATIENT. Above all, be patient. Never lose your calm and firm patience. You don’t have to explain anything. You have stated clearly what you want, it’s your money, just sit quietly. Remember, they work for you.

More often than not, Mr Banker Type Expert will type furiously for a few moments, then will excuse themselves to go speak with a manager. You will likely never even see the manager. If the request was, in fact, reasonable and possible, chances are high that the Banker Expert Type, will return in a few moments with the answer you are looking for.

Do not leave the office until you get what exactly what you are seeking and know exactly how to proceed.

I’m not saying that every request is possible, but using just those techniques, I have been able to have fees waved on bank accounts and I have received a much lower than quoted interest rate on loans. Almost every time.

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