What you are attempting to do is to ascertain objective third party criteria as to your customer's worth. Much debate has taken place as to their value. Will a prospective customer really provide you with a trade reference which he considers will be unsympathetic? You should bear this in mind and if possible try to get trade references from blue chip companies if these are available. Also you should recognise your customers probably have their own important sources of supply who must be paid on time. Presumably there could be a tendency for such organisations to be offered as references rather than suppliers who are kept waiting for payment.
Bank references provide their own difficulties with the financial institutions being quite circumspect as to what they mean when the references come through. Remember a bank reference is only an opinion and will not guarantee payment as it is based on the bank's review of their customer's account performance. Details of their replies following enquiries may be as follows: