Nicole Chynoweth//September 17, 2019
Nicole Chynoweth//September 17, 2019
Fay Pharo-Frank knew she wanted to work for York Traditions bank years ago after having a seamless personal mortgage experience.
“What I saw was an organization with a mission and a culture that was going to fully support me being the relationship-builder I wanted to be,” she said.
As the branch manager for York Traditions’ flagship location in York Township, Pharo-Frank will celebrate her one-year anniversary with the company at the end of September.
“The most valuable lesson I have learned is that not only does York Traditions Bank talk the talk, they walk the walk,” she said. “All our associates are encouraged to be relationship builders inside of the bank as well as out in the community.”
She shared some of her lessons-learned and relationship-building insights with CPBJ.
Answers have been edited for length and clarity.
How did your previous workplaces prepare you for your job at York Traditions?
They taught me a lot about what type of banker I wanted to be and more importantly the type of banker I did not want to be. I have had the opportunity to work through all the positions of a retail branch location, and I recognize that customer service is the lifeblood of any organization. Providing customers with a holistic conversation and making valuable recommendations, allows you to build solid relationships. A recommendation without a conversation will always be a sales pitch and clients are tired of being sold to. They want partners that they can look to for support and guidance.
What’s your day-to-day like?
It’s getting out into the community, meeting people, expanding my circle, and connecting with individuals. The thing I love about York Traditions is they allow us to be true relationship builders. That’s where our emphasis lies. It’s not widget-driven where we have to meet a quota.
Describe some of the ways you keep up with your clients and build relationships.
It’s important to meet people where they are. Building relationships is all about communication and contact. The first step in keeping up with clients is asking how they like to communicate and doing exactly that. You have to be willing to ask even the most basic questions but to also partner the question with a reason because that exhibits a willingness to truly understand the client. Agree on expectations for communication time frames, that way the client has a say on how and how often they hear from you and you don’t catch them at a bad time. The client then feels like you are truly serving their needs as opposed to the other way around.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?
You have to be flexible as an individual, personality-wise. Not everybody responds to the same type of person. If you’re able to adapt and either increase or moderate your personality to kind of reflect the individual who you’re working with, I think that’s something that is appreciated. Not being able to match a tone or not being able to read the customer ultimately can hinder the conversation.
I saw an article recently about extroverted introverts. It was talking about how you can be really outgoing and then need to shut yourself away for a little while and process. One of the things I find myself having to moderate is that battle between wanting to be that introverted personality and wanting to have the conversations. I tend to be somebody who listens well, but if I don’t hold up my end of the conversation, then it just seems like I don’t know what I’m talking about. I think that’s one of my challenges – not letting myself ruminate so long on things and really being able to respond well in conversation.
What advice do you have for other women in the industry?
Use as many resources as possible. There are so many different venues and avenues that we can use. I myself spent a number of years in banking and I wasn’t who I am now. I wasn’t involved in the community. I wasn’t out talking with people and having these conversations because I was used to being an order-taker.
There’s so much more that we can do, but you don’t know what you don’t know. Reach out to someone who you see as being successful and ask them. A lot of what I did was going up to people and asking them to lunch or coffee and asking what can I be doing, where should I be going, what do they recommend.