If I haven’t said it before, I learned this work the hard way. Here’s one example:
After doing some public records research, I generated a phone number for a client I was looking for after several years. I called the number. A woman answered:
“Yeah is Tanya there?” I ask.
“Can I leave a message for her?”
“Who is this?”
“I’m calling in regards to a health study she did a few years back.”
“She doesn’t want anything to do with your study!”
“Well ma’am, I need to hear that from her.”
“I’M HER MOTHER, AND I SAID SHE @%!&%#@…”
Well you get the drift. Anyways, it turns out Tanya was in jail, and I got the brunt of her mother’s frustration over the situation.
Lesson: First, don’t ever say you need to hear a refusal from the client and not the person you’re speaking to because they will flip out. Just say thank you and look for other leads. But do not stop your search unless the refusal comes from the client themselves.
Second, people may be rude to you, but remember there may be backstory to the situation that’s affecting their mood. I think Tanya’s mom had a good reason to be upset. I just happened to be the one calling. In other words, don’t take it personally.