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Five ways relationship managers can help small business communities and customers right now

 

relationship managers

Mark Deese, Senior Sales Engineer at Linedata, has been encouraged by Small Business Relationship managers looking for ways to help their customers during the challenging time of COVID-19. In this article, he highlights some simple ways to provide a hand.

The Corona Virus (COVID - 19) pandemic has had an impact on everyone. While each of us has a story of how our lives have suddenly changed, small businesses are really taking a hit right now. We’ve seen a tremendous effort in many communities to help small businesses by purchasing gift cards and ordering takeout from restaurants. Here are five additional ways relationship managers can show their small business communities and customers some love right now.

 

1. Call your customers

The first step for relationship managers is to check on each of their current customers. Get an update on the status of their business and one-by-one, determine if they’ll need help from your financial institution by way of modification, interest-only payments, or a cash induction. Every day it seems more resources are announced including the $2 Trillion Cares ActSBA's resource center for small business lenders and the FDIC's guidance encouraging lenders to work with borrowers during this extraordinary time. Whether through government stimulus or a financial institution initiative, small business customers have options they may not be aware of. As a relationship manager, it’s important to share directly with your clients support they can leverage.

2. Host a customer forum

Small business owners are facing a disruption unlike any they’ve experienced before, but they aren’t facing it alone. Consider connecting customers with similar situations so they can benefit from each other’s research and ideas. Whether you host a call with the latest information on government programs or personally connect a couple individuals, they may really benefit from the power of community as they move forward.

3. Say active in your networks

Though your activities are likely cancelled, now is an especially important time to be available to your networking groups like BNI or participate in Chamber of Commerce. People have questions right now, and as an expert in financing, you are in a unique position to help others locate and understand financing options for businesses, including the programs the government and your financial institution are introducing.

4. Shop and support as you can

We all have a list of personal projects on the backburner. Now might be an ideal time to have trees trimmed, get a car repair you’ve put off or take in the winter dry cleaning (observing social distancing, of course). Some small retailers are still operating with creative no-touch solutions; consider purchasing birthday and holiday gifts if you can.

5. Connect on social media or provide a positive review

Liking or following a business’ social media profile goes a long way; it provides the business with an exponentially larger audience. If you aren’t on social media, leaving the business a positive review on Yelp, Google or any other review site is a great gesture. If you haven’t had the chance to patronize the business but you’ve met the team, you can still speak to the quality of ownership and management.

One of the only comforts in this difficult time is that we are all facing it together. I am inspired by the goodwill I’m seeing in my local community and around the world. I look forward to hearing your stories of how you’ve helped small businesses keep the faith.

 

Mark Deese is a Senior Sales Engineer with Linedata’s Lending and Leasing division. As a former banker, Mark seeks to truly understand his customers’ needs and find the right solution with creativity and innovation. Reach out to Mark at Mark.Deese@na.linedata.com or 416-855-2683.

 

 

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