Searching For Love

The only romance headhunter in the country, Roseann Higgins of SPIES looks for love everywhere and finds it for the most eligible men and women . . . By Heidi L. Rheingold

“At a local Mexican restaurant, I spotted a tall, natural-looking blond who was wearing little makeup. She appeared to be in her early thirties, and she looked perfect for Tom, the 38-year-old director of an entertainment venue. I just had to get to know her. She was sitting with a friend, and I walked over to their table, introduced myself and learned she had moved to the Valley six months ago and didn’t know many people here. Hearing that I knew someone for her to meet sparked her interest. After talking some more, I found she really matched what Tom had been looking for, and when she described the type of guy she’d be interested in, she described someone a lot like Tom.

So I made an introduction, and they made plans to go out to dinner. Their first date lasted five hours.

After three weeks of dating, Tom admitted that he knew he was crazy about her right from the beginning. She said it took her until half of the way through their second date to become totally hooked.”

No doubt about it. Roseann Higgins is one of a kind. She’s a romance headhunter™. That’s right. A romance headhunter, and the only one in the country. The founder and president of SPIES™, or Single Professional Introductions for the Especially Selective™, she’s a matchmaker and headhunter all rolled into one, and as such, she conducts private, personalized searches for romance for single professionals, who’re looking for love. Every time she finds someone who meets a client’s dating criteria, she makes an introduction, just as she did in the above story.

So far, her introductions have led 16 people down the aisle and 40 others into long-term relationships, and it looks as though several of the couples, if not all of them in those long-term relationships, will get married, too. Counting all of her clients, Roseann has brought love to hundreds of people. She’s a modern day cupid, a single person’s savior, a heroine of the heart.

She’s also a savvy entrepreneur, which is why SPIES boasts such a terrific track record and why Inc. magazine selected her a s a semi-finalist among 380 applicants in its 1997 Marketing Masters Awards competition. The Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce recognized Roseann’s talents too and invited her to present a seminar on networking on June 18.

In 1994, Roseann developed her romance headhunting concept. She spent several months researching the romance industry as well as the local market, and then tailored her business to meet the demands of the Valley’s 718,000 single men and women. “I designed SPIES around what single people told me they did and did not want in a service,” she explained.

She created a company like no other. What sets apart SPIES are the introductions. “I don’t just match up people who hire SPIES. I mostly make outside connections,” Roseann said.

Just a few of the events that Roseann attends to find the perfect match.

Her hunt for romance begins with her database of 2,000 profiles. She’s personally met all of the people profiled and sometimes those people are perfect for new clients. Often, when she’s meeting with a client for the first time, she’ll go through her “mental Rolodex” and come up with a good match from the people she already knows.

Since for some there’s a social stigma attached to using a dating service, Roseann makes her clients feel more comfortable by guaranteeing their confidentiality. She never reveals client identities, except when making introductions. SPIES does not shoot videos, distribute clients’ photographs or publish a catalog of clients, although pictures are shown with clients’ permission. She lets no one review files other than Lorinda, her manager of operations. Roseann is so protective that one of her client declared “you have more security than Fort Knox.”

Roseann takes pride in her clients, who comprise a dynamic group. They’ve appeared on a variety of television shows, including Baywatch, ESPN and 60 Minutes, and they’ve been featured in magazines like Time, Sports Illustrated and People. One client built and flew an aircraft now on display at the Smithsonian. Another won a Nobel Peace Prize. Others include an Olympic athlete, the owner of a professional sports franchise and a renowned motivational speaker.

Despite the fame and fortune achieved by some, the SPIES clients by no means encompass an entirely exclusive group. “My clients run the gamut,” Roseann explained. “I help all sorts of people-small business owners, CEOs, attorneys, models, teachers, secretaries, hair stylists, physicians, flight attendants, waitresses, engineers.”

SPIES represents singles who can get dates on their own, but who aren’t meeting the quality of people they want to meet. They’ve exhausted their connections, they’re tired of the bar scene, or they have no time or opportunity to search for someone special on their own. Most of the men and women with whom Roseann works fall between the ages of 27 and 59.

In order to maintain the quality of her company and prevent problems, Roseann requests references and runs thorough background checks on all prospective clients and dates with the help of a private investigator.* People report they feel safe meeting others through SPIES.

From the get go, SPIES clients know what they’re in for as Roseann explains how wide or narrow their search will be. “Most people have a good idea as to how difficult it is to find the right person. Everyone we work with is selective, but there’s someone out there for everyone, and we’re exceptional at finding special someones,” she said.

Roseann spends hours interviewing clients, getting to know them and learning what they’re looking for. She focuses on their personality preferences and outside interests as well as desires for age, appearance, height, religion, children and education level, and she’s just as thorough investigating introduction prospects.

“I get to know each client and each potential date,” she said. “I really listen to my clients and try hard to connect couples who will hit it off. Ninety-five percent of the people we introduce want to go out on second dates.”

SPIES clients see several full-length photographs of their potential dates. Roseann even points out the photographs that best represent the people. Also, she always conducts post-date follow-ups, and some clients continue to give her feedback weeks, months or even years after the introduction. “We want as much input as possible. We want to understand what worked and what didn’t work for the client. It’s all part of the process of getting to know someone better, of doing the best job we can.”

One happily married client commented, “rather than buck shot, hiring Roseann to find someone for you is like precision rifle shooting.”

SPIES offers so much more than anything else out there that people from not just all over Arizona, but from all over the country hire the service. Right now, Roseann represents clients from California, Colorado and New York.

“We work with the nicest people,” remarked Lorinda, who met her husband through Roseann. “Lorinda got married last May. She’s one of my SPIES success stories,” added Roseann, who has been asked to contribute another success story in an upcoming book from the best-selling series Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Recruiting everywhere, Roseann’s days brim with activity. She attends 25 to 40 functions each month. Her calendar contains an abundance of engagements that range from business meetings and professional conferences to power lunches and charity dinners to chamber of commerce mixers, sales seminars, trade shows and sporting events.

SPIES often sponsors functions and is the only introduction service that has purchased booths at events like the Phoenix Open, Arabian Horse Show, Boys and Girls Clubs Wine Taste ’98 and the Luke Air Force Base Air Show.

Roseann introduces herself to new people everywhere she goes, even when in situations such as standing in line at the grocery store, climbing Squaw Peak, and getting her car washed. No one could possibly find more ways to meet more people than Roseann.

With Roseann’s efforts and individuality, it’s no wonder SPIES has been so successful. As the State of Arizona Small Business Advocate Joe Dean said, “Roseann is a highly professional person, who seems to be involved in virtually any community program of value. She’s a professional doing a unique personalized job. She’s always out there, working to improve her business and meet clients.”

Not only that, but when Roseann enters a room, you can’t help but notice her. At six-feet tall with long, blond hair, big blue eyes and a ready smile, she commands your attention. You can’t help but notice her on the road either. As she drives from event to event, she can be spotted easily in her car with personalized “SPIES” plates.

Roseann welcomes contact from anyone seeking more information about SPIES. Feel free to call her at (602) 241-1800 or send email to roseann@especiallyselective.com.

∗Safety measures have changed since this article appeared. Feel free to ask about them.