Networking Interviews: Initial Contact

THE INITIAL TELEPHONE CONTACT

The objective is to meet each person based on a referral and not a cold call.  The referral not only feels more comfortable, it dramatically improves your success rate of achieving actual meetings.  Assume that you are looking for a finance position in a company.  Ted, one of your foundation network salesmen, has referred you to his good friend, Susannah,   who is a consultant to a number of companies.  Ted has told you he will call Susannah, and ask her to meet you.

When you call Susannah (a connection, even with a referral, often takes five to seven telephone calls) you will introduce yourself as a friend of Ted, who told you that she is an expert in the services industry, and then define the meeting.  Upon reaching Susannah, you might say, “Susannah, my name is _______ and Ted suggested I give you a call because he feels you are an expert in the services industry.  I’m interested in a finance position and Ted thought it would be great if we got to know one another.”

Your objective is to schedule a meeting and get off the phone.  Depending upon Ted’s friendship with Susannah and his clarity in explaining the need for the meeting, you might quickly obtain a meeting or you may have to overcome a concern or two.

For example, Susannah might say, “Ted did call, but I’m extremely busy right now” to which you might reply, “I understand that and I’d be willing to meet before work, at lunch, after work or whenever is convenient for you.”  Under almost all circumstances, you want a face-to-face meeting, either in person or virtually. even if you have to wait a few weeks.

Agenda for Initial Telephone Contact

  • Contact name: state the connector’s name immediately (in this case Ted.)
  • Expert: tell Susannah Ted said she was an expert.
  • Define meeting: you are interested in a finance position in a company in Dallas.
  • Overcome objections: the intent is to get the meeting and get off the telephone as quickly as possible.

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