If you’ll recall before Bill left for the day’s scheduled events at Sourcecon the three of us had decided the group Bill originally thought Diane might be a part of – the Sr. Manager (Loreen Musterson) under whom he thought Diane might report and one of the few names he could find on LinkedIn relative to Diane – was definitely not going to work as that group turned out to not only not contain Diane but also contained mostly Analysts and not Project Managers.
This is the heartbreak of online search – no matter how promising it may look – no matter how much we care to color in between the lines – the reality of what we think it might be and what it turns out to really be are many times two entirely different animals.
What to do next?
Pam and I decided to take the other managers and senior managers reporting to the Director of Loyalty Integrated Marketing (Denise Smothers) and open up their groups because that’s where we suspected we’d find Bill’s turncoat Project Manager Diane and her three as-yet unknown co-workers.
Hell, we suspected we might even find more because we felt good about the fact we had the right group outlined - Loyalty Integrated Marketing - from the director on down through the managers.
Like a puzzle we had the outer pieces in place; now it was time to fill in the center!
We decide to break up the director’s reports – Pam will take the first three managers and I’ll take the last four.
One out of seven will answer (probably two out of seven in this, their 10a.m. Thursday morning hour) and we’re likely to learn something from at least one, if not both of them!
I retreat and push the bathroom door mostly shut behind me.
I barely have time to dial my first number before I hear Pam jabbering in the next room.
I go to the door and listen. I miss the first few exchanges but hone in on the third or fourth…
“She is? Sure, I’ll wait.” Radio silence. “Diane? Hi. This is Pam – for some reason I thought you were in Jerome’s group –that Loreen was your manager!”
I open the door and go to the room’s kitchenette and pour myself a cup of coffee, just a few steps from Pam.
I listen as Diane says something on the other end and then Pam says, “Then whom do you report to? Oh. I see. Renee. You mean Renee York?” and I see her circle a name on the page and draw a line from another name to that circle.
I listen some more and it appears Diane affirms Renee’s last name and then my gut tightens as I know Pam’s does as she then asks, “I’m unclear with the information I have; are you an airline employee or a Consultant?”
“That’s the direction I was going,” Pam said and then she really skated out onto the thin ice.
I could hear the crackling.
“Who are the other consultants who work with you?”
Every muscle in my body tenses.
“Sure, I can do that. I’ll call you in a few minutes.”
Pam put the phone down on her lap and looked at me and said the s word.
“She either went south on me or didn’t want to stand there taking up someone else’s phone,” she said to me. "I don't know."
I know what that means and you few phone sourcers out there reading this knows what this means but for those of you who don’t know what “going south” means it means when a source “turns” suddenly from giving you information to not giving you information, we in the phone sourcing business say they “went south” on us.
Again, to you few phone sourcers reading this; I'm sure you caught the whiff of danger in Pam's "I don't know."
When a phone sourcer tells you she doesn't know it means her next step is going to be a gamble. This doesn't usually happen; an experienced phone sourcer can usually "hear" what her next steps should be as she proceeds on a job. We'll get back to this "special-case" subject later (maybe tomorrow.)
For now, what had happened on her call, Pam explained, was that she’d decided to call one of the Sr. Manager’s reports (Jerome Peters) in the group that Bill had originally thought Diane belonged in instead of calling the Sr. Manager first, thinking she’d climb the chain of command and use all the resources she had available.
This is smart technique for a phone sourcer because calling in directly to the belly of the beast in these real-time exercises is usually the best and fastest way to get the best and most current information and there’s no point in not exploiting every rung on the ladder as we climb along.
Another reason to orbit this group headed by this particular Sr. Manager that Bill identified on LinkedIn is that there may be/sometimes is enough “exhaust” being given off that there could be some connection to the real targets Bill wants - those three other consultants Diane works with! Remember, we still don’t even know what company these consultants work for. That’s a tough one.
In other words, LinkedIn (and any social media/turned/turning jobs platform) has its place as a starting point but they should be viewed as only that – in general they hold about 10% of the information on any one specific group in an organization.
