Could due diligence ever be fun?
Before you violently shake your head and shout no, hear us out.
A large (and challenging) part of your job as an advisor is to influence and manage your client’s attitudes and behaviours. Without timely cooperation and collaboration, there’s little you can do to move their deal forward. And the longer the process takes, the more there is at risk.
But – and quite understandably – it’s difficult to get clients deviating from BAU. And on top of that, to get them excited about rifling through thousands of documents to find and provide you with the ones you need. It’s also hard to communicate why certain documents are so important, and the back-and-forth can eat up valuable hours. During the deal preparation phase, when blood pressures are at their peak and 14-hour work days are the norm, pushing your clients to take action can wind up provoking rather than motivating them. Especially when it’s the 9th time you’ve asked. *Awkward*
Up until this point, you’ve operated under the assumption that anyone who says they enjoy the due diligence process is probably someone you should avoid. But what if you could do just that? Make due diligence an enjoyable and engaging process? Even – dare we say it – fun?
It’s an opportunity previously unheard of for advisors, but it’s big and it’s already happening.
Ansarada’s Material Information Platform gamifies due diligence to get companies more engaged from the beginning and to stay invested throughout the process.
To assess the state of their client’s material information, advisors use a scorecard which covers all key business areas, i.e. Finance, Legal. The client starts by filling in basic information about their company, and their score quickly lets them know how ready they are for the deal.
This score is the measure of completeness and quality of information that they’ve provided. For each uploaded and verified document, they are rewarded with a boost to their score; to achieve a perfect score, they’ll need to provide everything the Platform asks for.
So why does it work?
It’s psychology 101. The use of gaming elements in business strategies works because it triggers intrinsic human emotions. In its simplest form, gamification is getting a stamp each time you visit your local cafe and collecting a free coffee after you’ve paid for six. Complete the level, get a reward.
Scores and progress bars tap into our natural human instincts for competition and achievement. (And you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone more competitive than a C-suite executive.) In due diligence, this incentivizes companies to take action, creates urgency for them to improve their score, and keeps them coming back for more.
From point A to B with minimal interaction
Leading your client toward your desired result – a complete and thorough examination of all their critical documentation – is tough. Most people don’t like to be hassled to take action, even when it’s in their interest to do so. They like to feel in control, which is why you need to make it seem like they are in the driver’s seat and give them the map to guide themselves.
Something as simple as a score acts as a map for your clients. They can see exactly where they are in the process and know how far they’ve still got to go. Best practice content guides within the Platform allow them to be self-sufficient, with explanations of what certain documents are and why they are critical to a successful deal outcome.
Clear communication can solve nearly all problems – but it’s time consuming. How much time could you save if you didn’t have to repeatedly explain yourself or ask your clients for the same thing over and over again?
Positive reinforcement goes a long way
Your clients are actively trying to accomplish something in conjunction with you, and achievement is one of the strongest driving forces in human behaviour. By rewarding them with an improved score every time they upload a document to the Platform, you’re reinforcing their behaviour – they are that little bit closer to being 100% prepared for their deal.
Best of all? They are enjoying it.
|“Targets are actually bugging us to verify their documents and meet all the requirements so they can see their score reach 100%. We went from being reactive and chasing targets, to being proactive and on the front foot.” – Global logistics giant & MIP client|
The top advisors are already playing the game
Gamification is just one of the lesser-known ways that the best dealmakers are improving their key advisory metrics.
By giving dealmakers the means to benchmark their client’s actions against industry best practice and make them self-sufficient, tools like the Material Information Platform are redefining the processes that have previously limited them.