The Importance of Trial-Run Meetings
Once you have developed your story and talk track in your search you need to get out there and start talking to people. It is always best to start off easy and build your confidence and momentum. A great way to do this is by setting up a couple of one-on-one meetings with trusted people from your network. We call these initial meetings Trial Run Meetings. Use these meetings to practice your delivery, gain feedback on your strategy and to generally work the kinks out of your presentation and message.
Set up Trial Run Meetings with people whose opinions you value. Make sure to choose people who will be honest with you and give you productive feedback. They should be people with whom you already have a good relationship. These contacts may include family members or close friends, business mentors, former bosses and trusted business peers. In these meetings you will share your marketing plan for your search and the work you have done in previous roles.
The goals of your trial run meetings should include:
- Get practice sharing your story and gain confidence
- Receive feedback on your strategy
- Obtain leads, ask for 3-5 leads and follow-up
- Create an instant advocate, get recommended
Getting trial run meetings
The best way to set up trial meetings is to call people. Since the purpose of these calls is to get a meeting, you will want to share only the necessary information and focus on getting an appointment on the calendar as soon as possible into the call. Here is the basic structure of call to help you be more effective.
The first 2 minutes of the conversation:
- Introduction: jog their memory so you make sure they remember you.
- Catch-up and listen to what’s new with them.Ask a couple of questions about old acquaintances to reconnect and stimulate conversation. Let them talk about themselves and what’s happening in their lives.
Share your story and book the meeting:
- Say something like this– “It’s good to reconnect. I’m not sure if you had heard, but I am no longer working at _________ and am currently in a job search. Since leaving ________, I’ve spent time putting together a marketing plan and was interested in your thoughts/opinions on the plan. Do you have your calendar handy to schedule a time we get together for 10-15 minutes for a cup of coffee?
- Be prepared to suggest a couple of times as they are reaching for their calendar
- Select a convenient location for them and confirm the time for their calendar
This phone “script” works equally well for setting up for face-to-face meetings as well as phone meetings. Here’s one final trick to ensure the success of your trial meetings. Send a confirmation email the day before the meeting and attach your Marketing Plan to give them time to review the document.