Confessions of a corporate James Bond via By Ghosh the price is right!
Note: This is a highly edited version of the original.
1. Force the client to define the mission in narrow terms.
Mr Client, what are the top three things you need in a candidate? And why does he have to have those qualifications? With this knowledge you can target the right people.
2. When you call a company for info, be nice to everyone.
Even when they’re useless. People feel compelled to reciprocate.
Thank them for their time and ask who else would be able to help you.
3. Butter 'em up
Flattery is a great way to get her to open up. Tell her you saw her name in an article about her industry. They always go for that.
If you get the name from another source, say, “Bobby Jo told me you're the expert here on...so I was hoping you could tell me....”
You can play a little dumb, but not too dumb. If you ask good questions, they'll find the conversation worthwhile.
4. Be a Nudge
Never give up. Sometimes you have to wear people down. Eventually, they'll get tired of your messages or curious about why you want to talk to them so badly and they'll respond - though it might not be very pretty when they do.
(If the company has branches all over the country, call the rural offices.
Those hicks shore are friendly).
5. Don’t take it poisonal.
Do you want to be a loser? Then get upset when you're rejected. Because, my friend, to be successful in life, you've got to develop a thick skin.
You see, even if you do everything right, there's gonna be many times when the person you’re after won’t give you the time of day.
Either she's busy, there’s a corporate culture of paranoia, she’s suspicious of your motives, or she just doesn’t want to talk to you when there's nothing in it for her. And, hey, maybe you're ugly. If she says no, just thank her for her time and say goodbye.
I'd like to say that there are a lot more fish in the sea but when your client has a fetish for highly specialized skills that isn't always true.
6. Write A Script
Plan your approach. You need to know who you are and why you're asking for this information. And then adjust the script for each person or category of person you speak to. For instance, sometimes, you're friendly, sometimes flirtatious, sometimes all business, sometimes knowledgeable and sometimes naive.
Familiarize yourself with the industry and its buzzwords - and then imagine you're Meryl Streep. Here are some Oscar-winning lines:
“I’m hoping you can spare me a few minutes, to give me some information I need for a research project I’m working on.”
“I hope you can help me. I’m not sure if I’m calling the right person. Maybe you can direct me to the right person".
They'll ask what you want. Tell them as much as you can.