In the world of networking, any expert in the world will advise you that cold-calling isn’t always the most effective way to build relationships. Instead, you want to explore potential warm connections. When you find that person you’re dying to network with or talk to about a potential job, you’ll scour LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, and any other resource you can find to locate someone in your network who may be able to introduce you to your target individual. Unfortunately though, while six degrees might work when it comes to Kevin Bacon, it’s not always possible to connect yourself directly with the individuals you want to network with.
It’s these times when you’re going to have to take the big leap and do what the sales industry calls “cold-calling.” When you have an email address or phone number (or both) but unfortunately no other connections, it’s up to you to make the best effort possible to catch someone’s attention and get the response you’re hoping for. In the world of technology, though, a cold call isn’t always a cold call. It might be a cold email, tweet, or LinkedIn message. However, there are tactics you can employ in order to ensure your voicemail, email or social media message is returned.
Cold-calling is all about being concise and clear while immediately establishing to your target that you are someone she will want to get to know. To keep your call or email script simple, follow the G.I.R.L.S. formula:
- G – Greet Your Target
- I – Identify Yourself
- R – Make Your Request
- L – Link Your Need to Their Work
- S – Suggest a Next Step
Let’s consider the networking plight of an imaginary woman named Amy Mancini. Amy is currently in sales with a big box retailer, let’s say Target. She’s hoping to transition, though, to a company more focused on cosmetics and beauty as a whole, because she’s found that portion of her job is what excites her most. She’s found the perfect connection at Ulta Beauty in Chicago, Ill., but unfortunately none of her contacts can help her get in the door. How will she position her ask?
Example A: The Voicemail
Good Morning, Patty. My name is Amy Mancini. I’m interested in learning more about what you do and your work at Ulta, and I would love to meet you for coffee. I have a long history in retail sales with Target Corporation and currently manage relationships with cosmetics companies on behalf of Target. I’m interested in learning more about companies focused directly on beauty. You can return my call at 555-555-5555. I’d be happy to meet you for coffee before your work day begins anytime in the next two weeks.