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Executive Job Search Networking! 3 Tips to Land Informational Meetings

As an Executive Coach, I work with Executives through their career transition and beyond. I write professional resumes and coach professionals on how to successfully network, social network, interview, negotiate the salary and/or move up to the next level at the company.  Last week, we discussed how to get past voicemail in order to reach the decision maker when networking and making follow up phone calls. Networking purposely and successfully is the key to reaching your job search goals in today’s job market.  This week, we will continue to focus on “Networking for the Executive job search.”

 

If you have a mutual networking contact, most of you are aware, the percentage of landing the informational meeting is higher than without a contact. I’d like to share with you 3 tips that will be sure to increase your success to land informational meetings on your follow up phone calls without a networking contact. 

As an Executive Coach, I have listened to many phone calls while clients made their initial calls in my office. Through listening to client phone calls and hearing the decision maker’s needs on the calls …

 

I discovered 3 common responses from decision makers. And, created 3 not-so-common answers for the Executive to successfully land informational meetings

 

These 3 tips will increase your chances of landing the informational meeting without having a mutual contact, simply be meeting the decision maker’s immediate needs.  I recommend the Executive make follow up calls immediately after you send your resume or networking brief and informational cover letter.  Here are the 3 most common responses and answers for you to respond. 

 

1. If they say “I’m busy at the moment.” I recommend the Executive SAY this …”I sent you information, is it okay if I call back in a couple days after you received it?”

 

2. If they say “We have no openings.”  I recommend the Executive SAY this … “I understand, I am not JUST looking for a job right now, I am networking and looking for contacts and would really like your expertise and I find networking more effective, meeting face-to-face.  Do you have 15 minutes to meet with me in the next week or so?”

 

3. If it is clear that they are too busy to meet in person, I recommend the Executive SAY this…”Do you have time to schedule a phone meeting with me?”

 

If they say “I’m busy at the moment." Respond by letting them know you sent information and ask if it’s okay if you call back in a couple days. This response is mutually beneficial for three reasons …

First, you’re respecting the fact they are busy at the moment.

Second, they just gave you permission to make the next follow up call after they receive your resume or networking brief. 

Third, they are now expecting your call.

 

If they say “We have no openings.” This can be a very positive response for the Executive setting up informational meetings.

This is a common response when the decision maker has a need, but hasn't had the time to discuss it with Human Resources yet.  This is where you are in the right place, at the right time.  I found while listening to the initial calls, when the decision maker says “We have no openings,” they typically are thinking …

"They have a need for an Executive and would like to meet with you, but do not want the pressure of you thinking there is a job open.” 

Why? Because there is no job open, not yet, anyway. And, they want to meet you to see if you’re a good fit before they let you know they have a need. With the response of being respectful and honest by letting them know you really are networking and only interested in setting up an informational meeting, you probably will land that informational meeting.  And, they will let you know "at the end" of the meeting by asking you if you're interested in having Human Resources interview you for a potential, upcoming job opportunity.

 

If it is clear that they are too busy to meet in person, ask if they have time to schedule a phone meeting.  If they're not interested, thank them and move on to your next call. If you're still interested in the company, however, continue to look for a contact through networking or social networking, via Facebook, LinkedIn or join the company discussion's on Twitter to get to know employees at the company. And let them get to know you. I wrote a blog two weeks ago on the Job Seeker's Toolkit using Twitter.

 

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog and found this information useful. If you're an Executive with a success story you'd like to share, please email your story to Kim@justresumesusa.com. I'll be happy to write your story and use it to encourage other job seekers. 

 

If you are a job seeker, I would like to encourage you to check out HiringforHope.org, and become a member of this very special non profit organization, whose purpose is to help people through career transition. This is where you can volunteer.  And, you too, can make a difference.  

Do you need immediate help with job interviewing, social networking or salary negotiating? Or, maybe you're thinking about hiring a professional resume writer to help you write your resume. I can help. To email me a comment, ask a question or schedule a free initial phone consultation, please give me a call or contact me at www.JustResumesUSA.com.

 

You will find me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. For more weekly career tips on Career Coach Kim Blog, stay tuned …

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