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Networking Phone Tips

Making a phone call with a referral

"Hi, my name is _________. While talking with John Doe last week, he suggested that I give you a call. I’m in the process of making a career change and would like your advice. I’m not going to ask you for a job, but I would appreciate your ideas since we work in the same industry."
"Hi, this is ______. I met you at the Toastmasters International meeting last night and really enjoyed talking to you and hearing your advice. As you recall, I'm interested in breaking into the _____ field and would love to get together with you briefly to hear more of your ideas."

Requesting feedback and ideas

"Hello, Sam, my name is______, and I'm very much interested in having a chat with you about real estate. "I've asked around for someone who has a lot of experience in real estate and several people have mentioned your name. My goal is to see if I am suited for a sales position in real estate, and, from what I understand, you have been involved with sales for a number of years and would provide a good perspective."
"I have been an administrative assistant in banking for the last 5 years and am now interested in making a transition into the health care industry. I've always been interested in the medical setting and was hoping you could educate me about holding an administrative role in a hospital."

Calling a lead without a referral

"Angie, my name is ________. We've been friendly competitors for a number of years. Having just completed work at JPMorgan Chase, I wanted to get your advice. I'm not calling to ask you for a job, but I would appreciate your ideas since I've been working in your industry."

Scenario: You receive a letter in the mail from a large stock brokerage firm. It is a solicitation for IRA accounts. The letter is signed: Jane Doe, Account Executive.

You: "Hello, is Jane Doe there?"
Jane: "Hello, this is Jane Doe."
You: "Your letter prompted me to call."
Jane: "Are you interested in the IRA literature I sent?"
You: "Yes, but not in the way you think. I've been in sales for quite a number of years and am thinking about making a switch to selling stocks and bonds and wanted to learn more about it. Do you suppose you would have time to have lunch one day next week so I might ask you some questions about your work?"

Getting past the operator

  • To confirm that a person is still in the job:
    "I am sending correspondence for Sam Smith and need to verify his exact title."
  • If Sam Smith is no longer in his position:
    "So I can update my records, can you please give me the full name and spelling of Mr. Smith's replacement?"
  • You have written a target letter to Sam Smith and indicated you would be calling in a few days:
    "Good morning, my name is _____. I would like to speak to Sam Smith, please. He's expecting my call. It concerns my letter of April 3rd."
  • Cold call
    "Hello, this is ________. I would appreciate talking with you at your earliest convenience. I have an important question. I can be reached at ______."
  • Call with a connection
    "Hello, this is _______. I am calling at the suggestion of our mutual friend, Jack Jones. My telephone number is ____. Thank you for getting back to me."

Networking Tips

What are key points to remember?

  • Work to have a genuine positive attitude and approach, be open to opportunity.
  • Constantly look for introductions - common interests.
  • Develop a networking strategy or plan.
  • Research and create a script or outline before you initiate a discussion.
  • Know and leverage your strengths, work to develop your weaknesses.
  • Don't take rejection personally.
  • Be willing to ask for help and be specific about what you need.
  • Nurture your relationships in order to maintain them.
  • Work to provide help and resources to others.
  • Develop new relationships - over time.
  • Learn from your experience and continue to hone your skill.
  • Get organized, stay organized.
  • Commit to networking as an every day routine, a way of life.