What’s your standard way of opening a conversation?
You know how when you call a gatekeeper and you want to go all chatty-patty on her so she goes the same for you and your “Hi – howya’ doin’ today?” just seems to make hell freeze over for you with her?
Why not try this?
Hi Melinda, my name’s Maureen Sharib and this may seem like an unusual request. I know you may be busy…
This would be in the event she said her name when she answered, as I’ve advised many times before. If he hasn’t said his name, don’t ask, just open with yours, as in the following:
This is Maureen. Oh. I was expecting Melinda to answer. Maybe you can help me. I’m trying to find who is responsible for…
This is a scenario where good note-taking on a previous call (something I always insist on with my students and phone sourcers) allows you to “build” on that previous call’s information (the use of a previous gatekeeper’s name) on your present call to create a sense of “previous” existing relationship that is many times enough cause for a gatekeeper to answer your question (usually about 50 percent of the time) or at least to carry your request further into an organization, which for most any good phone sourcer, is where they want to go!
Once inside an organization a good phone sourcer can find out anything.
There are gatekeepers you can be more familiar with but you don’t know who they are until you hear a little more about their personality than the initial impression you get in that three to five-second first wave you get off their voices.
How they answer you in their response to your first request gives a much clearer indicator of where and how you need to proceed next in your response back to them.
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This is the point-in-time where a phone sourcer’s avenues of entries open, this is when you know in which direction to go. Hearing her voice and interpreting her likely response and acting on those early, intuitive signals successfully inside organizations is one reason I believe phone sourcing* is one of the important parts of this subject of artificial intelligence we’re about to have in recruiting and sourcing.
In my next article, I’ll talk about proceeding next.
*What is phone sourcing? It’s not pulling a list off LinkedIn and calling people to see if they’re interested in your company’s job. That’s what recruiters should be doing. It’s calling into companies to find/contact people those recruiters can’t find or reach and gathering competitive information, an ever-expanding and fast-increasing area of phone sourcing. You need intelligence to reach people today – competitive intelligence!