Last week I discussed steps 1-3 of the 5 steps to communicating your “one big thing”. When you’re talking to employers, recruiters or anyone you’re networking with, these 5 steps will help you actively communicate the benefits you will bring to a company from hiring you.
Like we discussed in last week’s blog, your “one big thing” is your core marketing message. This is the one thing that you want someone to remember about you after you have spoken with them. This is your expertise. So how do you convey this correctly?
Begin by completing the first 3 steps:
1. Audio Business Card- The verbal form of your core marketing message that will gain the attention and interest of a recruiter, employer or person you’re networking with.
2. Questions & Listening- This is the most important step. This is where you turn the tables and learn more about the other person’s situation.
3. Answering Questions- This is the time to keep the conversation going by answering questions. This ensures the conversation is remaining on target and is becoming a 2-way exploratory discussion.
Once these 3 steps have taken place, you can move on to your call to action and your follow up. Which brings us to steps 4 and 5.
4. Call to Action
Once you’ve provided your ABC and asked each other relevant questions, it is time to provide a specific call to action. If you aren’t familiar with this term, this is a request for someone to take the specific action you would like them to take. By stating a specific request, you have increased the likelihood that they will convey. Your call to action can be a simple suggestion such as saying this at the end of a phone interview- “I enjoyed talking with you today and I’m even more interested in exploring this further. Is there a time we can meet next week to discuss the position in further detail?”
Providing a call to action will allow you to get to the face to face more often, which is your next goal. If what you’ve requested isn’t part of their process then they will simply tell you so and you can suggest something similar.
As far as your call to action in a networking situation, pull the trigger on this question- “Who do you know that I should talk to?” Once you’ve built rapport with a person and you believe that person knows someone that might be able to help you, then go ahead and ask. The will give you the opportunity to leap frog to another person who will be an even more valuable networking contact.
If the conversation doesn’t get as far as asking that question, then go ahead and keep it simply by asking for their contact information or business card. This can lead you to connecting on LinkedIn and to our final step- following up.
5. Follow Up
This is step is so extremely important and is also almost never done. I’ve noticed that everyone says that they do it, but it happens so infrequently.
If you do what you’re going to do (e.g., “I’ll email you sometime next week”), it is vitally important that you follow through and do what you said you were going to do. If you follow through with it then you are going to stand out tremendously as a professional who really knows what they’re doing.
I’m sure you will find it helpful to actually put the time into your calendar to follow up after a networking event. By setting time aside you will remember to connect with people on LinkedIn and follow up with what you said you were going to do. That way, if you offer to make an introduction for someone, you will actually take the time to do it.
Now comes everyone’s least favorite part- making a short follow up call. This step is probably the hardest, but it is also the most valuable because hardly anyone takes the time to do it. The follow up call should be done within a week and should go as follows:
Greeting, Reminding the person who you are, Why you’re calling (“Is now a good time to talk?”)
Use the information that you sent to them as leverage into the conversation (“Did you get a chance to look at what I sent?”)
Ask questions and answer questions- similar to steps 2 & 3. Build more interest and rapport so they feel comfortable referring you.
If after the short phone conversation you feel like this person is a very valuable center of influence, go ahead and suggest another face to face. I only suggest doing this if you truly feel like this is someone worth getting to know.
By providing your call to action, you are doing what 98% of your competition is not doing. This step gives you a very large competitive advantage and should set you up very nicely for your follow up call. A follow up call is also extremely uncommon. Taking these two steps when networking or after an interview will set you apart greatly.
For any questions or for more information about pitching your one big thing or about executive job search, contact me directly.
Career Resume Consulting