Cold Call: 5 Tips for Not Getting the Dial Tone

Cold Call: How to Avoid Getting the Dial Tone During Your Job Search

(Image: Thinkstock)
(Image: Thinkstock)

Wanting to get that winning contact at your dream company is usually at the top of every professionals list, but conducting a cold call to get it usually falls last on the list of options. The thought of contacting someone you don’t know for professional advice can be nerve-wrecking, but it doesn’t have to be if you go about the process in the right manner. Below are some helpful steps, recommended by U.S. News writer Miriam Salpeter, for how you can successfully go about doing a cold call.

1. Get the name of your desired contact: With the help of social media and the internet, this may be one of the easiest steps in conducting a cold call. Calling a company and expecting them to direct you to the person who can answer your question best can be a headache for the receptionist. Also, if the receptionist transfers you to the wrong person, you may start pitching your career question to someone who is in no way equipped to help you.

2. Figure out the best time to call: Bad timing can be a deal breaker when trying to go after an opportunity. Before calling any professional, Google what time their company closes and check their social media pages to get an update for how their day is going. If their tweets mention them being at a conference or on vacation, then it wouldn’t be in your best interest to contact them at that time.

3. Know what to offer: Before wasting anyone’s time tracking them down with a phone call, make sure that you have a clear idea of what you want from the person. Ask yourself, “Why should this person want to talk to me?” And be sure to give them a reason for why they will want to keep in touch with you.

4. Get straight to the point: Clearly, you target contact is taking time out of their work day to attend to you so be sure to make your call worth it. Don’t beat around the bush with questions that have nothing to do with what you want. Make your call as short as possible and get right to the point.

5. Become allies with the receptionist: In many cases you will have to go through someone before you are able to speak to your desired contact. Make sure you are polite and respectful when trying to get your call transferred because you will likely have to encounter that person again if you ever call back.