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Dig Deeper : How to Write a Customer Survey
10. Call 'em up! Once you have done enough research to identify who your competitors are, you might want to try an old school tactic to take it from there: Just call them up and ask away. "One of the best ways to research competition is to call them and ask whatever you'd like," says Jordan Harbinger, the co-founder of The Art of Charm . "You'd be surprised how often companies will tell you everything you'd like to learn over the phone, especially if the question is phrased in a context that makes sense. For example, if you want to know how many people work there, you can say: 'I'm looking for individualized attention, and my fear is that your organization is too large, and I'll get lost in the shuffle. How many coaches do you have on staff? Oh, wow, that's quite a few. How much support staff do you need for a team that size?' This approach has served me very well."
However, there's a caveat that comes with using the internet to research your novel: you need to be extra careful about online resources and their validity.