Generate bank referrals as well as better terms on loans for your business customers!
Banks are an excellent source of potential referrals for accountants. However, it is of little value to simply ask for referrals directly since you will be among many other accountants seeking referrals. The key is to add direct value to the bank (and to the loan officer’s reputation specifically) such that the bank will proactively provide you with referrals.
You already provide financial statements for many of your current business customers as part of their loan application package. The client could be applying for an extension on a line of credit, credit for leasing or a new loan application.
As you may know, the loan officer receives your client’s financial statements and inputs the numbers into the bank’s credit scoring model (often called a spread), which scores the business. However, the loan officer may not have any idea what your customer really does and may not know how to read the business’ financial statements.
Instead of sending only a compilation to the bank, also include a written financial assessment (a private-labeled, edited Sageworks Analyst report) with your client’s loan application. Follow-up with a call to the loan officer and step him or her through the Sageworks Analyst financial evaluation, answer any questions he or she may have, and point out areas you think are important. The loan officer will then use this added insight to present to the loan-review committee, which will be able to better assess the true risk of extending credit to your client.
You have accomplished two valuable things here: 1) you have provided a better understanding of the risks involved in extending the credit, so your client may receive better terms on the loan, and 2) you have made the loan officer's job easier.
You now have a favored relationship with the loan officer, and you can offer to provide this service to his or her other customers as part of the loan application process. You will receive referrals, and the loan officer becomes more dependent on you for the loan-review process.