As I’ve navigated and continue to navigate on this financial journey of mine (it’s never-ending you know,) I’m always learning something new along the way. One thing my mother always tells my sister and me is “You HAVE NOT because you ASK NOT.”

Have you ever told yourself “No” to something before you bothered to ask the question, even of yourself? Case in point: The man who discounts his chances of scoring a date with a young lady because he doesn’t think he’s “her type.” How does he know what her type is? Now granted there are ways a man can tell if a woman is what some consider “high maintenance,” and whether or not he can keep up with her “lifestyle,” but as not to get too technical, let’s keep it simple for all practical purposes. Allow me to tell you my story:

Last week, I wrote in my Tip Tuesday post “What’s in your Valpak Envelope” about a coupon from a bank where first time customers opening a new checking account could get $150 just for doing so. Read that post here:

Here was the catch: The coupon was to be presented at the time of opening the account and an EFT/direct deposit must be established and deposited into the account within the first 60 days. I was behind the eight ball because 1) I didn’t have the coupon at the time I opened the account which required the coupon code, 2) The account in question was now 30 days old and the main problem 3) The coupon would be expiring October 16th. I in essence had TWO DAYS to do all I could to take advantage of receiving $150 of F-R-E-E MONEY.


Some people, because of the odds stacked against them, would have automatically told themselves “No.” I refused to allow my circumstances to dictate what I thought would be the outcome. Remember: EXCEPTIONS CAN ALWAYS BE MADE. I knew this was a decision that only the Branch Manager could override, but I still went through the proper chain of command. Attitude and tone is everything. As the saying goes, “you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar.” So I flashed the banker my “colgate smile,” explained my situation and presented my coupon. He attempted to use some creative tactics to enter the coupon code, but was unsuccessful. He called an 800 number and was given a few additional creative tactics to try but was still unsuccessful in his efforts. I explained to the banker this wasn’t just about the $150 (which is what I WANTED,) but also about establishing relationships and building customer loyalty (which is what the bank NEEDED.) I told him if the bank could do this for me, they had a life-long customer. DUH DUH DUNNNNNNN… Enter the Branch Manager.

I allowed the banker to explain my situation to him, and the Branch Manager asked for my coupon. Upon reading it, he told me he was unable to override the transaction because the monthly EFT/Direct Deposit amount had to be at least $500. UMMM WHAT? I read the fine print when I first saw the coupon in the Valpak envelope, read it a second time before heading to the bank, then one last time in the parking lot of the bank. No where did the coupon specify a monthly Direct Deposit dollar amount. I asked the Branch Manager to show me on the coupon where a dollar amount was specified and I would not take up any more of their time. HA! I’ve got him in a trick bag now, because he couldn’t substantiate his comment. What now? Awkward silence, at least for the Branch Manager. Sitting with a smile on my face, I began to reiterate how I know the bank values customer loyalty and overriding this transaction was certainly a great way to gain mine. At the end of the day, the Branch Manager said because I was so persistent as well as knowledgeable, and only on occasion do people like me come into the bank and ask for/challenge the rules, would he override the transaction. I’d like to think it was my reference to customer loyalty that caused the override. Perhaps it was because the Branch Manager erroneously assumed I hadn’t read the fine print. Perhaps it was a combination of the two. WHO CARES! It’s a WIN/WIN situation. I got the $150 and the bank now has a life-long customer.

RULE OF THUMB: Never tell yourself “NO.” Let THEM answer. It could very well be a resounding “YES!”

~The Financial Hack ©2015

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