Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My wife the spy part II

So, we're investigating...

America has no companies doing nuclear. No new nuclear engineers. All the guys that used to do that are 60+ because of the current opinion about nuclear in the US right now.

So, another country, of the five we're looking at, doesn't have the intelligence, infrastructure or technological base to do anything this company wants. Their computers and engineering are almost stone age.

Another country has no nuclear.

The country doing the most solar is... Spain. (Who we're not supposed to investigate.)

Wendy puts me and the intern (the wonderful Diana) on search duty. Investigate the other countries. Investigate the US for thermal solar, co-generation and other tech the client is looking for. And so the search begins.

This is harder than you might think. It takes me a week to grasp it, and another week to teach Diana. "No, they do solar, not thermal solar."

"Yes, they have pictures of generators, but they build and sell them, they don't design systems."

"No, this company has two hundred million in sales last year, they are too big."

"Yes, they list co-generation on their web site but if you look at their last twenty projects, they do air conditioning and heating. They're not engineers."

These are subtle but important things. We can't show Wendy fifty companies that don't fit the right criteria. We spend... days... searching. It is endless and mind numbing but we get it done.

Finally, we get a list together of ten or more companies in each county that could be looked at. This is where Wendy comes in. Wendy doesn't have a silver tongue, she has a diamond encrusted platinum tongue.

"Hi, how are you today? This is Donna, right? ? Is now a good time to talk? Did you get the keys I sent you? Look, I've sent you a new car and all I need you to do is transfer me to your boss and tell him it's important. I'll take care of the rest. You'll probably get a raise out of this."

Soon she's talking to the president. "Hi, I represent a discreet group of investors in Spain who are interested in your company. Do you have any interest in being bought? Acquired? Retiring early and never having to worry about money again? Being involved in a scandal with a twenty-one year old model? Because I can make all of that happen."

Some responded with "No, we're too busy for new business." To which Wendy responded with "You clearly don't understand. We're not looking for someone to do work for us. We want... to... give... you... money!"

Other times they responded with "What are you selling? No, I'm not telling you anything." These were a problem.

Other times they responded with "We would love to be acquired! Let me send you our promotional material, a video, our bank account information, our sales last year, our newsletter and a box of chocolates!"

These worked out just fine.

In six weeks Wendy had detailed information on thirty to forty companies around the world that were available for the client to buy. She knew their sales, their expertise, their previous and current projects, number of employees, dental and criminal records, etc. It was insane. And most importantly, impressive.

Nothing was ever illegal, none of it was a lie. But calling a company and asking them about their business is a tricky thing. Some responded with suspicion. Some with guarded trust, and others with child-like enthusiasm. BUY US!

Wendy presented a 50 plus page document to the client, an accompanying CD and they were beyond pleased. Information on each companies sales, skills, desire to be acquired, number of employees, etc. Wendy actually advanced a number of peoples' careers with her information.

"You hired Wendy? Really? That was you? Here, you need more money and a better position."

I received phone calls in the night. "Is Wendy married? Because she could marry our company and work here forever."

"How much are you offering?" I asked.


"Ow! Damnit, I'm kidding! She's married! She's mine! Stop calling!"

The best story about this insane business is next. You won't believe it.

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