Contemplating cold calling often brings about an uneasy feeling of a long, uncomfortable conversation as both parties wait for its graceful conclusion.
In the same way that we have shifted our approach to work in the past few years, it’s time we rethink our approach to cold calling. By focusing on how to make both parties more comfortable and understanding each other’s needs, we can turn cold calling into an meaningful experience.
One way to do this is by researching the person you are about to contact in advance. Doing your homework will help you craft a better message that actually speaks to their pain points or goals.
Here are a few failproof tips to help you evolve your networking:
CHANGE YOUR MINDSET
In the wake of the pandemic, our traditional ways of networking have been transformed. As such, it is necessary to rethink where and when we network. Networking isn’t only held at a predetermined place or time; business takes place all around us today! So take advantage by making conversation with fellow colleagues wherever you find yourself–every person knows something that you may not know about which could potentially be beneficial for your company. Your talents should never go unrecognized so open yourself up to new opportunities in places where business is naturally conducted.
SHOW INTEREST IN SHARED EXPERIENCE
Developing meaningful links requires effort, especially when it comes to networking. Take the time to connect with people on a personal level instead of simply engaging in transactional conversation. Everyone has had their fair share of rough patches recently, so why not start off by asking how they’ve been doing? By demonstrating your interest and showing that you care through shared experiences, it is easy to gain an understanding of who this person is—from learning about their life story all the way down to what business venture they are currently pursuing!
SKIP THE SMALL TALK & KEEP IT QUICK
Ignore the weather forecast and stay informed of major news topics before departing home in the morning. This can offer great discussion starters to engage with people around you, even if you are not a social butterfly who enjoys talking about themselves. If that’s the case, simply pose questions instead!
Keep the conversation short and to the point—less is more. The goal is to establish a connection and credibility as early in the conversation as possible. Doing the opposite can have negative effects and make people think that they are talking with someone who is not interested in them or their opinions.
SEND AN EMAIL BEFORE
To ensure a successful meeting, send the person you’re scheduled to meet an email with some details about yourself and why the introduction was made if it wasn’t initiated by you. Remember: as someone who is requesting their time, respect that they are offering up their most valuable resource—time—so be sure your request is well-prepared and worth their while.
I tend to send one pagers about the role, project and company. Another tip I like to use is creating an agenda of the call with an estimate on minutes spent in each. This allows the candidate to know the flow of the call ahead of time.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
When seeking someone’s time, be sure your questions are not the kind that can be answered with a simple search. To network with people who have more experience or to secure their help and guidance, prepare as if you were a podcaster looking for the most valuable tips for your audience. Your approach will show that you have done your homework and respect their expertise.
Further, be sure to look over their LinkedIn profile or website to learn more about their background and experiences. This helps you tailor your questions based on their expertise and gives them a chance to share some of the unique stories that make up who they are.
Last but not least, show your appreciation! After all, they took time out of their busy day to help you. A handwritten note or email expressing gratitude can go a long way.
Good luck on your networking journey! With the right preparation and appreciation, you will be able to build meaningful relationships with professionals in no time.
KEEP A GOOD STORY READY
Savvy networkers are always prepared with an entertaining, story-filled response for the perfect moment. Bonus points if it’s humorous!
Having a funny story ready to tell when networking with someone new can be beneficial for a number of reasons. First, it helps break the ice and establishes rapport between two parties. Additionally, being able to make others laugh can create an atmosphere of trust, which can lead to more meaningful conversations. Furthermore, making someone laugh conveys the message that you are a personable individual who may not take themselves too seriously. This is important when networking, as it shows that you are confident but not arrogant and are open to having a genuine exchange. Furthermore, having lighthearted conversations can also benefit in terms of recruitment.
If a potential employee feels they have already made an impression on someone they could be working with, they may be more likely to accept an offer of employment. In short, having a funny story ready to tell when meeting someone new is beneficial because it helps establish trust, shows confidence and openness, and could even help get the job done in terms of recruiting employees.
When recruiting through cold calls, some important keywords to focus on include: introducing yourself, highlighting benefits, personalizing your message, understanding their needs, building a connection, asking for the next steps and closing the call. Additionally, it is important to emphasize the importance of building relationships with candidates and explain why they should work with your company. Lastly, be sure to ask for a next step in order to keep communication going and increase the chances of attracting quality candidates.
Above all, acknowledge that a network is integral to your success and treat it like any other cherished relationship. Make sure you keep people apprised of the latest developments in your life, especially significant triumphs. You will be astonished at how many individuals not only join your professional circle but become long-term supporters as well!
and Sprint Recruiting
I joined the HR industry in 2004 after working as a sales leader in the Financial Services Industry for eight years. After spending his first couple of years in HR trying to fit in, I found my voice. Now I leverage all of the things I once hated about HR to become a consultant and invaluable partner to the businesses I support. I contribute to the HRGazzette and to DataDrivenInvestor on Medium. WARNING: my writing style is raw and in your face, not what you would expect from an HR executive.
If you would like to learn more about Sprint Recruiting, Click here to join our mailing list.
I also have a resource center providing helpful templates, dashboards and other material related to Sprint Recruiting.