Confessions of a Corporate Spy

[Not single-page] A competitive intelligence consultant on how he acquires information about competitors for various companies:

“As the sales manager and I surfed Talbots’s website together, looking for the green mini my wife saw on the website earlier that day, I mentioned offhand that I had just graduated from business school. I talked about how tough it had been to find a ‘real’ job and said I did some business research now, casually identifying the analysts out in California who had hired me. I mentioned that I was really interested in retail stuff—that, heck, I was helping write a report on it for investors, in fact. And wow, isn’t the retail world weird these days with the recession and all? Thus began a conversation about the business.

“Apparently that store had been having a great year. Best in the region. Hitting its numbers. What numbers? Oh! You must be proud. Any younger folks biting on this new stuff?

“I fingered the cell phone in my front shirt pocket, to see if the voice recorder was still working. No, I didn’t tell the manager I was recording her. Legally, in Georgia, I didn’t have to.”

Source: Inc.
Published: Feb 2, 2013
Length: 13 minutes (3,373 words)
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