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I often find the ideas CPAs are sharing about maintaining client relationships are right on target for what business bankers need to be doing.

So here is a quick list of six ways to lose your customer and the CPA alternative for keeping their clients from AICPA’s CPA2Biz ezine.
Read the article here.

1. Lose: Do the minimum OR
    Win:   Go the extra mile on the current engagement. CPA examples:

  • Conducting extra analysis using business-intelligence tools like BizBench.
  • Bring the project in earlier than promised.
  • Or hand-deliver reports and discuss in person.

2. Lose: Don’t call, don’t write, don’t visit OR
    Win:   Spend more time with the client. (see related story.) CPA examples:

  • Visit at every opportunity.
  • Schedule business meetings near mealtimes to grab some extra quality time over a nice meal.
  • Invite the client into the firm’s office.

3. Lose: Consider each customer in isolation OR
    Win:   Build the business relationship. CPA examples:

  • Help the client network with your other clients.
  • Offer free seminars for the client’s staff.
  • Refer new business to the client.

4. Lose: Business is business OR
    Win:   Make it personal. CPA examples:

  • Understand their goals in life and business.
  • Get hard-to-find tickets to big games or shows.
  • Remember birthdays and anniversaries.

5. Lose: Don’t do your homework OR
    Win:   Learn more about the client’s industry. CPA examples:

  • Read the same trade journals they do.
  • Learn all you can about their competitors.
  • Join them at trade shows.

6. Lose: Be satisfied with a surface knowledge of the company OR
    Win:   Increase your knowledge of the client’s company. CPA examples:

  • Spend time with the junior managers.
  • Understand the company’s power structure.
  • Meet the boss.

Certainly the depth and type of relationship building a CPA engages may differ somewhat from their business banker, but maybe less than you might think.

And as they point out in the CPA-focused article, if you are not paying attention to your clients you can bet your competition is.

What are you doing to lose (or to keep) your borrower’s business?

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Linda Keith, CPA

Linda Keith CPA is an expert in credit risk readiness and credit analysis. She trains banks and credit unions throughout the United States, both in-house and in open-enrollment sessions, on Tax Return and Financial Statement Analysis.
She is in the trenches with lenders, analysts and underwriters helping them say "yes" to good loans.
Creator of the Tax Return Analysis Virtual Classroom at www.LendersOnlineTraining.com, she speaks at banking associations on risk management, lending and director finance topics.