Thorough Sourcing, Part III

Here is this Tuesday’s Phone Sourcing Tip. It is also listed in the ASK Maureen group on ERE.

I hope you’ll join and contribute to our discussion!

Asking more than one question at a time (or giving out too much information) overwhelms most Gatekeepers.

After you’ve stated your name and repeated hers back to her (if she told you her name when she answered), give her one request only.

“Hi Sheila, this is Maureen Sharib. Can you please transfer me to your Quality department?”

That’s much better received than:

“Hi Sheila, this is Maureen Sharib. I’m working on a project and I need to speak with all your quality engineers. Can you tell me who they all are and then can you transfer me to one of them?” is just way too scary and way too many words for her to hear anything but what sounds like to be a “name raid” to her.

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Trust me, she knows what a “name raid” is.

Easy does it.

This is an on-going series regarding phone sourcing. The beginning of this project is here, and the full, original post is on

Subsequent portions will appear weekly.

Maureen Sharib has been a “Socratic sourcer” her entire sourcing career; from the moment she first picked up the faxed list of Silicon Valley high-tech companies that was her target list to “phone source” in 1996 to today she has instinctively followed this method of investigative sourcing using (mostly) the telephone.  She is a proponent of sourcing as a synonym for success and envisions the craft moving away from a dangerously drudgery-paced life-form existence to an exciting investigative/competitive place within organizations where practitioners co-exist within a framework of market research, human resources, and C-level future planning. She owns the phone sourcing and competitive intelligence firm, Inc. You can contact her at Maureen at or call her at (513) 646-7306.  If she’s not on the phone she’ll pick up!


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