"Bankers are spending too much time at their desks and not enough time out with their small-business accounts," says Charles Wendel, president of Financial Institutions Consulting. Wendel spoke Tuesday at BAI's 2013 Retail Delivery Conference in Denver.
"Following the recession, banks have created a very narrow box within which they'll lend," Wendel says. "That has created an opportunity for other lenders to come in and make those loans."
Wendel gave this five-step approach for making more small-business loans:
Define your focus through differentiation (but not on price). "Your institution can differentiate itself on its relationships with its clients, its industry specialization, or its product expertise," says Wendel.
Organize for success. Can your branches recognize quality loan opportunities? Is branch staff adequately trained? Do branches operate with loan liaison contacts?
Develop an efficient infrastructure. Reduce and simplify your products, evaluate all internal processes, outsource when possible, establish a consistent brand.
Determine key metrics. Identify internal and market needs. Who needs to be involved in setting metrics? What are the right metrics and who enforces them? When should you change metrics? What does the scorecard look like?
- Create guiding principles for lending execution. Involve senior management. Agree on consistent job definitions. Implement a rigorous sales-management system. Don't place current staff in business lending positions.
View more coverage of BAI's 2013 Retail Delivery Conference.