Going to the Source
Always go to the source, not an intermediary. If you want a business decision, go to the buyer, not a subordinate or an assistant. If you want to learn something, find the original source, not secondary ones which quote others. If you want a loan, see the vice president of consumer lending, not a clerk.
People are genuinely shocked that I answer my own phone and respond to my own email. I receive notes that begin, “If you can get this too Alan….” or “I doubt Alan will ever see this….”
When people want to request my help, either formally or pro bono, I refuse to talk to their assistants. My response is, “If it’s so important, ask her to call me directly.” About 90% of such people do, and the other 10% I don’t care about. Apparently their time is more important than mine, or they don’t understand about personally going to the source.
This is why I told speakers bureaus long ago that I had to speak to the buyer in the client. And that’s when I realized I didn’t need bureaus, because I could go to the source without them getting in the way! Why should I pay a 25% commission to people who slow me down?