How to Find Your “Who”

A coaching client recently expressed her dismay at not being provided the right contact name within a large organization. She was allowing this to impact her prospecting goals. Within minutes I had her back on track with the names of several individuals that could be her perfect contact.

How did I find these names so quickly? What are some of the most valuable research tools I use when prospecting?

I’ve never allowed the lack of a name to slow down my prospecting. Certainly part of what feeds my determination is my journalism background. In the years when a deadline was looming, I had to persist; editors did not accept excuses. Here are the research steps my client and I followed this past week:

  1. We went to LinkedIn and in the top left-hand corner, in the search box, we entered the company name, e.g. ABC Company. It showed up immediately.
  2. There were several bits of information provided, such as how many followers they had, where they were located, etc., but the important piece was found on the far right-hand side of the dialog box: See all 1,337 employees on LinkedIn.
  3. Clicking on that link took us to the beginning of the very long list of employees. But on the far right of the screen was the ability to filter this list, by entering a key word, or a location, etc. (In case you’re wondering, I am able to do this level of research without subscribing to LinkedIn.)
  4. Since my client didn’t have enough information to use any of the filters, we simply began scanning the long list. While someone on the very first page seemed like a possible contact, on page two we found an individual with a title indicating she’s exactly the right person to approach.
  5. In looking at her public profile, it turned out she and my client share five – very impressive – contacts on LinkedIn. Perfect!
  6. My client sent a connection request immediately and then asked, “How will I find a phone number?” I’d already moved to Google and entered the contact’s name and company. The main switchboard number showed up quickly but I know this general search often turns up a press release or corporate list with direct lines and/or extensions. This detailed information may not appear until Page 3 or 4 of the search, a task I left with my client.

In the days of print directories and trips to the library to access a wide range of phone books (yes, that is how it was done), it took hours to track down the information my client and I accessed in less than 10 minutes. Don’t allow inadequate information slow down your sales process. Move into research mode and use the tools at your fingertips.


Are you doing some cold calling? Or receiving great sales calls? I’d be delighted to hear from you and … consider including your story in my upcoming book, Talking to Strangers: Inspire Conversation, Build Relationships, Generate Revenue. Brief accounts of how conversations with strangers have helped readers grow their businesses will be appear in every chapter … and yours could be one of them! When your story is published, I’ll send you 3 free signed copies of the book, currently scheduled for publication in early 2018. Click here to tell me your story.

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What's The Phone Lady doing?


  • Remote learning experiences + one-on-one coaching for women entrepreneurs (More info about this three-year program here.)
  • Team and individual coaching with a national moving company to refine their sales process
  • Remote half-day training for provincial tourism representatives
  • Remote seven-part sales training program for US-based SaaS
  • Remote webinar on accounts receivable communication for industrial-services company
  • Remote webinar on validation to college students in entrepreneur program
  • In-person workshop on job search skills for women in the trades
  • Remote half-day webinar on written correspondence to customers

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