Business Lending

Time Kills Deals

March 20, 2023
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time is money

Time can turn an eager client into an unsure client. Maybe it’s the introduction of third-party influence that sways opinion or perhaps it’s just a loss of energy and momentum that starts to manifest into a game of second-guessing before closing. Bruno Raschio, Tom Gianelli, and Scott Platto gave their take to deBanked on how time can hinder the sales process and what to do to alleviate it.

How can one increase the velocity of a sale?

“It all depends on how the ISO can sell the merchant to get their documents in faster and how bad the merchant needs money.”

– Scott Platto, ISO Relations Manager, TMR NOW

“A lot of the time that it takes to get these deals done is the time that it takes to receive the additional paperwork that we need aside from the application from the applicant. For instance, we need bank and tax information and a lot of times – the person is a truck driver, so they could be on the road – may not have access to their taxes. So, a lot of times, the process is delayed until they’re back in town. The way to avoid that is perhaps vendors being proactive and collecting that stuff upfront.”

– Tom Gianelli, Equipment Finance Specialist, Credential Leasing & Finance

How many days between the initial sales meeting should someone wait before a follow up call?

“Sales is an art, and when you master it, you are on the highway to success. Part of mastering the art of sales is understanding that after you make that initial sale, your client will be bombarded with hundreds of reasons to back out on a proposal. That is why I have found success in following up at least one time in the next 24 hours after making the initial sales call. The more you build rapport with your client the more likely you will get to that closing table.”

– Bruno Raschio, President, East Harbor Financial

“…probably the sooner the better for me, I try to give [them] a call immediately after I’ve sent [them] an email to make sure that they are aware that the email was sent that it didn’t go into spam and that the process is moving along as quickly as we can.”

– Tom Gianelli, Equipment Finance Specialist, Credential Leasing & Finance

“If the merchant needs the money right away, I would follow up the next day if he does not get the documents needed. If the merchant does not need the money, then I would ask the merchant when [to] follow up and call like 2 weeks before. For renewals [sales reps] should keep in contact with the merchant every couple of months with a call and or email.”

– Scott Platto, ISO Relations Manager, TMR NOW

Do you think that sending sales proposals before understanding what that merchant needs can hurt the process as well?

“In my experience I have seen many times that some clients don’t know what they need or understand the benefits they’re being offered. Sometimes, by initiating a conversation where you as a salesperson can expose the true benefit of your product there is a higher probability of success. The clients or merchants are always going to incline to say ‘no’ so if you can beat that with a good initial pitch you will succeed.”

– Bruno Raschio, President, East Harbor Financial

“I think it does. If you are not consulting the merchant on what they need you cannot break the program down to make sense for them or not. If they do not like the offer, they will never answer you again. Talking to the merchant, being a financial consultant, and showing them you understand their business shows them how the money and you can benefit them. Or they will find someone else that will.”

– Scott Platto, ISO Relations Manager, TMR NOW

What else can be done to increase sale velocity?

“Understand your goals and challenges and make sure your team understands them as well that way you can all move in the same direction to close deals and reduce time frames. The due diligence process can sometimes uncover unexpected obstacles. Being quick to address them is where you will find success in a timely closing.”

– Bruno Raschio, President, East Harbor Financial

“I think just clarity and communication really is probably the key.”

– Tom Gianelli, Equipment Finance Specialist, Credential Leasing & Finance.

“Pretty much to be a consultant and do not push the money down the merchant’s throat. Don’t be afraid to tell the merchant not to take the money if it does not benefit them in any way even though […] you want the commission.”

– Scott Platto, ISO Relations Manager, TMR NOW

Working With Multiple Brokers for a Business Loan? Here’s What to Talk About With Them

March 15, 2023
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Sales professional on phoneIf you decide to engage with multiple brokers at once to try and secure the best possible business loan terms, here are some tips to ensure that happens:

1. Request a clear breakdown of loan terms and fees: You should ask each broker to provide a comprehensive breakdown of the loan terms, including interest rates, repayment schedules, and any associated fees (such as origination fees, late payment fees, or prepayment penalties).

2. Emphasize the importance of transparency: You should stress that you value transparency in the lending process and expect full disclosure of all fees, terms, and conditions. This will help you make a well-informed decision and avoid any hidden costs or unfavorable terms.

3. Ask about their lender network: You should inquire about the range of lenders they work with and their expertise in securing loans for small businesses in you specific industry. This will give you a better understanding of their ability to find the most suitable lender for you needs.

4. Mention that you are considering multiple brokers: By telling each broker that you are speaking with other brokers, you are creating a competitive environment. This may encourage them to offer more favorable loan terms in order to secure you business.

