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5 Reasons your company research needs to include executives

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Oil magnate and philanthropist J. Paul Getty has been credited with saying, “To succeed in business, to reach the top, an individual must know all it is possible to know about that business.” It’s good advice – and not just for individuals. A wide range of business organizations can benefit from in-depth company research – but if that research doesn’t include up-to-date and biographical information about executives and board members too, you’re missing an important piece of the puzzle. After all, success depends on building strong relationships with people, not buildings. The insights you get from understanding an executive’s background including education, professional relationships, employment history and affiliations can be invaluable.

How can executive information help you?

  1. Expand Your Network. Even when you’ve built a great relationship with a company, your sales can go south quickly if your primary contact leaves and you don’t have a back-up plan. With visibility into other executives within an organization, you can seek out introductions to ensure your relationship doesn’t falter when someone moves on.
  2. Uncover New Business Opportunities. Is an executive a graduate of your alma mater or affiliated with a professional organization you belong to? Shared interests can help open doors – whether you are a sales organization prospecting for new customers or a non-profit trying to identify potential donors.
  3. Identify Potential Candidates for Recruitment. If you have a position to fill – at your own organization or on behalf of another firm – deep background information on executives can help you target the best candidates.
  4. Anticipate Opportunities or Risk. Tracking executive moves can keep you abreast of both opportunities and risk. When an executive you know moves on to a new organization, staying in touch can lead to new business. On the other hand, multiple executive moves from a single organization may signal a problem that could trickle down and negatively impact your sales or your supply chain.
  5. Understand Public Perceptions. Staying on top of the latest news on companies and executives is critical, especially if you are in PR, marketing and customer service fields. You need to be aware of opinions that appear in traditional media outlets, as well as in social media, so you can respond proactively to issues that surface.

You could search the open web for this type of information, but it can be a time-consuming process – especially if you try to verify the information you uncover. A service like Corporate Affiliations can help you locate detailed information about corporate families and their executives, quickly and easily, also using a pilot program that includes executive newsfeeds from both company and personnel profile pages. Whatever your source, remember J. Paul Getty’s advice – and stay informed to stay on the path to success.

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