The Internet gives you the opportunity to network with people you’ve never met in person. Many websites are set up to help you do this. On LinkedIn for example, you can request an introduction through mutual contacts. But if someone is so far out of your network that this isn’t possible, you can still use what sales professionals refer to as a cold call. What is cold calling? It just means that you’re making unsolicited contact. It can be nerve-racking to reach out to someone you’ve never interacted with, but good things often come to those bold enough to ask for them. You just need to be sure that you cold call correctly for the best results. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Know what you want.
What’s your end game with this person? Is there a particular company you want to know more about? Do you have a business that you’re trying to take to the next level with more exposure? Know what you want first so that when you get through to your new contact you won’t waste their time.
You don’t want to be pushy, but you don’t want to seem timid, either. If your’e brave enough to cold call someone, you should also be brave enough to ask them for what you want clearly and directly. Again, since you’re trying to get in touch with someone important, make sure you show them respect by not wasting their time.
Be willing to give, too.
Networking is about back and forth. You may not know how you can help your potential new contact, but giving a brief background of your career will make you more appealing. Explain what you do and what makes you valuable in a sentence or two when you introduce yourself.
Put it all together.
Whether you’re cold calling in a LinkedIn message or leaving a voicemail, write down your pitch and practice it. It should be about five to seven sentences and include a respectful greeting, your name and a brief summary of your current job, your actual request, and a suggestion for follow-up contact, such as meeting for a coffee in a week. If you’re calling, practice saying it until you’re comfortable with it and it doesn’t sound rehearsed.
Are you looking to grow your professional network? Consider adding a specialist at Burnett’s Staffing. We can make your job search in the Dallas Fort Worth area much easier, so get in touch with us today.