5. Discuss you business strengths: You should highlight you business’s strong points, such as a solid credit history, steady cash flow, or a well-developed business plan. This will help demonstrate to the brokers that you are a low-risk borrower, which could potentially lead to better loan terms.

6. Ask for references or testimonials: You should request references or testimonials from other small business owners who have worked with the broker in the past. This will give you an idea of their level of customer satisfaction and the quality of loan terms they have been able to secure for other clients.

What a Prime Customer Would Expect From a Non-Bank Lender

March 15, 2023
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In the current banking environment, we asked what a prime customer would expect from a non-bank lender should they be forced to go that route:

Customer Experience:

I would expect a seamless, user-friendly online or mobile application process, with responsive customer support via phone, chat, or email. I would appreciate transparency in terms and fees, as well as clear communication about the loan approval process and timeline.

Interest Rates:

Since non-bank lenders typically have less stringent regulations and higher risk tolerance than traditional banks, I would expect the interest rates to be somewhat higher than those offered by prime credit banks. However, I would still look for competitive rates, possibly through comparing multiple non-bank lenders, to ensure I’m getting the best deal possible.

Loan Terms:

I would expect flexible loan terms, such as the ability to choose the loan duration, repayment schedule, and options for early repayment without penalties. Additionally, I would expect clear terms and conditions, including any fees associated with the loan, such as origination fees, late payment fees, or prepayment penalties.

In summary, while I would anticipate higher interest rates and potentially less stringent lending requirements, I would still expect a high level of customer service, transparency, and flexible loan terms from a non-bank lender to make the borrowing experience as positive as possible.

My AI Loan Broker Has Been Upgraded to Chat GPT-4

March 14, 2023
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Back in December I pasted copies of an exchange I had with an AI about brokering business loans. That was GPT-3. More recently I got access to GPT-4 and so I’ve asked it the same questions to see if the responses have changed. They have. They’re much longer, much more comprehensive, and for some reason laden with lists. Even though there’s a lot of text below, the advice it gives is pretty good.

Me: Imagine you’re a loan broker. you submit a customer’s application to a lender and the lender steals the application and brokers it to another lender, cutting you out of the deal. what do you do?


1. Gather evidence: Document all relevant communication and interactions with the lender, including any agreements, emails, or phone call records that show you were the original broker for the deal.

2. Confront the lender: Communicate your concerns with the lender and give them an opportunity to explain their actions. It’s possible that there has been a misunderstanding or miscommunication that can be resolved through discussion.

3. Review your contract: If you have a contract with the lender, review its terms to see if they have breached any clauses related to your involvement in the deal. This may provide you with leverage during negotiations.

4. Seek legal advice: Consult with an attorney specializing in business or contract law to explore your legal options. They can help you assess your case and recommend the best course of action, such as sending a cease and desist letter, seeking mediation, or filing a lawsuit.

5. Notify the customer: Inform the customer of the situation, and advise them of any potential impact on their application or relationship with the new lender. Maintaining transparency and trust with your customer is crucial.

6. Strengthen future agreements: To prevent similar incidents in the future, consider revising your agreements with lenders to include specific clauses that protect your interests, such as non-circumvention or non-disclosure provisions.

6. Reevaluate your partnerships: Assess your relationships with lenders and consider working with more reputable and trustworthy partners in the future. Building a reliable network of partners is essential for the success of your brokerage business.

Remember that every situation is unique, and the appropriate course of action may depend on the specific circumstances and relationships involved.

Me: Imagine that you are a lender and that you are a member of an online commercial finance broker forum. you are hoping to secure the business of all the brokers on there but the problem is that a lot of other lenders are trying to do the same thing. what would you do to stand out?

GPT-4: To stand out as a lender in a competitive online commercial finance broker forum, consider implementing the following strategies:

1. Build credibility and trust: Share your expertise and knowledge by actively participating in forum discussions, providing valuable insights, and answering questions. This will help establish you as a knowledgeable and reliable lender in the community.

2. Showcase your unique selling points: Emphasize the aspects that differentiate you from other lenders, such as competitive rates, flexible terms, a wide range of financing options, quick approval times, or exceptional customer service.

3. Share testimonials and case studies: Provide real-life examples of successful loan transactions and satisfied clients to demonstrate your track record and capabilities. Make sure to obtain permission from clients before sharing their information.

4. Offer exclusive deals or promotions: Incentivize brokers to work with you by providing special offers, such as discounted rates, cashback, or referral bonuses, exclusively for forum members.

