9 Cold Calling Tips to Get You the Interview

The Overlooked Social Media

It’s rare to find someone who likes cold calling. Even the most seasoned salesperson will dread it because of the anxiety, rejection and intrusive feeling it gives. But, like it or not, searching for a job involves sales, and one of the most effective means of uncovering leads is making cold calls. Especially in this market, just making yourself available isn’t enough. Cold calling may be old school, but it works.

Here are nine tips to make your cold calls effective:

1.  Shed the excuses. Sure, you’re nervous and uncomfortable with this. Perhaps you don’t like your voice, or you’re shy and hate talking with people you don’t know. That’s normal. Step out of your comfort zone and commit to it for a full week to start. You will find that it is actually pretty easy.

2.  Write a script. Practice it by leaving yourself voice messages and listening to them. Try it out on your career counselor or colleague. Remember, you are not calling your pals, so keep the tone professional. Once you feel good about it, throw the script away and make it as natural as you can. Examples follow.

3.  Make it a Warm Call. Think of this as your quest to bring sunshine into someone’s day. Remember the person you call may welcome a friendly voice. If they don’t, see number seven.

4.  Pump yourself up and be enthusiastic. Most people will be nice, but you will get the occasional grouch. Don’t let it rub off – just move on to the next call. Spread the sunshine and have a little fun.

5.  This is a numbers game. The more calls you make, the more rejections you will get, and that is a good thing because eventually you will get an acceptance. This could take days or weeks, but it will happen. Treat each rejection as though you were moving one step closer to your goal. Remind yourself that you only need one job, and it is out there waiting for you.

6.  Try to get the phone numbers of the decision makers. This may mean calling the company and asking for that person’s number. Expect a gatekeeper to shut you down or point you towards HR. HR can be a great resource but they may not know of all of the upcoming openings. Build a list of companies and contacts using LinkedIn or other available resources.

7.  Never take it personally. It may be someone’s job to screen you out. They may say, “Send your resume to this email address” and expect you to go away. If it’s a viable company to work for, find other contacts and avenues. Use the rejection to your advantage. For instance, you may say. “Jim Smith in accounting asked me to send a resume but I wanted to contact you directly to learn of any opportunities available in your department”.

8.  Timing is everything. Sometimes making your calls before or after hours will get you past the gatekeeper. Catching someone having lunch at their desk can work too. Leaving a message is fine but that should not take the place of talking with them. Record the times and mix it up. Leaving more than 3 messages may be perceived as pesky, so keep trying to get them on the line. Remember that your calls may be logged in caller ID, so don’t call too often in a short window.

9.  If a prospect blows you off, move on and meet your number goal for the day. Set daily and weekly goals. You should be able to make at least 15 calls per day, but more is better.Salespeople sometimes make 50 or more calls per day. This is hard work and takes courage and fortitude. Plan your day and make a record of every call you make on a spreadsheet and take notes.

Don’t let your nerves prevent you from getting the interview. Eventually, you’ll find an employer who has a need for someone with your skills, and they’ll be glad you called.

Written By My Optimal Career