By Pat Hinds
We are in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression; this has resulted in 10% unemployment in the US or 15 million people looking for work. I have read predictions that it could take until 2014 for employment levels to return to the 2007 levels. As a result of this tough labour market, job seekers regardless of desired occupation, need to think and act like a sales person if they are going to get back to work.
One of the services that POIM Consulting Group offers its clients is sales training and one of the components of the training is how to make cold calls. The definition of a cold call is, “Cold calling is the process of approaching prospective customers or clients, typically via telephone, who were not expecting such an interaction. The word “cold” is used because the person receiving the call is not expecting a call or has not specifically asked to be contacted by a sales person.” Listed below is a proven technique for cold calling and delivering sales results that can be applied to the process of looking for a job.
Prepare for the Call
First Step – Account research: this includes building a list of prospective companies and contacts within the companies. My recommendation is you make the list as long as possible and you target no less than 3 contacts within the company. Listed below are a few ideas on where you can find company lists.
Company List Resources – Directory of Public Companies in Alberta, Canada, The Venture 100 and SEDAR.
Contact List Resources– Jigsaw is an online directory of free, downloadable Company information and more than 17 million business Contacts. Every Jigsaw business Contact is complete with hard-to-find direct dials and email addresses, while each Company record gives the details on Company size, location, and industry.
Second Step – Greet the prospect, a greeting, salutation (usually formal) is an acknowledgment or expression of good will. It is important that you are upbeat, say the person’s name you are greeting and introduce yourself slowly and clearly. “Hello Mr. Smith, my name is Pat Hinds”.
Third Step – Establish if the prospect has the time to speak with you. “Thanks for taking my call, do you have a couple of minutes to speak with me”. If they say no to having the time ask for an alternative date and time that would be more convenient to call.
Forth Step – Establish a rapport with the prospect with a connection statement. A connection statement is to identify with, or understand the customer position. “I know it is a busy time of the year when we are this close to Christmas; I appreciate you taking the time to speak with me”.
Fifth Step – Negotiate the purpose for the call – your purpose statement should be aligned with your key message on your resume and is the opportunity for you to present yourself and why you are calling. “The reason for my call is I am an outstanding sales person with 15 years experience and I am in the position to help your company to achieve its goals; are you considering new resumes at this time”?
Sixth Step– Listen, respond, ask additional questions and establish next steps. “My department is not hiring at this time.” Do you know if any other departments in your company are hiring? “Yes, our xyz department has approval to hire.” Would you please provide a contact name in that department? I would like to forward you my resume and follow-up at a later date, is that OK with you?
Parting words of advice: every no is one step closer to a yes.
Topics: Business Intelligence