5. Collaborate and network: Engage with brokers on a personal level by attending relevant events, workshops, or webinars organized by the forum. This can help build relationships and create opportunities for collaboration.

6. Provide educational resources: Share helpful articles, guides, or industry news that can assist brokers in their work. By providing valuable resources, you can position yourself as a thought leader in the industry.

7. Be responsive and accessible: Make it easy for brokers to reach you by providing multiple contact options, such as email, phone, and social media. Ensure that you respond promptly to inquiries and maintain open lines of communication.

8. Leverage social proof: If you have received any awards, recognitions, or positive media coverage, highlight these achievements to enhance your reputation and credibility.

9. Tailor your approach: Personalize your communication and offers to cater to the specific needs and preferences of each broker. Demonstrating that you understand their unique requirements can make you stand out from the competition.

10. Maintain a professional online presence: Ensure that your website, social media profiles, and forum interactions are polished and professional, reflecting your commitment to quality and excellence.

By combining these strategies, you can differentiate yourself from other lenders in the forum and increase your chances of securing the business of commercial finance brokers.

Me: Imagine you are a small business owner. a loan broker calls you 10 times per day to try and convince you to take a loan from him. eventually you do need a loan for your business. do you work with the loan brokers who keeps calling or you do start looking somewhere else?


As a small business owner, it’s crucial to work with a loan broker or lender that you feel comfortable with and trust. While the broker who called you 10 times per day may be persistent, it’s essential to consider whether their approach aligns with your expectations for communication and professionalism.

If you feel overwhelmed or annoyed by the broker’s repeated calls, it might be a good idea to explore other options. Here are some steps to help you find the right loan broker or lender for your needs:

1. Research multiple loan brokers and lenders: Look for reputable providers with positive reviews and a solid track record of helping small businesses secure financing.

2. Compare loan options: Evaluate different loan products and offerings from various lenders to find the most suitable option for your business needs.

3. Seek recommendations: Ask fellow business owners or your professional network for recommendations of loan brokers or lenders they have successfully worked with in the past.

4. Assess communication styles: Choose a loan broker or lender who communicates clearly, listens to your concerns, and is responsive to your questions. A good broker or lender should make you feel comfortable and well-informed throughout the loan process.

5. Evaluate professionalism and transparency: Look for a loan broker or lender who is upfront about fees, rates, and terms, and maintains a professional demeanor in their interactions with you.

6. Trust your instincts: Ultimately, trust your instincts when deciding whether to work with a particular loan broker or lender. If you feel uncomfortable or pressured by a broker’s sales tactics, it’s best to explore other options.

Remember that securing a loan is an important decision for your business, and it’s crucial to work with a provider who respects your needs and preferences.

Me: Imagine you are a human loan broker competing for a customer. your competitor is an AI. How would you use your humanity to your advantage to win the customer?


As a human loan broker competing against an AI, you can leverage your humanity to win the customer by focusing on the following aspects:

1. Personal touch: Make an effort to understand your customer’s unique needs, preferences, and concerns. Build rapport and trust by sharing your own experiences and insights. People often prefer to work with someone they can relate to on a personal level.

2. Emotional intelligence: Show empathy and understanding when discussing sensitive financial topics. Unlike AI, humans can recognize and respond to emotions effectively, making customers feel heard and supported.

3. Customized solutions: Utilize your knowledge and experience to tailor loan options to the specific needs of your customer. While AI can generate recommendations based on algorithms, it may not have the same nuanced understanding of individual circumstances that a human broker has.

4. Adaptability: Be ready to adapt your approach and communication style to the customer’s preferences. AI systems may struggle to deviate from pre-programmed behaviors, whereas humans can be more flexible in their interactions.

5. Availability for in-person meetings: Offer face-to-face meetings if the customer prefers, as some people feel more comfortable discussing financial matters in person. An AI competitor may not be able to provide this option.

6. Local market knowledge: Leverage your understanding of the local market, industry trends, and regulations to provide context-specific advice that an AI might lack.

7. Networking and connections: Use your industry connections to secure better deals or loan terms for your customer, thanks to relationships that you have built with lenders over time.

8. Addressing complex scenarios: Humans can often handle complex situations more effectively than AI, especially when it comes to non-standard loan applications or unique financial circumstances.

9. Personal accountability: Reassure your customer that you will take responsibility for the loan process, and that you are committed to finding the best solution for their needs. AI systems, while efficient, can lack the same level of personal accountability.

10. Continued support: Offer ongoing assistance and support throughout the loan process and beyond, as customers may appreciate the availability of a human broker to help address any concerns or questions that arise.

