To Whom It May Concern in Business and at Work

Last week, I regaled you with the inside salesperson who did not do his homework on me as a business-to-business prospective client.

This week, I’d like to remind both job-seekers and sales people of some wonderful online resources to identify and research the decision-maker you’re trying to reach and get to know (either as a prospective client or a prospective employer), including but not limited to:

  1. Google
  2. LinkedIn
  3. Facebook
  4. Twitter
  5. Your local newspaper’s website
  6. Your local American City Business Journal’s website
  7. Using Boolean Search Strings on all the above
  8. Your own business, social, volunteer, congregational, etc. contact list.

Before I had access to the interwebs at the beginning of my career, I would trudge to my local public library and spend several hours poring over business and industry periodicals (and, at times, the hard-copy card catalog) in an attempt to discover the name and title of the hiring authority / decision-maker at the company that either had an advertised job opening, or even better, had just piqued my interest as a great place to potentially work, so I could address my contact (via snail mail and landline phone call) personally, and avoid the relatively ineffective moniker “To Whom It May Concern.” And those periodicals often contained outdated information, because they were hard-copy and not online. Today, we can all do our homework in 1/100th of the time it used to take to schelp to, around and from the library.

Speaking as a decision-maker:  unless it’s a blind job ad response, my reaction to a job application or business-to-business outreach communication that begins with “To Whom It May Concern” impacts as a lack of due diligence, attention to detail and initiative to connect authentically with me as a potentially productive business connection.

Given the data resources available at your fingertips and on your phone, how will you personalize your decision-maker outreach to dispense with “To Whom It May Concern” this week, in business and at work?


To Whom It May Concern

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