N emailed me:

Hi Marc,

I tried and tried to get contact info for {HS}, but nothing is coming forth through his website or LinkedIn account. I did send a generic email to his company, but will be surprised if someone will respond with H’s email/phone number. Might you have a suggestion on how we can track down H’s email? Here’s his LinkedIn page: https://www.linkedin.com/HS

Thanks, N

Whoosh, the sleuthing juices started to pump through the LinkedIn compartments of my brain.

First, I looked at HS’s LinkedIn profile, and no, we are not 1st level connected.

Next, I perused his contact details. No email address to be found. (OK, I get that some people don’t want to show that publicly, especially in this case, CEOs.)

Then I clicked on the company website link in the contact details. Sometimes you can ascertain the style that the company uses in its email addresses, like HS@{company}.com or herb@{company}.com for example. No one, yup, no one, had an email address on the website other than a generic contact us form.

One more step, I looked at his company profile page on LinkedIn for more clues. Another dead end.

Not to worry, I have other ideas. I love a LinkedIn challenge!

While on the company Page I searched LinkedIn for his work colleagues at his company; that hit a brick wall, with no one listing more than their Linkedin URL in their own contact details. I think they need a LinkedIn trainer…

Back to his profile. Who do I know that he also is connected to? Aha, 2 people!

I messaged both identically:

I hope you are well. I am trying to get HS’s email address for a marketing project I am working on for a gardening-inspired river boat cruise in Europe next year. All on the up-and-up I assure you. I see you are connected on LinkedIn to him. Do you have his email address? Thanks, Marc

Eureka! One responded the next morning with the sought-after email address. I responded with a hearty thank you.

The other didn’t know it but mentioned she was glad to be back in touch. 1 point for Gryffindor.

As always, should any of my LinkedIn Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This episode of Mission Possible featured no more intrigue than an elusive email address.

It’s always a happy ending when you try hard and know the right people.