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Curiosity Doesn’t Kill Cats, It Wins Deals


For the vast majority of producers in our industry, prospecting and maintaining a healthy pipeline is far and away their greatest challenge. We've talked often about the best ways to put more opportunities in the pipeline. This leads to the next great challenge, which is how to close as many of those opportunities as possible. 

New business opportunities are too valuable not to do everything you can to win. A critical element of the winning edge comes with an in-depth understanding of the prospect as a business and those who influence its direction. 

The information is out there; be curious, my friends 

The margin between winning and losing is thin. The difference often comes down to who works to know the prospect best. As the saying goes, if you want to be interesting, be interested. 

In today's online world, it sometimes seems possible to know the prospect as well, if not better, than they know themselves. At the very least, there is no excuse for not knowing the prospect better than your competition. 

The most curious usually wins. 

Insights that tip the scale in your favor 

Know the buyer well enough to be able to tailor your message in multiple ways 

When interviewing for the role of a benefits advisor, you will encounter consistent influencers and decision-makers, usually the head of HR, CFO, and CEO/owner. Each role has a unique part of the business they are charged to protect and build, which means they will have unique concerns and questions you need to address and answer.  

For every opportunity, identify those who will make and/or influence the decision about whether you get hired. Uncover their unique concerns and questions by knowing what they typically are for their specific role and/or asking them where their concerns lie.  

Nobody will be offended by you being concerned enough about their concerns to think this approach is anything other than you doing a more thorough job than your less curious competition. 

Know the size of the buyer today and tomorrow 

When it comes to benefits, the size of the organization determines some of the insurance options available to them. It also impacts other non-insurance areas of the HR/benefits program. Of course, it will determine compliance responsibilities. It will also affect the need for operational efficiencies that may come through a benefits administration system as well as the communication/education strategy of their employee base. 

Understanding their growth plans will also be important information as you work to start building a strategy to ensure they have the right offerings at the right time. You can also position yourself as the partner who helps ensure they are seen as an attractive employer as they start competing for additional talent and to ensure retention of the current talent. 

Learn about their industry 

As we all know, an industry can have unique challenges and trends. Study the prospect's industry to look for those trends, current events affecting them, and any specific regulatory issues. Even if they don't affect your solution recommendations, being able to speak to their industry will earn you a new level of respect.  

Where are they going? 

In addition to knowing how the prospect may grow in size, bring your curiosity to learn all you can about where they’re going. What are their goals, objectives, and vision as to how they will change, evolve, and grow? 

The more broadly you understand the buyer and where they’re going, the more strategic the conversation and engagement you can offer. These types of conversations get business owners and decision-makers fired up. Like your kids and your pets, everyone gets emotional and passionate when talking about their business-baby. 

Look back at these broad categories and the specific suggestions in each. Now, think about the opportunities in your pipeline. You need some insight at each level for each prospect to give yourself the best chance of converting them into a new client. 

Where do you look? 

In today's online world, there is an abundance of this type of information available. Use obvious resources such as their website, blog, LinkedIn (company page and the individual profiles of their decision-makers and influencers), press releases, etc. 

However, not all information gathering needs to be discreet or subtle. Build this information gathering directly into your prospecting and sales processes. Go so far as to acknowledge that you're assembling a picture of them that goes beyond what most other advisors do, and explain that it is necessary to make the broader impact you deliver compared to your competition. 

Curiosity doesn’t kill cats; it wins deals. 


Content originally published on Q4intelligence

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