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Why cold calling skills are super essential to creating job opportunities in the Welfare to Work, Skills and Social Care sectors

Woman on phoneHere’s a rather important statistic for you… did you know that up to 60% of available jobs are never advertised?

That’s right, over half the employment opportunities out there are hidden from public sight.

With the rise in social media, on and offline networking and employee recommendation and reward schemes, businesses are saving on advertising budgets and using less conventional ways to fill vacancies.

Which means if you’re only responding to conventional job advertisements on behalf of your customers, you’re quite literally just scratching the surface of the potential employment opportunities out there.

If you’re going to get great results, it’s essential to take control of the job search, pick up the phone and be pro-active.

With over 25 years delivering training within the welfare to work and social care sectors, I have seen a huge increase in the requirement to make so-called ‘cold calls.’ Unfortunately, I also often notice a general reluctance, even resistance of the people who work in these sectors to make those calls.

So many staff members really dislike making them, and I can understand why. There are lots of negative perceptions around cold calling, not least the idea of the pushy call centre rep who won’t take no for an answer.

As a result, many people find constant reasons not to pick up the phone.

But you need to remember this isn’t about YOU. This is about your customer, that person who is expecting you to help them find work or training. And when you start putting how you’re feeling about making calls in front of how to help your customer, you’ve lost sight of your main purpose – to CREATE opportunities.

So rather than thinking about your calls as cold sales pitches, reframe your thinking and picture yourself as a bit of a super sleuth! On the hunt for a slice of that missing 60%.

And if you’re still having trouble picking up that phone, just remember…

  1. Cold calls are really just ‘first calls’. They don’t have to feel ‘cold’. If you aim to create interest at the start of your calls by doing some research on the company you’re calling before hand – they’ll sound nothing like a ‘cold call’.
  1. OVER HALF of the potential vacancies out there are hidden. Without doubt the most effective way of finding them is to pick up the phone, talk to people, build relationships and gain the trust of businesses.
  1. You can make a real difference. When you create ‘genuine opportunities’ for those you represent you’re changing lives for the better. Avoid sounding desperate, which means focus on listening and asking the right type of questions to establish needs.
  1. The more calls you make, the more opportunities you’ll uncover. The more proactive you are the better you will be at finding work or training. No calls and no opportunities means no results! Plus, practice make perfect, calling employers gets easier the more you do it.
  1. You provide something of value. The service most of you provide is FREE or FUNDED – aim to get this across quickly to avoid being seen as a traditional recruitment company or training provider who charges for their services.
  1. Your service won’t sell itself. Don’t expect that just because the service you provide is free or funded that employers will fall at your feet. They won’t. They want to know what problem you will solve for them.
  1. You’re a team. You’ve a partnership with both your customer looking for work/training and your employer looking for a recruitment or training partner who ‘gets it’ and ‘knows what they want. So aim to manage the expectations of both.
  1. Be proud of what you’re doing. Don’t act like you’re ashamed if you’re an organisation who finds employment for people with learning difficulties, disabilities or mental health,. Employers need to be reminded that their own customer base is likely to be made up of many people from these sectors too.
  1. Objections are part of the job. You’ll ALWAYS get objections, don’t take them personally. I’ve been making calls for over 25 years and I still get objections.  Focus on learning how to overcome them.  It’s a skill that can be learned.