Tips for navigating professional cold calls and emails

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With only a month and a half of summer to go, I know a lot of us are already starting to scour for our fall internships and jobs. Sometimes this means sending those terrifying cold emails or dialing a nervous cold call. As someone who gets clammy hands before a cold call or email, I thought I’d share some tips for any first-time cold callers who still get intimidated by them.

Hype yourself up!

Going in cold can be intimidating. You never know who you might be dealing with or what they might think of you. Before you go in, give yourself a pep talk! I often have to tell myself that I’m just talking to regular people and that I don’t need to be afraid. It’s also good to remind yourself that you are deserving of these opportunities!

Confidence goes a long way, and the other person at the end of the call or email will feel it. These people were most likely once in the same position as you and me. So, they want to help out someone who is looking for direction, opportunity or advice more often than not.

Introduce yourself to the person you are talking to

I know that this step might seem obvious, but sometimes our nerves get the best of us. It is a surprisingly easily forgotten yet crucial step that we do not want to skip. Right away, you want your name and where you are from to stick with them. For example, when speaking to a professor, it is essential to state what course you are taking from them. Whereas, when contacting a company, you might want to let it know how you heard about the company or who connected you to it.

Make your goal clear and concise

Whether you are contacting a person in the workforce to find out more information about their company, know what you’re hoping to get out of the conversation by letting them know you are interested in opportunities to get involved or that you want some general advice about the field. It’s very important you brainstorm and have a target goal of the interaction before you draft that email or pick up the phone. This will help you get your message across clearly and quickly. Meanwhile, you won’t have to stumble your way around or confuse the person you are contacting.

Leave an opening for them to keep in touch with you

Another simple tip that I have forgotten a few times myself. It is a good idea to leave an opening so that they know you plan on keeping in touch with them. You might want to know about future opportunities or reach out again later. You can end with statements such as, “I look forward to hearing from you,” “Hope to be in touch soon” or “Here’s my contact information for next time!” This way, you create an invitation for communication between you both.

As scary as it can be to go in cold, hopefully, these tips can help ease some worries and guide you toward success. Above all, always remember in all you do, to believe in yourself! You’ve got this!

Contact Marissa Boling at [email protected].