Most sourcers would rather admit their mothers wear Army boots than admit they’re afraid of the phone. This reluctance to own up to the real matter at hand only makes things worse. Admitting we’re all human is the first step in getting the help so many of us need.
You may have surmised at this point that you’re not alone. Just about every sourcer I know (including me) has dealt with these issues.
So, the very first thing you have to do is get over it. So get over it.
Next be willing to admit that you’d like to fix this troubled aspect of your existence.
The final step is to do something about it, and we’re about to embark on that process.
Realizing that everyone deals with the same simple realities of being human and that it’s really not that big of a deal and really only warrants laughing at ourselves, allows us to proceed.
The root cause of your fear, in most instances, is placing your own destiny into the hands of others. It’s allowing stinkin’ thinkin’ into your game — that conversation that reroutes itself constantly through your head that tells yourself you’re a loser.
This causes the next effect of not wanting to hear the mantra from others. This, in turn, causes you to hang back in your efforts to win the prize, whatever that prize may be.
It causes you to shrink back. You allow the thought that you’ll screw things up or, worse yet, others will think less of you. Allowing this to happen stops you from achieving your goals.
Here’s the mindset you’ve got to get into: Who cares? Who cares if the Gatekeeper turns you away? She’s only one of many. It’s a good bet the next one is going to receive you warmly and help you. Stop focusing on the one who wouldn’t let you through — even she can be sidelined. There’s always a way into a company, no matter the ferociousness of the Gatekeeper. One of the signs of a great phone sourcer is this ability to go immediately around frontal resistance. You can do it and it’s not a fluke when you do!
One of the best pieces of advice I ever received online was someone who commented in a string that the word “should” should never be used (except in this instance, of course). That commenter was eminently right. “Should” thinking leads to guilt and frustration. When we think we “should” be one way or another, that we “should” do something rather than not, that another person “should” or “shouldn’t” do this or that, we set ourselves up for immense disappointment and ultimate failure.
Stop beating up on yourself. The only “should” you should be considering is that you should be kinder and gentler towards yourself. Placing too much importance on what others (may) think about us is one activity that should be jettisoned out of your backpack as soon as possible.
Here’s an exercise for getting it done. Do this today, tomorrow, or the next day, but do it soon! Make a list of 20 companies where you know the people you need to hire are already working. List out their vital info including their main phone numbers. Don’t forget to include a little preliminary research like three to five people on the inside of the company you can offer up to the Gatekeeper if she tells you she needs a name to transfer you (and some will). When the Gatekeeper answers and she tells you her name (and most of them will), repeat her name and say this:
“Hi, _________. My name is _____________. I’m trying to reach the quality department. Can you transfer me?”
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See what she says/does.
If she says she needs a name, give her one and then ask her for that person’s extension so next time you don’t have to bother her. If she moves to transfer you, see if you can’t quickly subtract a little more info out of her before she sends you packing.
“Before you transfer me, can you tell me who you’re transferring me to?”
Sometimes she will tell you, and it’s usually either the administrative assistant for the department or the head of the department. Try not to sound too interested. Press a little more out of her. “In case I get disconnected can you tell me the extension?”
If you do as I said above I guarantee you about one third of your Gatekeepers will transfer you to the department after your first inquiry to be transferred. About one half will ask you for a name and transfer you to one of the names you give her. The few remaining — you won’t be able to get past on this, your first call, no matter what song and dance you offer.
While you’re doing exactly as I’ve asked you to do above, don’t sweat what you have to do next. For now, just concentrate on talking to that Gatekeeper. Don’t veer from what I said above. To say more is to say too much. To say less is to not say enough.
Concentrate on the baby steps. Ask one question at a time and answer only one question at a time. Learn what it feels like to act and succeed with my suggestion above and bask in the glory of your success.
We need to stop idling and wondering about our own right to be in a room. We need to begin acting boldly, to stride purposely up to the first person standing nearby, stick out our hands, and say, “Hi, my name is Maureen Sharib. What’s yours?” and allow that to be your calling card, your entrance ticket to the party of all parties: life.