102008 Puzzler

In which we're challenged to recommend a strategy for an X-treme prospecting game. A partner at a "white shoe" New York investment bank (now out of business due to the recent financial unpleasantness) was preparing his deal team for a dinner meeting

with a client’s executive team, all men, 50-ish years old. The team was working on its first transaction for the client.

The partner turned to the greenest associate on the team (who would have been in his early ’20s) and said, “At dinner, find a way to sit next to [the client’s CEO]. If you can’t do that, don’t bother coming back to work tomorrow.”


So…Say you’re the associate. Four hours to dinner. You’ve not been introduced to the CEO. Your teammates are busy (and enjoying your squirming). After a quick trip to the closest rest room and a little tidying up, you have to plan: How do you invest the four hours? What’s your strategy at the event?

Click “Reply” to email your one best suggestion to me, and I’ll share the crème de la crème next week.

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