Harness the power of direct mail. The first thing you need to do for a
prospecting letter is compile your list. Find 5-10 companies you want to work for based on your research. Compose a letter to your network of contacts
asking them if they know of anyone who works at any of the companies on your
enclosed list. When a contactdoes
know someone at one of the companies ask him or her to forward your resume to them and let
you know how to follow up on the referral. Enclose an eXtremeÔ
makeover resume or a functional one with 3-5 bulleted accomplishments that
would be of interest to hiring managers at the companies you target.
♦Send the letter to all your direct contacts
first: lawyer, accountant, friends, colleagues, former employers.
♦Send the list to your closest neighbors next and
then people that you don’t necessarily know but you’ve always meant to stop by
and introduce yourself to.
♦Attacha hand written note to your list and sign
♦If you hit a dead-end find out who supplies the
company with computer products, stationery or any other service and approach them
the same way.
♦Don’t be surprised if someone calls one or two
of your target companies and tells them you are doing research on them… that’s
not a bad thing to have happen.
A friend of mine just came back from a stupid
interview. By stupid I mean the interviewer was a man of very little
brain and blew his chance to hire Dave. My oh so experienced friend
with 20 years experience closing "C" level executives on multi-million
dollar deals was confounded by a young pup who had just ascended to his first
VP Sales and Marketing role and was rather very proud of himself.
The first question he asked Dave wasn't even a
question. He pulled a pen from his pocket and said, "sell me this
pen". Now Dave's a master salesman so he knew how to handle the
question, but what would you do?
I had to do this with a perspective client early on in my career who was testing my sales abilities;
I asked the question, “Do you need a pen?” He said, “Yes”. Great, how much money do you have in your
wallet? He gave me the $150. I folded it and put it in my pocket - then I
told him that wasn’t near enough – but it was a reasonable down payment.
With age comes wisdom [and just a touch of impatience for stupid parlor tricks]. Here's what I did the last time someone did this to
me. I asked the interviewer, "do you need a pen?" He
said, "no". I said great, so what do you need?
"Nothing", he said. To which I said "terrific I'll be on
my way because you're neither a suspect nor a prospect”.
You don’t need to perform parlor tricks for
interviewers. You also don't need to waste
your time with people who have no intention of hiring you - unless of course you want to practice your
closing routines. Remember that the next
time an interviewer asks you a stupid question.
In the recruiting business we refer to these as throwaways –
sales calls we use to sharpen our technique. We know ahead of time they’re not going to hire us or we’d never work
for them – BUT practice makes perfect. Who can you practice on this week?
Think of your resume as a commercial. One of the thousand of
commercial messages any hiring manager will see every day. How will your resume stand out from the
crowd? And is your resume the best way into the hearts and minds of your
First, find a company
for whom you would like to work. Write a
compelling covering letter describing why you are good for them, pointing the
receiver to the enclosed CV for further information. Don’t seal the A4 envelope and don’t enclose
a CV. They’ll think the CV fell out in
the mail. Wait for the phone to ring,
speak to the hiring manager personally, engage them in a conversation, and sell
I worked with one client who
specialized in retail merchandizing (POP, planagrams, etc). After
developing her resume, we discussed putting together a targeted job search
campaign to go after some of the bigger players in retail. While working
out her “unique selling proposition” she made the claim that she could walk
into any retail environment and recommend how they could make more money
through better merchandising. I asked, “Can you really back that up?” and
suddenly her plan was born.
client targeted 5 major retail outlets, went to a number of their locations,
and made detailed notes on what she saw and how she would improve it. The
first company she contacted was a major outlet with offices located in the
building over the store. She walked into the offices, asked to speak to
the person in charge of marketing, was told he was in a meeting until 11:00am,
so she scribbled a quick note on a piece of paper that read “I’ve just spent 30
minutes in your store. I found 3 merchandising inconsistencies and
identified 7 ways that should increase your sales by about 12-15%. My name
is ____________ and I will be waiting in the coffee shop downstairs.”
hand this to him at the end of his meeting. It’s very important” and she walked
Shortly after 11:00, the VP of Marketing came
downstairs, met her in the coffee shop, and spent the next hour walking through
every corner of the store discussing her findings. Although no such
position existed, the VP hired her as their new Director of Merchandising.
Do a competitive analysis on one of your targeted
employer’s products and send it to them. People assume that all companies keep up to date on their competitors,
but this is rarely the case. Most
companies don’t have the budget or the ability internally to keep on top of
innovations and best practices so your piece will likely be most welcome.
♦Focus on companies that are direct competitors
with those you want to work for, not your own company.
♦Potential employers need to get something out of
reading the piece.
♦Use graphs and charts wherever possible because
people like visuals.
♦Make it only as long as it needs to be.
♦Ask for an opportunity to discuss your findings
with the hiring manager if they’re interested.
♦Offer to share your primary research if they’re