Everyone searches for the unicorn to walk through your door. It is the perfect prospect with great credit and collateral who is just begging for someone new. Does it happen? Not really. On today’s episode of Credit Union Conversations, Mark is joined by Tom Halliday to talk through meeting a new member prospect for the first time and how to separate fact from fiction while balancing the needs of everyone. 


  • [02:57] Ways to build a circle of influence and increase your customer base
  • [07:16] Changes in the sales process post-pandemic and the typical game plan for a first meeting with a with potential client
  • [12:36] How to help rate shoppers see the total package instead of focusing on getting the lowest rate
  • [14:50] How to set realistic expectations with borrowers and overcome challenges with non-cooperative customers
  • [19:01] Follow up steps after the first meeting and how the process has shifted from paper to digital transactions
  • [23:05] How to gain a better understanding of the borrower


  • Build up your circle of influence by 1) Connecting with providers like attorneys, title companies and insurance providers, 2) Informing your current customer base of commercial lending services, 3) and connecting with commercial brokers. 
  • The post-pandemic vetting process for investment real estate tenants now looks more closely at financial history and current financial standing. This is to protect both the borrower’s interest and the credit unions. 
  • If a customer is only interested in a low rate, communicate the importance of looking at the total package like fees, costs, interests, collateral, terms, prepayment penalties. When you dig deeper, the cheapest rate isn’t always the cheapest option in the long run.


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Jeff Lyons is the COO of MBFS and leads the sales and credit divisions. Jeff joined

Tom Halliday is a veteran of MBFS that leads the team of Relationship Managers to drive loans to credit unions. Prior to MBFS, Tom assisted small businesses throughout Delaware and Maryland get the financing they needed through various banks.

Mark Ritter is the CEO of MBFS and an expert in credit unions and business lending. His primary role at MBFS is overseeing the strategy of helping credit unions assist members with business needs and consulting with credit unions on planning the delivery of services to their membership.

Mark Ritter Website

Mark Ritter on LinkedIn


“That customer appreciated our help so much that I still get a Christmas card from him every year. He still keeps in touch and really appreciates and understands the difference between the commercial space and the credit union space.”

Tom Halliday

“I always found that when someone is looking for the cheapest rate, they’re going to find it, but it might be more expensive in the long run.”

Mark Ritter