LinkedIn question on Cold-Calling in the Intel Community

June 30, 2010

Well, since it is still too busy to write much I have to get good use of what I do write. Here’s a response to a question about whether Cold-Calling is effective in the intelligence community.

Cold calling is not as effective as it used to be. That could be due to me or the industry or a combination of factors. I still try it now and then but I try to let my ‘target’ know that I know he/she gets a lot of attention and that I still think it may benefit him/her in the long run to know us. I don’t even answer my own phone when I don’t know who it is and I am sympathetic to David Simpson’s plight. In fact, I recommend having an email address for that kind of thing. David’s challenge is to find someone on whom he can rely for advice. Someone who does well enough that he doesn’t need to push his own search at his candidates’ expense. It’s tempting to shut off all of them until you want to move but when that happens it pretty much takes me out of the game. I can sometimes refer people who are active and posted but job boards are not the way to meet people. My clients don’t need me to scour job boards for resumes and then upcharge them by about 600%.
Other methods, networking,referrals,advertising are also increasingly challenging. It’s the cost of all the information being so easy to access now. It’s what our clients expect us to do. They don’t care how we engage people they just care that we DO engage people. These days I’d expect to leave 10 or 15 emails and calls for someone like David just to let him know we ARE different as opposed to just saying it. The intel community has to be even more careful about whom they speak to than the general population. I just assume we’ll be looked at and checked out before we are responded to. Thanks, Bill for stimulating a great thread.
P.S. After hammering for 25 years I can usually offer someone who knows me to people if they want to check my references before calling me.

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