How to Research a Prospect Without Stalking Them

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Bev,

I had an odd thing happen this week with one of my advisors. She was going to meet a prospect who had been referred by a long-time client of the firm. Naturally she did her research on the person, a serial entrepreneur who started and sold three businesses. He has a net worth of around $56 million. There was a great deal of information about his businesses and even his family online. They are very charitably inclined and there were several photos and accolades from the causes he supports.

My advisor, “Jeannine,” was excited to learn that one of those charities is something she cares deeply about, having had personal experience with this cause. (I don’t want to share specifics, lest other team members know things about Jeannine’s personal life that she hasn’t shared with them. Suffice to say it is a significant issue in her life.)