Struggling to find preceptors, mentors, jobs, or more? Cold calling could be a great way to grow as an RD2BE. Let's show you why!
First off, what is cold calling?
Cold calling is when you reach out or contact someone you did not have a connection with prior. It is mainly used via email since it is easier to find professional email addresses (also without being as creepy). It is commonly used in the professional workspace for reaching out to influential or inspirational people you look up to.
Why would I want to cold call someone?
Depending on who you cold call, it can open up doors to unimaginable opportunities! Cold calling can be used for finding preceptors, job/volunteer opportunities, mentorship, networking, the list goes on.
How should I go about cold calling?
There are 3 important things you should keep in mind when deciding to cold call someone:
1. Research and establish a premise
Why are you deciding to cold call someone? What are you hoping to gain from the cold call? Who do you want to cold call? Make sure to ask all of these questions and reflect prior to cold calling someone. Coming in with a plan will not only show the person you're contacting that you are put together, but it will allow you to pack a bigger punch in that first impression email.
2. Creating an opening pitch
First impressions, especially for a cold call, or incredibly important! It will decide whether or not they will open the email, read your message, and let alone respond.
The biggest tool an RD2BE can use is prefacing that they are a STUDENT! If you are cold calling a dietitian, many want to help students. They were in your shoes and want to see the new generation of dietitians succeed.
So, don't be afraid to start off by saying:
"Hello Ms./Mr. _______, my name is __________________ and I am a student at ___________".
The rest of your email can be constructed based on what you reflected beforehand; why you are reaching out to them, what you hope to gain, how you can help them, etc. Depending on the reason behind your cold call greatly shapes the meat and potatoes of your email.
Important tip: Make sure to include how YOU can help them. Whether it is information, assisting them with work, or anything of that sort, make sure it is not approached as a one-sided "help me" situation.
3. Following up
If they don't respond immediately, don't worry! They might be busy or didn't see the email. If you haven't heard back in a week, reach out one more time to check-in. Don't feel bad! If they missed your first email, they will be happy that you checked in.
We hope you learned some valuable information from this article. There is never a wrong or right time to cold call someone, so you can start today! Social media (LinkedIn especially) is a powerful tool for researching people you would be interested in contacting. The worst that could happen is they don't respond or say no. So, what are you waiting for? Go for it!