How to Minimize the Creep Factor in Sales Diligence

In this data-rich age, integrating marketing and business intelligence into a solid prospecting and sales strategy is easier than ever. A producer with good sales diligence skill will already have an extensive profile on potential prospects before even making any contact.  By the time they make a phone call, they may already know how many times prospects have visited a website and how many emails they've opened and which links they've clicked.  But even deeper sales diligence can reveal a complete business footprint including present and past business entities, along with business associates or even financial relationships.  But having all of this data on someone can seem intrusive and creepy.  So as sales reps and producers, it's important to mitigate the creep factor.

It's your job to know

Your sales diligence has revealed that your customer has several other businesses that have not been disclosed to you.  These other businesses represent additional opportunities.  Knowing about these other opportunities may not only help you strategize your pitch, but depending on your job, it may be in the customer's best interests.

For example, as an insurance agent, it would be very important to know the customer's complete business footprint. A customer may not be disclosing information as a way to hide something or be deceptive, they just might not realize that information is important.  As an insurance agent, it's essential to mitigate risk and ensure that the customer has the appropriate coverage for their property and assets. If, after some customer research, it is discovered that they have UCC liens using certain property as collateral, then that collateral is certainly valuable enough to insure.  Does your customer have the appropriate coverage for this asset? Or if the customer has multiple businesses, do they have the appropriate policies for each business?  Understanding other businesses and assets allows for the more detailed assessment of appropriate coverage.  Without the whole picture, the proper assessments can't be made.

While it may seem creepy that this insurance agent has additional, undisclosed information, it's actually working in the best interest of the customer.  As an insurance agent, it's your job to know.

This can be applied to different industries and verticals, not just insurance.  In any field, knowing your customer allows you to provide the best possible product and service.  However, you should carefully work around how you have such knowledge without coming across as creepy and intrusive.

Don't reveal how much you know

While you may have been playing super sleuth to find out as much as you can about your prospective client, don't creep them out by telling them everything that you know about them.  Use the intelligence gathered as a tool to steer the conversation in a way that allows you to build rapport or showcase your product.

For example, even though you have searched property records and you know the address and the property value of your prospect's home, you may not want to mention any of that.  Telling your prospect you know where they live is a little creepy.  But understanding what neighborhood they live in, and the property value of the surrounding homes help you to build a detailed profile of your prospect.  This is especially important to wealth managers or commercial lenders.

The same goes if you are using marketing software that tracks web page visits or email clicks. Just because you know your prospect clicked and read specific content, you don't need to mention it to them.  Some people understand that their website clicks are tracked, but it is still creepy when someone mentions it.  Use the intelligence that you have gained regarding a topic that has peaked their interest to be more specific in your product or service offering.

The amount of intelligence that one is able to gather on potential prospects can seem a little creepy.  However, this intelligence is a vaulable tool for enhancing your sales pitch.  Just use it wisely, and effectively without being creepy.

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