What to Say and How to Play

Landing the Perfect Appointment with the Perfect Person at the Perfect Company

The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.

—Benjamin Disraeli

If someone from Upper Snowshoe, South Dakota, wanted to get into the business I’m in—creating product ideas for a living—I would advise him or her to take a map and draw a circle around Upper Snowshoe, 100 miles in all directions. And then I’d suggest that this person make a list of every company within this circle—of course not including pizza parlors, dry cleaners, and places like that—and then I’d tell this person to focus his or her creative energies on creating products only for those companies. The 100 miles is arbitrary, but I figure that it’s still close enough to be able to drop in on a company in a casual manner and build a relationship with management. The inventor will learn what kind of products the company is looking for and will invent to their needs. If this inventor from Upper Snowshoe can strike up this kind of association with maybe a half dozen companies within the magic circle, he or she will be busy all the time and the income will grow. I’m taking for granted that this person has the creativity to do the job—my contribution is to urge him or her to use that creativity with companies that are close by because it’s the personal visits that will make everything happen. Management in these companies will get to know the person and be comfortable ...

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