Wells Fargo & Co.'s Terri Dial has a secret for bankers who are relying on traditional relationships to sell small-business loans: You're doing it all wrong.

"Most people now are using face-to-face bankers for $30,000 loans, but they are kidding themselves if they think they can make a profit that way," said Ms. Dial, a Wells Fargo vice chairman and head of the bank's small- business lending program.

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