Keep your mouth shut and your eyes and ears open. You’ll learn more. When people start to realize that you don’t shoot your mouth off over a free lunch and a cup of coffee they’ll eventually tell you anything and everything.
Listen. People like to talk about themselves. If you don’t interrupt, they’ll go on forever. Eventually they will tell you almost anything.
Ask questions, but don’t make it sound like the third degree. Keep it simple: “How did that happen?” “What did you do then?” “Why do you think he did that?”
When you say you’re going to do something, do it. Most people are full of hot air and can’t be depended upon to do what they say they’re going to do.
If it starts to feel like it’s time to go, it probably is. I can’t emphasize that enough. Trust your instincts and get the hell out, no matter what situation you’re in.
Three can keep a secret if two are dead. This quote is first attributed to Ben Franklin. A little harsh, to be sure. I make mention of it only to provide an example of how some do business.