When I got turned down for a business loan, I’ll admit I was a little hot under the collar. I may have said some things I didn’t mean, and meant a few I didn’t say. One thing I meant, and was about to do, was transfer all my deposits to another bank.
It’s pretty much the same all over these days when it comes to loans. Banks are limited in what they can and can’t do. But my banker went above and beyond to show me that she valued me as a customer. And her customer service saved the relationship.
So what was this great relationship-saving gesture? She sent me away.
That’s right, she referred me to another business she thought would be better suited to my cash flow needs. And you know what? She was right!
My banker referred me to a factor – a company that advances cash for customer invoices. The factor agreed to take over collections on some of my invoices, and advanced me most of the face value that same day.
It wasn’t a loan, so I paid no interest and it didn’t go on my books as debt. There weren’t any closing costs, and paperwork was minimal. If I had known how easy factoring was, I might have sought out a factor first.
I wanted to thank my banker, but I was afraid she’d get in trouble if I told anyone what she had done. She laughed and assured me that this was standard practice at her bank. In business banking, she said, it’s the relationship that counts. The bank had already established that it couldn’t help me with a loan, so my banker did what too few others would do: She addressed my needs through a third party, and kept my business in the bargain.
Bankers, if you’re reading this, do what my banker did. Be a cash flow hero for your customers.
-Brad Kuhn Small Business Owner