The Power of the Informed
The oldest of my three daughters, Kati, works for Apple in one of their retail stores south of Boston. She is a Technician at the Genius Bar.
Stumbling out of bed at the crack of noon one day, she came into my office. I commented that there were three separate articles in the Wall Street Journal about her company. Two had to do with the iPad and one stated that Apple's last quarter earnings were a record for the company.
When she got to work, she read an email from Tim Cook to the team that was trumpeting that last fact. She forwarded me the email and added smugly, "Of course, we already knew this. ;-)"
Kati would no more read the Wall Street Journal than the Bible (Grrrrrr!!!!) and the fact that she can name all three Kardashians but not even one of the 3 Stooges is a personal embarrassment. But on that day, Kati was able to dazzle her co-workers with a fairly deep knowledge of the information the Journal had on Apple thanks to her dad. Chalk it up to the Power of the Informed.
I am constantly asked where to look for prospects by my clients. There's the Help Wanted section (if a company is hiring, they're growing), networking, and the age old prospecting-by-driving-around, but my favorite has to be simply reading the daily newspaper, and especially the Wall Street Journal. By scanning headlines and reviewing an article, I learn about industries that are booming (and therefore are likely to buy promotional products) and those who are suffering (and can be skipped for now).
Better still, I have found that because of my daily commitment to the Journal, I hear myself quoting stats and comments with Cliff Clavin-like frequency (sans the annoying attitude and accent... I hope).