By Julie Story, Executive Vice President of Pinnacle Financial Strategies
Expanding your account acquisition effort into local business banking complements and bolsters your current retail banking program. You know there’s opportunity to grow within your markets, but what businesses should you target?
To be really productive and effective, you want to spend your time prospecting the types of local businesses that are most likely to want and value your products and services and that will be profitable for your financial institution.
How well do you know your market? Most bankers believe they know their markets well. Yet, it’s amazing how different your market looks when you look at it differently.
Look with a Business Eye
When you drive to and from work or are looking for a particular business or building in the community, you tend to see only what you are looking for. Have you noticed all of the businesses in your community or the area served by your branch? Look at your market with a business eye to see what opportunities exist.
Look with Many Eyes
The process of exploring and getting to know your local business market doesn’t have to be a solo exercise. Involve your team. Ask them to pay attention to businesses, industrial parks or retail centers they pass as they drive to work. Has a new business opened recently? Who do they patronize in the community? Many eyes are always better than just your own.
Look at Current Customers
Another way to better understand your market and its potential is to examine your current accountholder base.
- What businesses do you currently provide banking service for?
- Do your personal accountholders also own businesses? Who are they? What do they do?
- What business do you provide services to, but don't have the full relationship (e.g. change orders, cashing checks, etc.).
- Where do your retail customers work?
Look at Businesses You Patronize
Who do you do business with in your market? They could also be a great prospect for your business products.
Look at Businesses With Annual Sales Less Than $5 Million
While you’re not limited to businesses with sales less than $5 million, in general it’s a good starting point. Many businesses in this sales range are locally owned and operated, meaning they’re most likely to make banking decisions locally as well.
There are many ways to identify business banking opportunities; sometimes it can be as simple as looking at your opportunities from a different perspective.