This week I am pleased to present a “phone story” submitted by Maureen Farmer, owner and manager of Word Right Career and HR Consulting. Perhaps you have a story you’d like to share? Details at the end of this post.
As a sole practitioner in the careers industry who is fairly new to the marketing and sales game, I absorb everything I can on the topic and learn from those who are good at it. As they say, it takes 10,000 hours to competence, and frankly, I don’t have that kind of time.
And like every other sole practitioner I attend networking events, lunches, dinners, conferences and cocktail events meeting amazing people that I want to do business with. On one particular occasion, I was approached by the CEO of a firm who provides career management services to its clients— professionals in transition.
He asked me if I could provide customized training for his team on job search strategy, résumé writing and LinkedIn training—a two-day program covering a multitude of topics—all of which I specialize in. We exchanged business cards and I practically skipped back to my car after he promised he would call to arrange the training. I waited for his call.
It never came.
So, I did what you’re supposed to do and I called him. I left three messages over a two and a half week period. Sigh…do I dare leave that fourth message? Would I appear too assertive? Would he remember me? What to do…?
And then, by chance, I met Mary Jane at an event that Friday evening. We exchanged greetings and chatted about various topics. Somehow we ended up on the topic of my conundrum—to call—or not to call. After all, I already called him three times in two and a half weeks with no luck. Mary Jane then encouraged me to call again. She teaches that five times is the magic minimum number of times to follow up—at least!
On Monday morning, I decided to give it a try. I would make that fourth call to the CEO, just as Mary Jane suggested.
Can you guess what happened?
I got a call back that same morning! The CEO had been extremely busy in those weeks since we had met and was pleased I had taken the time and effort to follow up. Then … I got busy planning that training session!
Remember: follow up, follow up, follow up. I will always remember this sage advice and I actually share this wisdom with my own clients today which, many times over, has landed them the positions they were targeting.
This advice from Mary Jane is so simple and yet, so brilliant!
Happy dialing everyone!