Networking Phone Calls
Have you ever noticed that the one person you really need to know, you don’t. Networking phone calls bridge that gap.
The telephone is a critical tool in your job searching toolkit. A confident, informative, focused call to the right person can garner another lead, provide a great referral, book an interview, or even land you the job. Thus, it is essential that you master the art of pitching yourself over the phone.
Types of Calls
During your job search, you will be calling two different categories of people:
Begin with identifying a target company for whom you would like to work. Then, the next step is to establish contacts within that company.
First, scour your own network for those who may know someone there, then you can use them as a warm referral.
If you can’t find any connection between your network and the desired company, you can always use the internet or human resources department to learn the name of an employee who is working at the level you are interested in.
You can then call and ask for that person by name. Once you introduce yourself, you can begin to gather information about the position you desire or even ask for the name of the hiring manager.
You now have an inside track.
Rehearse your “30 second commercial,” lay your suggested script in front of you, take a deep breath and smile. It’s time to dial the phone.
Components of a Successful Call
Your phone call will consist of five parts:
1. Brief Introduction. Share your name, the name of the person who referred you, or any connecting piece of information that will establish rapport and common ground.
2. Opening Question. Ask a question that will introduce the topic of the company’s opening or opportunity.
3. Gather Information. Continue to ask open-ended questions of your contact so that you can gather helpful information about the company’s exact needs. Begin to position yourself as a solution to their problem.
4. Sympathize and Solve. Show appropriate sympathy for the position the company finds itself in and then explain how you are just the solution they are looking for.
5. Close. End the conversation with a direct request for the hiring manager’s contact information or if you are speaking to the decision maker set a date for an interview to further discuss the valuable contribution you can make to the company. Thank them.
“I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance.
It overcomes almost everything, even nature.”
John D. Rockefeller
Sample Networking Phone Call
In brief, your conversation will sound like this:
1. Brief Introduction. “Frank, this is Nancy. Susan Smith suggested I give you a call. Is this a good time?”
2. Opening Question. “I wonder if you can help me with some information. Frank mentioned that due to company lay-offs you are having a hard time keeping up with your marketing efforts.”
3. Gather Information. “How are you planning to get the word out about your terrific products?”
4. Sympathize and Solve. “Out-sourcing your marketing sounds like a big change. I am a cutting edge graphic designer and have an extensive marketing background. I believe I can provide the high quality marketing you are used to at the substantial savings you need.”
5. Close. “I would love to speak to the head of that department to discuss all the ways that I can help. What is the best way to approach him? Thanks so much for all your help, is there anyway that I might be able to do something for you?”
Write out your potential script for each of these five steps. Think through potential objectives or questions.
With networking phone calls, the key is practice, practice, practice.
With every call you make, you will get better and better.
For more great resources, follow these links:
Sample Networking Letter to an Acquaintance
Sample Networking Letter to a Stranger