Studies show that employees are increasingly getting jobs via referrals, recommendations and word-of-mouth and less so via job boards. Employee referrals are the most effective way to find a job at the moment. But, before you go rushing out to networking events and social media job forums, save a small, special thought for the art of cold calling, which has the potential to be one of the most effective ways to make quality contact with employers via word-of-mouth. Incisive cold calls can nudge people, introduce, create an impression, make some one stop and listen, jog memories, and set appointments in a way that can’t always be achieved via social media and emailing alone.
So, the truth is, when used in conjunction with social media and email, cold calling can really be a catalyst that drives you into employment, but these calls do need to be incisive and certifiably warm. There are several steps to incisive warm calling for job purposes:
The Art Of Warm Calling
You need to prime your cold call target before talking; so, start by background researching the employer of interest and the role and personalities via their website and social media outlets– and identify the hiring manager or the key influencer for the job you are interested in. You need to get their direct email, direct line and mobile number. This may take time, but if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.
Next, write a highly tailored email, geared to catch that person’s attention, with a subject line that reflects something topical/pertinent you know they’ll be interested. For example, “Your LinkedIn Article about software outsourcing.” After making a pertinent comment about their article in no more than a sentence or two, move on to the point of the email, which should be to outline your key achievements and how they might help the business – and you’d like to discuss this prospect.
It’s unlikely you’ll hear anything (but count yourself lucky if you do); so, follow up in three days by simply forwarding the email and stating that you’d like to have a conversation or meeting with them.
Now, it’s time to make what should now be a warm call to your primed candidate who now knows some good things about you – and may be willing to chat. The call can serve several purposes. You might want to showcase your talent and knowledge and demonstrate usefulness so you can get a speculative face-to-face interview with the caller. You might simply want to flag your resume in the application pile so you get short-listed. You might seek a recommendation from them for a job you are applying to in their organization. (Surveys show you are twice as likely to get an interview and 40 percent more likely to get a job offer if you have been recommended.)
But, let’s be clear, it’s unlikely you’ll get this right or be successful even the first or second time you do this. You’ll need to be persistent if you want to be successful in reaching your cold/warm calling goals, as studies show that 80 percent of sales are closed after the 5th call yet 90 percent of people quit after the fourth call.
As well as working hard, you’ll need to work smart and pick opportune moments to call your target to increase your chance of reaching them. Studies show that the best time to cold call a lead to reach them is between 8am and 9am in and between 4pm and 6pm. Avoid cold calling on Mondays and Fridays and target Thursday, Tuesday, Wednesday, in that order. If you are targeting an SVP-level person, try their mobile or call around 8am or after 6pm to increase the chance of bypassing the PA.
And finally, another good way to time your calls is to monitor your targets Twitter feed to see if there are any trends, which indicate when they are likely to be at their desk or near their phone tweeting, meaning that might be a good time to reach them. Their Twitter feed can also tell you what’s on their mind, making it easier for you to tailor your message to something they are interested in.
Finally, I hope I have made myself clear that the market is as such that you’ll find it hard to cold call your way into a job, but by combining warm calling with email and social media you can massively increase your chances of job success – but this will require a large degree of persistence.