Friday, May 20, 2011

Some Basic Tips on How Not to Use a Family Office List

Many people make some very basic mistakes when interacting with Family Offices and lists of Family Offices that they acquire. It is as if by simply having these lists they feel connected, empowered, and invulnerable, and end up making some often irreparable mistakes. The reality is that you should conduct yourself with the same level of decency and integrity as you would with any other human being.

Hopefully the following will provide you with some basic tips on what not to do with a Family Office list, so that you can avoid making common mistakes often made by people seeking to raise capital via a Family Office. Obviously the best way to raise capital via a Family Office or individual Ultra High-Net Worth (UNHW) person is through personal relationships founded on trust and confidence. If you, like most others, are in the situation that you have to start out by buying a list as a first step, strive to achieve such a relationship over the long term and if your enterprises are good you may one day join their ranks.

Here are IMHO the top five Family Office list mistakes you should avoid:
  1. After you buy a family office list you cannot simply send an unsolicited email or snail mail to them with your offer to them. This is still considered spam, and you are not permitted to spam, even after buying the list. This is not like a double opt-in list of people interested in blue widgets. You must first develop relationships with each group on the list and they must opt-in to receive communications from you; double opt-in if by email.
  2. Don’t delude yourself that you have unearthed the Holy Grail and that henceforth capital-raising is going to be a walk in the park because you have bought THE list. Certainly, by obtaining a resource such as a Family Office List will make your capital raising efforts and processes more efficient. If used correctly it will save you an immense amount of time. But how effective you are will rely on other criteria. Capital-raising is essentially a challenge at the best of times. It can be a wonderful challenge that people such as myself thrive on, we love the process and every step in it. Realise that you have increased your chances by obtaining a Family Office list and accept that it will require real work and genuine effort. There is simply too much money at stake and too much competition for the investment dollars for the process to be a cakewalk. 
  3. Once you purchase a Family Office list, do not assume that you will receive a lifetime of free updates. These lists are expensive to update, maintain, and they take considerable time and patience to complete. Ask your list provider to see if they are included or not within your package.
  4. Snatching up the first offer of a Family Office directory that you come across, just because it looks good enough is not really a good strategy. Be sure that you source the list from a legitimate company that has a phone number you can call and talk to real people. You know the ones. They have a pair of lips and a voice connected to a brain that gives real responses. Unless you have come across someone with terminal cancer and 30 days to live, do not believe people who tell you they have a boutique private list that they have worked with for the last 40 years or more. Such people exist, but unless the last item on their bucket list is to donate the list to some lucky schmuck you will not gain access to them. Go through a company that is reputable and has a real website. Before you buy anything do whatever you need to do to gain sufficient confidence that what you are buying is something of value.
  5. Don't think you are smarter than the rest and use their list to create and sell your own Family Office list product. Apart from illegal (check the terms and conditions of your purchase) it is morally wrong and UHNW individuals have a way of smelling bullshit in the proximity. If you only have half a brain and do decide to take someone else’s list(s) to create your own, unless you are going for a smash and grab type of sale, how on earth will you ever maintain it? Be respectful, be ethical and use the list as the seller intended; hopefully to launch some great (new) product or service that will benefit many people and (at least by extension) society as a whole.
Hopefully these tips will help you know what not do once you have obtained your database or Family Office list. I am sure you will realise that this is all pretty common sense, but as the saying goes, there is nothing common about common sense.

About Paul J. Lange:

Paul J. Lange is a business mentor and business performance coach who helps small to medium enterprise and entrepreneurs to apply big business, enterprise disciplines and solutions to gain a competitive advantage and increase profits. 

Paul's 'Business DIET'© system has helped countless entrepreneurs and business owners around the world to launch start-ups, expand existing operations, and greatly improve bottom lines.

Paul is also one of Australia’s most connected management consultants, and leading business strategists, with a passion for helping entrepreneurs and business owners who are committed to achieving outstanding results.

Paul’s support will help you to develop strategic direction, implement it, execute and make more money. He will have you starting to work on your business, instead of in your business, right from day one; and if you have already started down this path, he will help you to complete the transition to business owner from business manager.

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