How to Turn Cold Calls Warm, Follow-Up and Avoid Awkward Alumni Conversations
Ok, Kevin and I received a ton of great questions from everyone over the past few weeks on networking.
We finally had a chance to sit down and record this Q&A session the other day.
One small problem: it turned out to be so long that we split it up into two parts (I know, I know, you really wanted to listen to 2 hours straight of networking banter, right?).
Here’s Part 1:[audio:http://podcasts-00.s3.amazonaws.com/Networking-QA-1.mp3]
Here’s a quick summary of the questions we cover within:
Finding Names and Contact Information
Quite a few readers asked about how to find names and contact information in the first place – here are a few questions we address:
“How about for people who do not know consultants or even finance people? How do you build those names and meet those people in the first place?”
“How would you approach making contact with complete strangers at different firms that you are interested in?”
Aside from making it way harder to actually find a job in the first place, the recession has also pushed senior bankers out and to different firms – which can complicate your networking efforts.
“What is the next best step for recruiting in a firm when your only contact within the firm found out you will be laid off before you are ready to utilize him to break into the company?”
“Do you have any tips on getting in touch with former senior colleagues?”
Turning Cold Calls Into Warm Calls
There were dozens of questions on cold calls, but they all boil down to the same basic question: How do you successfully cold-call banks? Here’s what we discuss:
“I was wondering what the dos and don’ts for cold calling are in general? On the outline it appears to have great potential. Most of my colleagues however discard cold calling outright. Is it a strategy you would recommend?”
Following-Up with Your Contacts
Once you’ve contacted your alumni, made your cold-calls, and met industry contacts anywhere else, how do you properly follow-up and win interviews and then offers? Here’s what we answer:
“If you’ve done a lot of cold calling with several different firms, how do you exactly followup after the initial call?”
“Is there any way to keep in touch with senior partners even if you don’t have a reason why to follow-up and instead you just want to keep in contact?”
“Also if you could please talk about how can they follow-up after an MD or analyst showed interest in their resume”
“Over time, as you contact alumni, the numbers will accumulate. How would one go about maintaining these contacts before recruiting season and then when the time comes, how do you make the ask?”
“After meeting someone whom I would like to network with at a networking event, what is the appropriate follow-up? What is a good way to keep in touch?”
“When the time comes, how do you make the ask for opportunities to interview?”
Some readers are still struggling with contacting alumni and sounding natural. Hint: pretend you’re speaking with a friend, and avoid focusing on work-related topics.
“I contacted some alumni in the past with a phone conversations that eventually became Q&A, it felt very awkward and a little bit dry. If you had mentees contacting you in the past, how would you suggest making the conversation more interesting, getting to know them personally and even establishing a friendship. What kind of mentees are mentors looking for and what’s their incentive as a mentor for sharing information with someone who they don’t know?”
Next up will be Part 2, where we cover how to network while abroad, move to different groups, develop relationships during your internship, and address some finance and consulting-specific topics.
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