Underserved Business Segment

Joe Swatek April 18th, 2011
Marketing Insights

76764015“Shocking Discovery — Businesses Underserved!”

If I were a tabloid writer that might be a headline I’d write for the story.

A recent survey shows financial institutions ignore a large segment of potential business — small businesses.

The NACHA (The Electronic Payments Association) conducted a survey and reveals the complete findings at its conference in July. But some of the information was teased to the media.

It seems, 34% of small business owners told the survey gatherers they don’t use electronic deposit for their employee payrolls. Why? One-third said their financial institution never mentioned the service.

Experience tells me some small businesses are hard to find when you’re prospecting for new customers. Those are mostly businesses run out of homes. Still, they’re legitimate businesses that need, at a minimum, checking accounts.

But the business owners surveyed by NACHA weren’t all single-employee businesses. Most have storefront locations. They’re in the phone book. They might advertise. They’re not hard to find.

How does your bank or credit union recruit business customers? Do you make a real effort of just wait for business owners to walk through your door?

Over the years, I’ve heard financial marketers say their branches have no organized effort to recruit business clients — even the businesses on the same street or in the same shopping center as one of their branches.

Here are two ideas to take to your marketing colleagues. First, pull up the names of your current business customers. See what services they’re using and have your branch staffs make personal efforts to call on them and see that they know you can offer them more.

Next, look around your branches’ market territories. The area businesses have banking accounts somewhere. Why not try to convince them you can offer them better products and services.

It seems small businesses offer an underserved segment of the community. There’s opportunity waiting for those who act.

This content is accurate at the time of publication and may not be updated.