I get a lot of heat when I make this claim and it’s hard to prove but unless you’re in a position to be doing this kind of real-time information gathering (actual phone-sourcing; calling in and deciphering the data and placing it where it really belongs (not guessing) in an org chart) like phone sourcers do there is no way of knowing (or arguing against) my assertion.
Getting back to the reasons to circle a senior manager that emits a signal, as this one seemed to do for Bill, as it turned out, there was cause to investigate further.
Calling Jerome, the Marketing Transitions Manager who reported to Loreen (the Sr. Manager for Loyalty Marketing) just happened to not only find Jerome at his desk but it also found Diane standing next to the desk talking to Jerome!
Lucky, huh? As lucky as it sounds, surprisingly it isn’t as lucky as it seems. Things like this happen all the time when you’re phone sourcing!
I call this the human element and it’s the advantage that phone sourcing has over Internet sourcing and it’s huge.
Coincidences like this happen all the time.
Humans are social animals; they meet and greet and mingle and tingle and interact and know one another and phone sourcers, by doing the same on their daily call rounds each day reach and touch the lives of these people that deliver real-time results to their companies.
Instead of finding information online that was entered a year ago (or even last week!) about which veracity can only be guessed about, phone sourcing allows up-to-the minute intelligence gathering unparalleled in the world of sourcing.
It has no equal.
Nothing even begins to come close.
To give you the bird’s eye view again to what we have gathered so far and where we are in our efforts; remember, there is a director, seven managers/sr. managers and their reports.
We have one group flushed out and it includes four people/analysts and one manager – all who report to one of the senior managers/the one Bill suspected Diane reported to and the one he had found on LinkedIn as one of Diane's right-column "connections."
We've discovered Diane DOES NOT belong in that group and we've just discovered she belongs under a different manager; one we had earlier uncovered by phone sourcing the very helpful Annette who had given us not only that manager's name but also all her co-managers and the director they all reported to.
We've seen how having that group intelligence outlined was helpful in Pam's phone sourcing exchange with Jerome and with Diane herself and now we're preparing to go in for The Kill.
Diane is in blue, below. Our mission has been to locate the group Diane belongs to (we've accomplished this) and identify who the three Consultant co-workers she has revealed to Bill who work at this airline with her are so he might contact them about the opportunity Diane has chosen to turn down.
He wants to do this with the idea because her skills are so unique and desired by his customer her coworkers may have the same attributes and his customer may want to hire one of them!
The project, at this point, looks like this:
Major Airline Headquartered In The Midwest
800 xxx xxxx <-Voice Mail Hell / Tracks Your Call Number
xxx xxx xxxx <- “Leave a Message” message
Denise Smothers Director Loyalty Integrated Marketing xxx xxx xxxx
Renee York Manager (or Sr. Manager) Loyalty Marketing xxx xxx xxxx
Diane Buenopello Project Manager / Consultant Company Unknown
xxx xxx xxxx Has three co-workers – find them!
Martha Newkes Manager (or Sr. Manager) Loyalty Marketing xxx xxx xxxx
Charlotte Sanders Manager (or Sr. Manager) Loyalty Marketing xxx xxx xxxx
Teresa Harkum Manager (or Sr. Manager) Merchandising xxx xxx xxxx
Ann Hersler Manager (or Sr. Manager) Merchandising xxx xxx xxxx
Sachia Kunz Manager (or Sr. Manager) Merchandising xxx xxx xxxx
Loreen Musterson Sr Manager Loyalty Marketing xxx xxx xxxx
Sheila Masters Analyst xxx xxx xxxx
Jerome Peters Marketing Transitions/Locations/Operations Manager
xxx xxx xxxx
Tim Gunther Analyst (no number listed - Jerome's one report)
Shenee Polson Analyst xxx xxx xxxx
Tomorrow we’re going to attempt to fill in those missing consultants and you’re going to emerge breathless from the ride Pam and I take you on!
Maureen's PHONE SOURCING TRAINING begins a fresh semester, Tuesday, October 22 at noon ET. Details here.