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Had Marie Antoinette been a banker, would she have said, "Let them eat rates"? Whether you're dealing with a subject or a prospective customer, showing a genuine interest in someone's need not only serves the customer better but keeps a transaction from prematurely meeting the guillotine.
I once worked for someone who threatened to fire any of his lenders if we ever quoted a rate "cold." In other words, he expected that we would always ask a number of questions first. By the way, we all believed him when he said he would fire us!
It took me a couple of years to appreciate why this senior lender was so adamant about not quoting a rate initially. After I moved into a new career, the reasoning behind his threat grew clearer still. If you simply quote a rate without first discovering customers needs, you actually are not helping them at all. You may believe you're …