Lunch was an interesting meeting. It featured the local banker, a EVP from lending and the regional president. I learned quite a lot about their business and picked up the name of several other banks I might talk with.
They also dropped the names of several colleagues within the bank I might talk with as well.
In such a situation, my goals are as follows:
1. learn more about the company
2. see where the pain and growth is - is there an opportunity to help their organization
3. who to talk with in their organization
4. what's their culture
5. what other organizations are worth looking at - which competitors do they admire
6. how would someone like myself fit in
7. is there anything I could do to help them - either as a courtesy favor or help them network an important matter
Today's lunch touched most of the above goals. My neighbor also obtained an offer for me to meet with the bank's chairman - what a great neighbor! My next step will be to follow-up with the regional president - he made an open offer whenever I'm at the main branch. He seemed to have a few ideas how I may help the bank - mostly along the lines of operational efficiencies and possibly Sarbox compliance. I'll stop by his office and see if he would help guide me through the organization. The next step looks like a meeting with the chairman, though it could be with the overall president as well. I might ask my neighbor for his advice.
One item everyone found interesting was the idea of social lending. I think there are numerous opportunities for banks to facilitate and integrate prosper.com like services into branch operations - as well as provide liquidity within the prosper marketplace (or zopa).
This certainly will not be a fast process, but I do feel like I am meeting numerous senior people within this bank and slowly accumulating an understanding as to how I may help. If things don't work out, I have other banks to look at.
Have a wonderful day,