July 19, 2018

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Getting Cell Phone Numbers

So you left two messages and haven’t received a call back from your candidate or prospective client. Call one more time, and move on, unless you have GOT to talk to that person. Keep trying if you think it’s worth it, but normally only leave one more message. If you leave more than three messages for someone, then you come across as desperate and pathetic. You’re not going to win every battle and you’ll never get all the business, and you might as well accept the fact that not everyone will call you back.

For your third message, say this: “Joe, I left a few messages for you and I think you and I need to talk because of how this can impact you. I’d appreciate the professional courtesy of a response. If you’re not interested, have your assistant either call me or send me an email, and my email address is…” And that’s it. Move on.

But if you need to get to that decision-maker, get to his cell phone. Consider this tip of getting the cell phone number of an executive that will work 80 percent of the time.

When you’re talking to the receptionist, and she tells you that “Mr. Big isn’t in right now”, say, “Do you know when you expect him back in?” After she answers your question, jump to this: “Oh, I’ll just try him on his cell phone. Thanks!” And say it as if you’re getting off the phone. Before she can hang up, say, “Wait. Wait. Hold on. Oh, shoot. I don’t have his cell number in my system. Let me get his cell phone number from you.” And say it with confidence, just like that. Say it as if you are expecting her to give it to you, like it’s standard operating procedures. Believe it or not, if you have the right sort of executive-level attitude in your mind, it will come across in your voice. And that might be just enough to give that hesitating receptionist the confidence that you deserve to get that confidential piece of information. Just come on out and say it: “Let me get his cell phone number from you.” Expect her to give it to you.

She’ll either give it to you or not. If not, she’ll probably say that she’s not allowed to give it out. If that’s the case say this with a friendly smile on your face, because that’s how you want it to come across: “What? Not allowed to give it out? Do you know how much business John does on his cell phone? How can I talk to him if you can’t give me his cell phone?” And say it like you’re surprised and disappointed that they’re not giving it to you. Sound like you’re in shock but through a smile in there. If you think she's being sincere, say "I don't want to get you in trouble, but it would really help out if I could end this game of phone tag and reach John" (always use first names and first name only. It connotes familiarity).

If they still don’t give it to you, look at a phone number on your desk with the same area code and read it out. Yes, read out a phone number with the same area code. It’s stealthy and borderline gray area, but all you’re doing is asking a question, and this is the question: “Let's see. Hold on a second. Is his cell phone...(pause for effect)... 602-555-5555?” Just read a number and ask that little question. You would be surprised at how many receptionists will say “No, that’s not it. Let me go ahead and give you his new cell phone number.” You’re not lying. You’re not telling false information. You’re asking a question that you already know the answer to, just like you should with most questions that you ask. Try it, and if you feel comfortable with it, let me know how effective it is for you. You never know until you ask!

Final Note: I've never had an executive become perturbed that I called him or her on their cell phone, because they knew of the level of value that I was trying to bring to them. They actually appreciate it, respect it, and view you as someone with moxie, confidence, and a real belief in the value that you can bring to them.

- Scott Love

Copyright (c) 2006 Scott Love

Scott Love’s training system can turn you into a big biller. His ‘treasure chest’ of educational tools has given recruiters just like you a complete system of success. Over 1,500 recruiters have invested in and benefited from his training products in the last two years. For information on his educational tools and to access free instruments and downloads, visit the ‘recruiters resources’ section on his website,