The most effective and efficient way to prospect for and qualify jobs and employers is to reach out and touch someone – with your phone.
Making job-finding friends with your phone can be challenging. It’s even harder when you don’t know the people you are calling. Here are some ways to become more effective:
- Get permission and use the names of personal referrals.
- Be in a quiet place with few distractions when you make calls.
- Send an email in advance asking for best days and times to talk.
- Ask your referrals if they will introduce you before you make contact.
- Leave your phone number for people to call you back.
- Practice with people you know.
Before you make your call, do your homework . Know how to spell and pronounce their name properly, as well as know the name of their company, the title of their position, and the name of the person who referred you. Write it all down, say it out loud, and then make the call.
Pray and smile when you dial. Be ready for either voice mail or live talk. Listen carefully to what is going on with the person with whom you are talking. If he/she is interested, helpful and positive, keep talking. If he/she is “short” with you and making concluding types of statements, wrap up your conversation. Most calls last 10 minutes or less, unless your contact remains actively engaged.
Sample Phone Conversation
“Good morning (or afternoon). My name is (give first and last name). I was referred by (name of referral).”
Clear the time: “Do you have a couple of minutes to talk, or would another time be more convenient?” Do not press to get the time. If later is better for the person you are calling, then ask to book a short phone appointment later. “When might be a good time for you?”
Always hold conversations with open hands. Give the reason for your call. “I am exploring new career opportunities and would like your advice and counsel.”
Ask for the information you want, such as contacts within a specific company, suggestions on companies that fit certain criteria, advice on how to approach a certain situation, etc.
If you want contacts, you might say, “I am networking for referrals to (name of company or people in specific kinds of jobs).” You might also say, “I am looking for (give 3 parts of your focus-the job, the industry or company, the location). Do you know anyone in (name of company or type of position)?”
Watch your watch! As you see the 10-minute mark coming and going, begin to wrap it up. You might say, “I want to be thoughtful of your time. May I email you a copy of my resume in case you think of someone or something else later?” If yes, ask for their email address, and read it back to be sure it’s right.
Say thank you: “Thank you for your time and help. It has been a pleasure talking with you.” Wrap it up: “If I have an additional question, may I call you back? Thank you and have a great day.”
After Each Call
- Make notes on the conversation.
- Immediately send a “thank you” email with a resume.
- Call or email the referring person with a thank you for the referral.
- Take a break every 30 minutes to stretch and walk around.
- Continue to improve your scripts as needed.
There is SOMEONE who knows everyone. HE is available anytime from anywhere about anything. Call HIM and ask for help. Thank HIM for HIS blessings and connections. There are no long distance or roaming charges.
Remember: “Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God…” Philippians 4:6-7