60 Seconds With Don Phillips
by Clay Neely
If you met someone at a party, what would you tell them that you do for a living?
The obvious answer would be that I am in the banking business. Have been in banking since January 1969 and have seen so many changes in our industry through the years. When I started in banking, I would jokingly say that I came from the carbon paper era. That was how we made our copies. I remember the first form of a desktop computer we had in the bank where I was working at the time was delivered in 1987. My secretary was scared to death to even think of using “that machine.” Took her about six months to get used to it! And, now, look where we are today!
Do you have a personal business philosophy?
My personal business philosophy has remained fairly simple over time. That is, I want to provide my clients the very best level of service that I can possibly provide them. Not only do I want to bank them, but more importantly, I want to get to know them and provide them with thoughtful solutions for both their business and personal needs. I believe in order to set that standard, I have to earn their trust and respect by listening and formulating strategies that fit their needs. I have always been willing to invest the time to understand one’s business and do my level best to help them achieve their goals.
What's the best business lesson you've learned?
Possess a strong work ethic, stay educated, and surround yourself with highly trained individuals with an emphasis on the latter. I have been fortunate over the years to have worked with well trained and very passionate team members whose number one goal was to take outstanding care of our clients. My parents instilled a strong work ethic in me as I began working in our dry goods store at the age of 8, began selling ten cent socks at the age of 10 and have been selling ever since. I have always believed in the “Golden Rule” in my approach to business. It keeps matters in perspective as we tend to our clients’ needs.
If you weren't doing this, what would you do?
I would be in some form of sales, whether it be real estate, medical equipment or even personnel services. It is so gratifying to identify an opportunity, nurture it through the sales cycle and finally close the transaction. And, at the end of the day, if my client is happy with the results, then my day is made.