Cold calling tips for job seekers

by | Aug 5, 2016

Job seekers can benefit from these cold calling tips

cold calling tips

Cold calling tips for job seekers

Ringing up total strangers to chat about your business or yourself and then persuade them to set up a meeting is very hard to do. We have also seen an overall decrease in the use of the voice call as it is now called. So people don't expect calls. That can even be an advantage. However, in addition we have seen a backlash against cold calling practises withe legal action being taken against the most unscrupulous.  There is also a proliferation of technologies that screen cold callers.

The nature of job search has changed dramatically over the years. There has been a general reduction in our telephone skills, as we no longer use the phone for making phone calls.  But sometimes a telephone pitch can be a useful addition to your strategy. As a job seeker it can be necessary to pick up the phone and speak to people you don't know. This is when cold calling tips can be helpful and job seekers can learn from experienced sales people.[Tweet "The reality is you are a sales person"]. The product is you.  This is can be a struggle for many women who tend to be other-centred and don't feel comfortable selling themselves. But rest assured, even the most experienced sales people hate the thought of cold calling.

For every interested party there will be a huge number of rejections. Job seekers rarely encounter the direct hostility that many tele-marketers face, where recipients can range from charming to aggressive. They may encounter indifference, impatience or stone walling. So whether you are marketing a product, or yourself, it's important to get the basics right.  Just anchoring fundamentals with effective  research, a convincing and flexible script, plus an engaging  delivery, cold calling can work.

Here are some top cold calling tips from experienced sales people who job seekers can use to help you succeed with your cold calling

  • Effectively research your target market

Every sales person, entrepreneur or job seeker should have a plan.  You need to set yourself apart and not fall into the trap of becoming one of the many job seekers that call daily. What sector or company are you interested in? Research the names of potentially useful contacts. If possible establish if they are the decision maker. Be clear why you want to target them.

  • Create a good script

Never try to call on the fly. It can work - but rarely. Remember the adage "Failing to prepare  is preparing to fail" Draft a few lines that make up your U.S.P. with compelling reasons why the contact should set up a meeting.  In the book Cold Calling for Women: Opening Doors and Closing Sales, Wendy Weiss an expert in eliminating "cold calling terror" says:

"It's a way to prepare yourself for the conversation. You decide ahead of time how you want to present yourself, what reaction you want to get, and how to ask for what you want."  

It's important to find a style that is your own and you feel comfortable delivering. The most important thing is to be yourself. Download our Career Reflection Worksheets to help give your thoughts some structure.

  • Warm introductions

It helps if you can warm the contact up so you can reference  that connection in an introduction. Connect on LinkedIn or other social media. If you know someone in the same organisation ask them for a referral. You can email beforehand you can, but be careful how you phrase it. Most unsolicited emails go straight to junk.  Very often this is about painstaking and patient research that takes place over many months. It rarely happens over night.

  • Charm the gate-keeper

Getting the gatekeeper onside will help your cause. Sometimes the boss isn't always the best person to speak to. Ask the gate-keeper to refer you to the best person to avoid  bothering them. Out of pure self-interest they may refer you to the right person.

  • Rehearsemobile signal

Any skill improves with practice. The more cold calls you make the better you will do and your results will improve. Invest in a good head set. Make sure you make the call from a place where there is no ambient noise like the washing machine and your children fighting. Practise your pitch out loud with friends, kids, husband or dog. Call your own phone and leave a message on your voice mail. Evaluate how you sound. Some experts suggest standing during call, to create better voice projection. Some companies use mirrors so you can see your own body language. Smile! The caller can hear it in your voice. Start with a less important contacts so you can practise and perfect without impacting any significant results. Then move to your "A" list. It's best if possible to call from a land line, but today many people don't have one. Just make sure the signal is good when you use a mobile phone or VOIP.

Read: Your voice your weapon

  • Personalise and customise

Don't learn and regurgitate your script by rote. You need to sound authentic. What you want is a framework where you can slot in the most salient phrases which are relevant to that particular company.

  • Conquer your nerves

When we get nervous we forget to breathe. Our pulse rate rises and with it the pitch of our voices and the speed of our delivery. remembering to breathe will help slow everything down. Weiss suggests  "If you find you have this problem, do some breathing exercises before you pick up the telephone. These exercises can be as simple as closing your eyes and taking deep breaths in and out. Try breathing in for four counts and out for four counts. And focus on your breath. You can also sit in a chair and breathe into each vertebra of your spine. Also try moving around. Move your shoulders, head and arms; shake out your legs. Sometimes you can breathe better if you are standing."

Read: How your voice impacts your Executive Presence

Cold calling is not the most important feature of job search, but it is a useful adding value extra skill. It's an opportunity to make our pitch and we should have that ready for delivery whenever we can.  It's important that we either learn those skills or keep them from getting rusty with some practise!

If you need help creating your pitch or mission statement contact us now for a 30 minute complimentary session to assess your needs. [contact-form][contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/][contact-field label='Email' type='email' required='1'/][contact-field label='Website' type='url'/][contact-field label='Comment' type='textarea' required='1'/][/contact-form]

 

 

Staff Writer: Career Contributor
3Plus welcomes any writers to join 3Plus as a Staff Writer. If you are an expert in Job Search, Career and Mentoring or just want to share your experiences, contact us! We would love to give you a voice!

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