E. Making the Calls: Tell them who it is.

Now the fun begins!

Truly, this is the part of the process that I enjoy the most. After 28 years of Executive Search Consulting, following 15 years of selling insurance, I figure I have made over 30,000 calls to ask someone to “consider an idea”. If I haven’t learned how to do it by now, I guess I never will.

My approach is simple and to the point. I assume that the people I am calling do not have a lot of time to give me, so I always get right to the point. Here’s an idea of how it goes:

“John, my name is Dick Watkins and I’m an Executive Search Consultant. Have I called at a good time? Can you talk for just a moment? (If they say no, and about 25% of the time they do, I ask when I can call back)

“John, your name was given to me by ___________, as someone who might like to know about the opportunity I’m about to describe to you.  Quite frankly, if you aren’t interested in this position, we’re hopeful you can recommend someone to us.”

“My client is XYZ Corporation, are you familiar with them?” (Many people in the recruiting business refrain from telling the potential candidate who their client is. One of the reasons they do this is because they are afraid that word will get out and someone else will “squeeze in front of them” and make a placement with their client.  I choose to tell them up front who my client is because I want to know if this very important piece of information will make, or break, them as a candidate. In most cases, I am working in an industry where everyone knows each other, so why waste everyone’s time playing guessing games.  Besides, in 28 years I haven’t been burned.  I have learned that if I am honest and up front with people, then I can expect them to be honest and up front with me, and my client.)

“John, the XYZ Corporation is looking for ..…”

At this point, I describe the position in detail, answer his/her questions and ask if they are interested in pursuing it if I have decided he/she is a candidate.

  • If they are an interested candidate I have them send me a current resume and send them a letter with a Profile of the job. I tell them who their resume will be sent to and try to give them an idea of when we can expect feedback from my client.
  • If they are not interested or qualified, I ask them for the names of people who would be qualified and interested in knowing about this opportunity, and I also sent them a letter with a Profile of the job.
  • Regardless of who they are they get a letter and an outline of the position to help jog their memory when they receive the letter a few days later.

And so it goes in the world of networking.