Lead in:Attention Members, I wrote this document last spring to get the group moving in a productive direction. Although it may appear to be outdated, there are basic practices of networking and researching companies that still apply to the organization's structure. Please read on.
-------- Original Text -------- I started the cold calling program 4 months ago to help generate a database for the group and move members into the "Connecting with Companies" mode. In general it has been pretty successful. But I continue to hear "Why?", "Why?","Why?","Why?", or "How?","How?", "How?","How?". Well let me try to address the Why's and the How's. First off, I really hate the name "Cold Calling" if anyone has a better name for this program I'm interested. In fact, I'll come up with a prize of some sort for the best name, just let me know. (no four letter words *#!$) Let me ask you a question. You've been looking for employment opportunities and come across a job posting that looks like a perfect fit, or you get a phone from an HR rep at a company saying that they would like you to come in for an interview, WHAT'S THE FIRST THING YOU DO?? Well, being the savvy job hunters that I know we all are, the first thing to do is to research that company and find out as much information as possible. You'll need to decide a number of things from "do you even want to work for that company", to gaining enough of an understanding of the company so that you can ask insightful questions during the interview. So what kind of information are you going to look for? Below is list of just some of them -Company Name (or corporate name, who might own this company, who were they previously) -Address -City, State -How big is it (number of employees) -What industry are they in. -How are they doing financially. -Is the company growing. -What is their history of layoffs -What products do they make or support (is this seen as stable in today's economy) -How is the company structured (Tiered mgt, or flat) -Who are their competitors -What positions do they have open (what is the job description for your job) -etc.. NOW HOW WOULD YOU FIND THIS INFORMATION? -Go to their website. (and read, read, read) -Go to big job boards. (and pull up the "about company" links) -Go to the newspaper or google and do a article search on the company -Search trade magazines for company information. -Search technology manuals, publications, etc.... -Network, try to find someone that is or has worked there. -Ask your neighbor, friends, networking groups, etc... what they know about the company. -Drive by the company location, are there cars in the lot at 8:00 pm (possible long hours) are the cars in the lot at midnight (possible shift work), what kind of cars are in the lot (Mercedes, BMW may mean higher payscales), Watch people as they leave at 5:00 (are they calm or happy as they drive out or are they in a big hurry to get the heck out of there), What's happening at 12:00 noon, are people sticking around or leaving for lunch (possibly long hours of working through lunch) -Who are the companies suppliers, can you network into them to find out more information. - etc.. Now I know we're all doing this (if not you need to be). The cold calling program simply takes this to the next level. Find out everything you can about the company (most important ,as listed above, "find someone that is working there"). The key is to find a contact who has hiring responsibilities (manager, director, VP and yes even HR). Once established, cultivate the relationship such that this person(s) is willing to do whatever they can to help you. AND THAT's it. Report your findings back to the longnet group and update the data base. Now as with everything else in our lives, things change. But change is good. If we and the things around us never change, life becomes boring. Embrace change, for it is what motivates us and (for me anyway) provides the excitement and challenges that get us up and going at 6:00 am. The cold calling program is changing (or evolving). The base program is now poised to support functions of assigning members to be the longnet representative for a given company, and who better to be the representative than the person that knows most about it (the person that did the research). Important!!!! As a representative of longnet you are representing the group. Professional behavior is expected at all times. This positions longnet to offer a valuable service to any organization. That of over 150 talented people at their finger tips (with only one phone call to the longnet representative). To support this aspect of the program the following are being put into place. -A flyer (brochure) that effectively describes longnet and what our value is to the company. -A website (longnet.org) that allows for better management of the data base, unlimited functionality to post resumes, use longnet.org emails, allowing for employers to post positions, and on and on... -A structured (weekly longnet meeting) time that the team can focus and assign out or update the company information. WHAT CAN YOU DO TO SUPPORT THE TEAM? You may ask.. -ACTIVE PARTICIPATION. -First and foremost is to take responsibility for 2-5 companies on the list. This was not meant to be a full time job. Given the time demand to do the research and support on these companies, please limit yourself to 5. -List company information and keep the database up to date. -Keep you contacts active. Don't just connect with them and never call them back. Keep an open dialog going (by email, phone or in person). WHY SHOULD I DO THIS? , WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME? You might ask. Aside from the fact that we are all good people that would go the extra mile to help our a fellow team member, there are an infinite list of reasons. Here are just a few. -When you joined longnet, you joined a team. Everyone pulls equal weight. -Synergy. "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts" -You get to know someone new and learn something new when you be come a company representative. -What goes around comes around, if you help others, they'll help you. -PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT benefit to you is the experience of researching and networking. The knowledge gained by doing this process is going to benefit you for the rest of your life. Whether you are investigating companies to work for, companies to invest in, Cars to buy or even checking out who your teenage daughters new boyfriend is, networking and research techniques are vital. Although the cold calling program is titled that, cold calling is only a small part of it. Investigating and researching companies are the core processes of the program. But cold calling can be difficult. The key is to be as prepared as possible have questions written down and in front of you. Be creative and keep trying, practice makes perfect. A few of you have sent me scripts that might be followed (see attached) which is great. Feel free to use them or change them to meet your needs or the situation. Also attached is a script for a networking meetings (information interview) which could also help. There are many scripts, books and worksheets floating around, just use what works best for you. To summarize, the cold calling program is: -(R)esearching, contacting and establishing relationships with companies -(u)pdate the team -(f)ollow up -(f)ollow through Hey there's new name for the program "Ruff". In closing, I would ask that you all take it on yourself to become involved with the program. Identify a company and go after it.. Don't wait for a meeting to take on the assignment. In fact, I would like to see this happen more on it's own. We have other things that we could be doing at the meetings.. A final note, Longnet is completely a volunteer organization. "of the people, by the people, for the people" couple that with, "ask not what the group can do for you, but what can I do for the group" and the result is a powerful, focused and dedicated organization the can do anything. Please ask yourself, "What can I do to make the group, programs or processes more effective?" I'm confident that you will come up with something. See you all at the next meeting... Thanks to those of you that sent me these Scripts.. Dave