We were discussing the various merits of the Internet searching vs old-school telephone elicitation (I say old-school because it's what I've been doing way before the Internet came along).
Specifically, we talked about how, with tools such as Google and LinkedIn it's become so easy to find names that people have begun to assume that's the quickest and only way to get them. In the field of NLP, this is known as a "generalisation": your brain takes one experience (finding names quickly on the Internet) and by-passes all other options. It says "this worked well last time...don't bother trying anything else".
A good analogy is the Drive-Thru.
Have you ever been to the McDonald's when there's a long line of cars waiting to go through the drive-thru and you automatically get in line behind them. While you're waiting you see someone park up, get out and go inside to the counter...only to come out seconds later with their order because everyone's outside waiting in the drive-thru!
That ever happen to you?
It's the same with names sourcing, competitive intelligence, lead generation etc. The Internet is a great tool but it not always up-to-date and contrary to some people's opinion, there's still stuff that happens in the real world that isn't Google'd.
When faced with a project to ID decision makers in a list of target companies you have a few options. Hitting LinkedIn or Google could be one (particularly if there's a no-name policy or tough set of gate-keepers) but it could be far quicker to just pick up the phone and ask!
If you're dealing with people who are buried within the organisation, telephone elicitation is guaranteed to be the quickest and most direct way of uncovering the information you need.
So, next time you're at McDonald's...just take a moment to check out the queue inside ;-)
Labels: competitive intelligence