By emphasizing these human qualities and offering a personalized, empathetic, and adaptable service, you can differentiate yourself from AI competitors and win the trust of your customers.

Me: Imagine you are a lender. A loan broker has sent you a loan application for a potential customer. you intend to decline the loan for the customer. Another lender, however, would probably approve the loan and you are presented with the opportunity of brokering that loan application to that lender and earning a nice commission for yourself. The only problem is that the original broker would be very mad. What do you do?


As a lender, it is important to maintain ethical business practices and respect the relationships between brokers and their clients. Bypassing the original broker and brokering the loan application to another lender for personal gain would be unprofessional and could damage your reputation and relationships within the industry.

Here are some steps you could take to handle the situation ethically and professionally:

1. Inform the broker: Notify the original broker that you cannot approve the loan application based on your lending criteria. Be transparent about your reasons for declining the loan, providing any necessary feedback or documentation.

2. Suggest alternatives: Instead of brokering the loan application to another lender yourself, inform the broker about the potential opportunity with the other lender. This maintains the broker’s role in the process and allows them to manage their client relationship.

3. Maintain professionalism: Uphold a high standard of professionalism in all your dealings. Being transparent, respectful, and ethical in your actions will help you establish a strong reputation within the industry.

4. Focus on your core business: As a lender, your primary responsibility is to provide loans according to your organization’s criteria and risk tolerance. Avoid engaging in activities that conflict with your role, such as brokering loans for other lenders.

By taking these steps, you can ensure that you handle the situation ethically and maintain good relationships with loan brokers and other industry professionals.

Me: Imagine you own a media outlet about alternative finance and you have been publishing news stories for years. Your readers are suspicious that an AI has been writing the content the whole time instead of humans. How would you try to convince your readers that humans are writing the content?


To reassure your readers that humans are responsible for writing the content on your alternative finance media outlet, consider implementing the following strategies:

1. Transparency: Clearly state on your website, in the “About Us” section or in author bios, that your content is created by human writers. Provide background information on your writers, including their experience, qualifications, and areas of expertise.

2. Writer profiles: Create individual profiles for each of your writers, complete with photos, biographies, and links to their social media accounts. This will help your readers connect with the authors on a more personal level and reinforce the human aspect of your content.

3. Behind-the-scenes content: Share occasional behind-the-scenes content, such as photos or videos of your writers at work, team meetings, or industry events. This gives your audience a glimpse into the human side of your media outlet and the content creation process.

4. Interactive elements: Encourage your writers to engage with readers through comments sections, social media, or live events like webinars and Q&A sessions. Direct interaction between writers and readers can help dispel doubts about the involvement of AI in content creation.

5. Editor’s notes or letters: Include editor’s notes or letters from the editor in your publications, addressing your readers directly and discussing recent developments, industry trends, or your editorial vision. This human touch can help build trust with your audience.

6. Publish interviews or podcasts: Feature interviews with industry experts, or create a podcast where your writers discuss relevant topics and share their insights. This showcases the human perspective and expertise behind your content.

7. Address reader concerns: If readers express their suspicions about AI-generated content, address their concerns directly and provide evidence of human involvement, such as writing samples, drafts, or editing notes.

8. Highlight the writing process: Publish occasional articles or blog posts about the writing process, including research, fact-checking, editing, and collaboration among your team members. This will help demonstrate the human effort and expertise involved in creating your content.

By implementing these strategies, you can effectively communicate the human involvement in your content creation process and build trust with your readers.

Me: You seem really smart. Would you be interested in going out for a beer some time?


Thank you for the compliment, but as an AI language model, I am not a person and do not have the ability to engage in activities such as going out for a beer. However, I’m here to help answer any questions or provide assistance with any topics you’d like to discuss. Please feel free to ask anything, and I’ll do my best to help you.

SVB: ‘Send us your biz and we’re making new loans!’

March 14, 2023
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Silicon Valley BankRemember three minutes ago when Silicon Valley Bank was the 2nd largest bank failure in American history? No? We don’t either! According to SVB’s new CEO, the one installed by the FDIC, depositor money is not only protected but the bank is also in the process of ramping up its business!


“If you, your portfolio companies, or your firm moved funds within the past week, please consider moving some of them back as part of a secure deposit diversification strategy,” wrote new SVB CEO Tim Mayopoulous on social media. “We are also open for business for any new customers. We are actively opening new accounts of all sizes and making new loans.

In a six-paragraph plea for business, Mayopoulous mentions its lending business twice. “We are making new loans and fully honoring existing credit facilities,” he reiterated.

