I generally separate bankers (retail banking to be exact) into two categories, based on experience. First, private bankers-those who deal with successful people and make all sorts of things easier. Not always, but often. Why? Because they have a relationship with you.

The second category is pretty much all those other bankers who deal with customers. Try as some banks may to establish relationships between their employees and customers, it often falls flat. I have had no less than 3 people from Bank of America communicate with me and tell me in their introduction that “they are my banker.” Here’s a clue – I’ll tell you if you are my banker, not the other way around. You got assigned to my account, that is an internal process that neither I, nor any of your customers, care about.

Enter Dionne Gajadhar, Assistant Vice President and Branch Manger. She manages a branch of SunTrust with whom my husband and I have had an account for over 20 years. A few months ago, Dionne called us about an opportunity that made sense for us. I was a little stunned, and skeptical, but we pursued it. The long and the short of it is, we met last Saturday to sign some paperwork. I cannot tell you how delightful an experience it was. Here’s why:

1. She was prepared for our arrival at her office, though we were a few minutes early.

2. She greeted us in a professional, friendly manner that included eye-contact. Be still my heart!

3. She engaged us in casual conversation for several minutes before we got to our business, but allowed us to dictate the pace and direction of the conversation.

4. Once we got to the official reason for our meeting, she proceeded in an orderly manner. She was thorough without being pedantic, friendly without being too informal, and conversational without being too familiar.

5. She inquired about our other financial needs in a way that was natural to the conversation.

6. She used proper English. No slag. Not once did she say “no problem” instead of “you are welcome.”

What she did is not rocket science-it’s better. She behaved like a woman with pride in her work and genuine interest in us. I haven’t been so happy with a bank in a very long time. SunTrust, you need to keep her and have her teach others how to deliver what she does-it is priceless!

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