Here’s a recent reader question:
“Dan, I have your 48 Days book and have started the process of sending out resumes. In your book it suggests calling after a few days to see if they may have questions but a couple of the employers have sent back automated responses saying that they have received my email and that they will contact me but not to call because they won’t respond to calls of any type due to volume but to apply again if I don’t hear from them in about 8 weeks. The question is should I respect their wishes or still try to contact them as in my original cover letter it says that I will get back with them to see if they have any questions. If I call I could be considered disrespectful but if I don’t then I could be considered someone who lies and doesn’t follow through on things.”
What a great question! I love the irony of how you either have to be disrespectful or a liar. Fortunately, those are not the only options. Please recognize that most companies discourage contacting them. Just as a home owner you probably resist having door-to-door salespeople coming around. But if someone really showed up with a solution for the nasty stains in your driveway, you would likely welcome that.
If you think the company is doing you a favor by giving you a job, then by all means, just wait to see if they contact you. BUT – if you think you have something of value to offer them, then use any method to get in front of them to let them know that.
Years ago I sold advertising to business owners. I highlighted their businesses in a small telephone address book that had their church information on the cover. With no advance notice or appointment I would walk in the door of the business and ask to speak to the owner. I very quickly discovered that people liked what I had to offer them. 67% of the people I talked to wrote me a check on the spot. But probably 85% of the office buildings I went into with no advance appointment had signs that said “No Soliciting.” Only once in four years did someone criticize me for violating that notice – and in that case I walked across the street and called the angry guy on the phone. I asked him if he’d want his salespeople (auto dealership) to be timid enough to never make a “cold call.”
I found that I could give the business owners something they valued and make $4000-5000 a week in the process. If I had tried not to offend or bend the “rules” they would have missed the opportunity and I would have missed the money.
You have to believe that you have something of value – remember, true “selling” is simply sharing enthusiasm. Once you are convinced of the value you offer, break down any barriers to sell yourself. I have coached clients to be waiting in the parking lot for the owner at 6:20 AM or to research the address and then walk in the front door of the prospective company. Your clear focus and belief in your value will lead you to boldness, confidence and enthusiasm.
And yes, I did sell an ad to the angry dealership manager. I think he just wanted to appear to be a big shot in front of his subordinates. Once I got past his angry outburst he did see the value of what I was doing and wanted to be part of it.
If you’re too nice and too respectful, you’ll stay too poor and unemployed.