A (Christmas) Prospecting Tale (Issue 811)

In which we are reminded that consistent research is a key to offering timely, high impact ideas to prospects and clients.

The Burlington Mall, Burlington, Massachusetts

“So, why did you leave your Christmas shopping until the few days before Christmas?”

“I don’t know. I just don’t think about Christmas presents in March or July or October.”

“So, you prefer this?” [surveying a seething mall throng]

“No!!! I hate fighting for parking. I hate guessing what they’ll like. I hate pushing through store aisles clogged with desperation.”

“So, no ideas, then?”

“No, I end up in the same stores in the same malls, looking at the same stuff with everyone else, worrying that I haven’t found ‘the right gifts’, as time expires.”

“Yeah, that’s hard…..”

“So, why are you here?” [waving at the seething throng]

“Picking up one last thing I ordered on line.”

“So, you’re finished….?”

“Weeks ago.”


“Oh, I have a list… Whenever we’re traveling or out for a day together during the year, I watch: What stores do they go into? What are they holding when they say, ‘Oh, this is nice’? What do they share in their emails or on the phone or on Facebook? So, I take notes and they think I’m a genius – ‘How did you know I would like this?’ It’s easy… I just watch.”

“So, you don’t mind going along, like when your wife or kids go shopping when you’re on vacation?”

“I’d rather eat sand, but it’s research, my friend. It’s research… so I’m giving gifts I know they’ll like rather than guessing, throwing a bunch of boxes at them, hoping they’ll maybe light up about one of them.”

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