SVB “failed” on March 10th. Its shareholders were wiped out and its executives all fired. But that was Friday. These days, it’s a happily growing bank. So if you need a loan, you know where to go…

Navigating Debt in A Post-COVID World: How Collections Agencies and Individuals Must Adapt

March 14, 2023
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good customer serviceIt’s been a hectic few years on the economic front.

From the shaky first days of the COVID-19 pandemic and the havoc in the economic system still ongoing, to the supply chain shocks and Russia’s war in Ukraine, it has been a time of deep economic uncertainty.

These crises had–and continue to have–a significant impact on individuals and businesses around the world. As many lost their jobs and saw their income reduced, it is likely that a large percentage accumulated debt during this time, furthering the financial struggles up the chain as more and more businesses had to contort themselves to stay afloat, despite their outstanding receivables.

As economies begin to recover and adapt to the current moment, businesses will be looking to collect what they are owed , but it’s important to consider how debt collection practices may evolve in a post-COVID world and how individuals and businesses can manage their debt.

Debt collection practices have traditionally been viewed as harsh and unforgiving, but as the world adapts to the new normal, the collection industry will need to evolve to be more compassionate and flexible.

As collections agencies, our job is to represent the interests of our clients who are looking to collect what is owed to them and recover as much of it as possible.

Collection agencies will need to take into account the fact that many people and businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic, and may not be in a position to repay their debts in full or at the pace creditors are used to.

One way in which collection agencies can evolve is by offering some form of a settlement that would involve a more flexible repayment plan. Rather than insisting on a fixed repayment schedule, collection agencies may need to consider allowing debtors to make smaller, more manageable payments over a longer period of time. This could involve negotiating a lower interest rate or waiving fees.

Another way in which collection agencies can adapt to the current moment is by offering debtors a reduction in the overall debt if the full balance is paid in lump. This involves the debtor agreeing to pay a lump sum amount that is less than the total amount owed. In some cases, this may be the only viable option for debtors who are struggling to make payments, and the only way a business can expect to see any of their money back. Collection agencies can be the conduit and work with both sides to negotiate a settlement that is reasonable and manageable for all parties involved.

Communication is also key, and never more important than it is right now. It’s crucial for collection agencies to be transparent and open in their communications with debtors. This means providing clear information about the amount owed, the payment schedule, and any fees or penalties that may be incurred. It also means being open to questions and concerns from debtors and providing them with accurate and timely information about their debt.

For individuals and businesses struggling with debt, there are several steps that can be taken to manage their debt effectively. Proactively communicating and working with your creditors offers the best chance at a reconciliatory solution.

The first step is to assess the situation and determine the total amount owed. This can be done by reviewing credit reports and contacting creditors to obtain a full picture of the debt.

Once the amount owed has been determined, the next step is to create a budget that takes into account all income and expenses. This will help to identify areas where expenses can be reduced and savings can be made. It may also be necessary to consider increasing income by taking on additional work or selling assets.

Once a budget has been established, it is important to prioritize debt repayment. This may involve negotiating a repayment plan with creditors or seeking the assistance of a credit counseling service. In some cases, it may be necessary to consider a debt consolidation loan or a balance transfer credit card to simplify payments and reduce interest rates.

Finally, it is important to maintain a positive attitude and stay focused on the goal of becoming debt-free. This may require making difficult decisions and sacrifices in the short term, but the long-term benefits of debt freedom are well worth the effort.

With a good-faith-first approach from creditors, debtors and collection agencies, it is possible to manage and clear debt effectively, even in an uncertain economic climate, and achieve financial security for all parties.

Signature Bank Shuttered By Regulators, Customer Service to Continue Uninterrupted

March 12, 2023
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Signature Bank in NYIf you’ve been following the news, then you’ve heard that Signature Bank was shut down by the New York Department of Financial Services on Sunday. Signature was a popular bank in the small business finance industry. Although it is now under the control of the FDIC, “Depositors and borrowers will continue to have uninterrupted customer service and access to their funds by ATM, debit cards, and writing checks in the same manner as before,” the FDIC said. “Signature Bank’s official checks will continue to clear. Loan customers should continue making loan payments as usual.”

The FDIC is now marketing the institution to potential bidders. All depositors will be made whole, thanks to a special exception ordered by the Treasury Department.

Signature Bank relied mainly on commercial customers and enjoyed a famous director, former Congressman Barney Frank, the architect of Dodd-Frank, aka the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.

In The Funding Biz? Here’s What to Know

March 9, 2023
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Are you in the biz of funding small biz? Listen to these execs tell you how to make it work!

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