Sufi Stories

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Example Conversations

01. Effective Conversation Starters For Cold Calling

Anybody who will accept a phone call from you.

” This is Satish Dhar. I don’t know if you remember but we met at the Diversity Seminar in Metro Toronto Convention Center, last January.”

“This is Satish Dhar calling. We haven’t been in touch for years, but we were together in the same class in B. M. S. College of Engineering in Bangalore. My branch was Mechanical while you were in the Electronics department.”

“Hi Robert, My name is Eric. I am compiling some information about Bank Of America’s IT department and I undersstand that you used to work there. I am thinking of applying for a job there. Is it ok if I ask you a couple of questions to see if that’s a good target for me? This may seem an unusual request but it would really help me in my job search.”

“This is Satish Dhar calling. I don’t believe we have met but we both have worked in the same industry – Pharmaceuticals. I have worked in Pfizer in Mumbai while you work in Merck in Vancouver.”

If the person you call doesn’t have the information you are looking for – then ask who would know -“Would you know anyone else in the company with whom I can talk?” – don’t be shy and be sure that some of these people WILL help if you ask.

02. Example Of Bad Conversations With Personal Contacts

In both the following cases, the resume ends up in the ‘Resume Graveyard’. You can bet your life that there will never be a positive outcome of these conversations – now or later.

The job seeker directly asks about vacancies and help in getting hired. This puts pressure on his contact and the conversation does not yield meaningful information or results for the job seeker.

Example #1

Anita: Hi Joseph, how are you?

Joseph: Not too bad, and you?

Anita: I am doing ok I guess. I am looking for another job and I was wondering if your company has any vacancy.

Joseph: Not that I can think of, from the top of my head. Send me your resume and I will forward it to the HR anyways.

Example# 2

Anita: Hi Joseph, long time no see!

Joseph: Yup. The rat race keeps us busy I guess.

Anita: I was wondering if your department is hiring at present.

Joseph: Not really. We have a hiring freeze. What kind of job are you looking for?

Anita: I have worked in IT… project management, DBA etc…something along those lines..

Joseph: ok. Send me your resume and I will keep it with me. If something comes up I will let you know.

03. Example Of A Good Conversation With Personal Contacts

A Productive Conversation (Close Or Casual Personal Contacts)

Anita: I really appeciate that you could find this time to brainstorm some ideas with me about my job search.

Joseph: No worries Anita. This is the least I can do for you.

Anita: Let me explain in a minute how I am going about this job search project of mine.

Joseph: Sure.

Anita: I formulated this ‘strategy’ after a lot ot research. You start by being setting up a professional objective for yourself. Then you shortlist a group of companies you want to target – and talk to a number of people at these companies. You get acquainted with them. Then when a job opening happens you will pop up in their mind as a potential candidate. This way you are always ahead of the pack.

Joseph: How about checking out job postings in Toronto Star or

Anita: Sure. I am doing that as well. In addition, I am applying for jobs published on the other sites and newspapers as well as searching out for direct postings by employers on their company sites. But at the same time my overall strategy is about having a systematic approach which makes you proactive. I want to be clear about my goals and have a short list of companies I can monitor for jobs which meet my objectives.

Joseph: You are a job search sleuth! Ferreting out the unseen jobs.

Anita: I guess you can put it that way. I am targeting jobs as a logistics manager since I have more that 7+ years of experience in inventory control, demand forecasting and other areas in this domain. I made a short list of potential companies who may have jobs of this nature. Could you take a look at these companies to see if you know anything about them.

Joseph: Sure. Let’s do it.

Why This Is A Productive Conversation?

Instead of directly asking about jon vacancies, Anita shared her strategy with her contact and then requested help in researching her Target List of companies.

In a following conversation Anita can use the “Networking Questions” in this section to find out more details about the department which has vacancies, the hiring process & the hiring manager.

This does not stress out her contact and woudl lead to a rich useful conversation for the job seeker.

04. Example Conversation With Professional Contacts

Calling a fellow professional after a lead from a friend

Eric: Hi James, This is Eric Feng. I am calling at the suggestion of Scott Brown. Did I catch you at a bad time?

James: No, I am good for a few minutes. What is this about ?

Eric: Like you I am a sales manager formerly with AT&T. I have been doing some research on using the internet to find sales leads. James thought you might be interested in hearing about it.

James: What sort of research have you done?

Eric: I have investigated the best ways of reaching new customers using advanced filtering in search engines and social media. The criteria to filter is of course based on the industries in your region and target customer profiles.I find that there is a vast world of tools and technologies which could result in huge savings of time and cost of finding and generating new leads. I would like to share this with you, so I’m calling to see when we might be able to get together.

James: So you are no longer with AT&T – you said ‘formerly’?

Eric: Yes, my department was relocated to Memphis and I chose to take severance. So I am looking for the right new spot for myself. And I am doing some networking to help me brainstorm some ideas. I have great respect for your company but I don’t believe that it is the right one for me – at least not right now. I have a couple of dozens others that I am monitoring. But Scott suggested that you and I might enjoy meeting each other. May I take you to lunch.

James: Sure Eric. It’s always good to connect with peers. I think it’s good career management for all of us.

Eric: That’s why Scott and I got together and why he thought you and I might enjoy talking. May I take you to lunch?

James: Sure Eric. I would love to hear about your study on generating new leads as well. How about next Tuesday?

It’s best to meet the professional contact for the first time in person and the cost of breakfast or lunch is justified. In this case it’s best to stay on phone only for as long as it takes to make an appointment.

During lunch – share your own experience in sales and methodologies for finding leads that you promised. In addition, talk about people and organizations and ask for introductions to new people. The easiest way to ask for introduction is to ask.

Important: Do NOT forget to send a short Thank You note to your contact on the same day.