How to get contract work in three easy steps (Part 3 of 3)By Toby Somerville
The Follow up Phone Call
Unlike the previous post on the initial email contact, phone conversations tend to be unpredictable. There is no exact blueprint for this type of call, it could go in any direction. I will however, endeavour to give you some advice on how to conduct the call.
The purpose of the call
There are two main purposes to this call:
- establishing that the firm has got your email — It is amazing the number of times that an email is lost or doesn’t get to the right person
- arranging a face-to-face meeting
Keep in Mind
Before you make the call keep these things in mind.
- be polite and courteous
- it could take days or even weeks before you get to talk to the right person in the company
- write down the names of each person you talk to
- keep notes on what was said
- Keep it brief — the other person is likely to be busy
- Remember you are selling a business proposition, your purpose is to add value to the firm you contract for
Who you get to talk to
Your first phone contact is usually the receptionist. Introduce yourself and ask if <Joe Blogs> is available and explain why you are calling.
From here you will either be put through to Joe, (or someone who looks after that area of the business) or, if Joe is unavailable: you will need to call back. Make sure you ask for a convenient time to call. If it is a choice between them calling you or you calling them: Personally, I prefer to call them — that way I am mentally prepared for the conversation.
Once you get through to the person you need to talk to:
- again, introduce yourself
- ask if they have a moment to talk
- ask if they received your email — If they haven’t received it – explain briefly what you want and ask if you can resend the email to them.
- ask if they have any use for your skills — If no; ask if you can be kept in mind for any future projects
- thank them for their time
That’s it! With any luck they will be interested in meeting you, and it will be the start of a long and profitable relationship.
Keep in Touch
You may or may not get any work first time round, but keep in contact. Keep them informed of what your availability is and any cool new sites you have done etc. The more visible you are to them; the more likely you are to get work. The caveat to this is: don’t spam them!