The Job Search Strategy You May Have Forgotten – Cold Calls

July 26th, 2012

If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of an unsolicited call, you know firsthand that it can be annoying.  Someone you don’t know is asking for your time, and usually even more than that.  That is why cold calling, whether it is by telephone or via email, is a difficult art to master.  But it must work when done properly, or it would have died out long ago as an effective method for sales and information gathering.  If it works for them, it can work for you.  But you’ve got to know what you’re doing.

Remember, the call is about them.  It’s not about you.  If you start out the call with all the reasons you are the person he’s been looking for, you’ll lose him.  Turn that idea around and ask about a need or a problem his company may be faced with.  Then explain how you can help solve the problem.  Keeping the focus on the company and how you’ll fill a need is the way to keep his attention and get your message across.

Research first.  It’s a cold call, yes.  But you should not simply call up and ask to speak to someone in HR.  You’ll get nowhere fast.  With a little research you can find out with whom you should be speaking, and ask for that person directly when you call.  Once you have the name of your contact, delve deeper and see what you can find out about her on LinkedIn and other resources to make your conversation more personal and give you an initial connection upon which you can build.

Warm up the trail.  Before you even pick up the phone, try to make connections with these companies via the more benign channels of LinkedIn groups and Twitter feeds.  Find them and follow them.  Comment on and compliment their company posts.  Begin to interact with the companies through the relative safety found online.  These actions let them know you are truly interested in the company and make you less of a stranger.  Hopefully they will remember your name and even begin to enjoy interacting with you, so when you do call or email, it is no longer a cold call.

Make friends in the right places.  Many times, the person you want to speak with will have someone within the company who runs interference for them, screening their calls and only letting approved people through.  You need to get on this list!  By being honest and sincere with the “gatekeeper”, you may just get through.  Put it this way –“I am hoping you can help me.”  Then very briefly explain why you are calling.  Keep in mind, these individuals are usually very hard working and loyal to the people they protect, so remember her name, use it frequently in conjunction with “please” and “thank you” and you should be able to build a valuable rapport.

These can be tricky waters to navigate.  Contact Helpmates and we can steer you through this process and assist you in making some valuable connections to future employment.

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