Times 7 Strategy.
Highly successful sales professionals are willing to contact customers at least seven times before they expect to make anything happen. This is known as the Times 7 Strategy.
Here is how it works. Let’s assume that, periodically, using your contacts, you find someone who may recommend you for a job opening.
- The first time she hears from you, a faint blip appears on her radar. Your email is set aside for later/never.
- The second time, she actually glances at your email before letting it fall again into the endless file of old mail.
- The third time, she hears a voicemail from you and thinks, “I don’t have time to help.”
- The fourth time, you finally connect over the phone. She admits she has not yet opened your resume attachment. She says she will.
- The fifth time, you leave another voicemail; you suspect you are probably annoying her (So what? You do not have the job anyway.) She makes a positive mental note about your patient perseverance.
- The sixth time, you leave a new voicemail telling her about a mutual acquaintance you just remembered. She calls that person, who raves about your work history.
- The seventh time, she calls you to schedule an interview you would not have had if you had just applied online.
This approach is unusual and uncomfortable for many job seekers. Yet, we find our most successful clients use their personal and professional network to create opportunities that would never have been discovered otherwise. (See Tip 26 for a more comprehensive discussion on networking)
To begin right now, list the names of your ten highest priority contacts. Next, draw seven blank lines next to each contact’s name. Begin applying the Times 7 Strategy. Be diligent. We have learned that blank lines encourage thought and action.
Ways to Create a Times 7 Strategy Within Your Network
- Send a new business card
- Send an updated resume
- Ask for a resume review
- Email a bi-monthly status report
- Send a holiday card
- Go to breakfast or for a morning coffee
- Send a thank-you note
- Leave a voicemail after hours with a status report
- Connect via LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter
- Call with a question about the industry
- Send a related newspaper or magazine article
- Find a reason to stop in for five minutes (no longer)
- Invite her to an event in which you might have a common interest
- Ask which executive recruiters have been contacting her
- If she has been especially helpful, send a $5-$10 gift card
- Ask if she will serve as a reference
- Ask for industry connections or information before an interview
- Call early in the morning, before he is likely to have arrived, and leave a 10-second voice message saying you are just checking in
- Ask if they have thought of someone to connect with
Finally, at all costs, avoid what we call Three-STOP Networking, which works like this: 1. contacted her once, 2. contacted her twice, 3. contacted her three times – I give up and I STOP.
No salesperson could ever make a living with this limited approach. The Times 7 Strategy encourages that, only after seven meaningful contacts, over a period of weeks or months, should you expect anything positive to happen on your behalf.
Who to contact, how often, and over what period of time is a judgment call. If you contact a person too often, you may appear pushy. Too infrequently, and you could lose contact and potential opportunities.
The examples document also included with this Tip demonstrates maximized efforts from clients who won the job offer. Real examples from real people.
Present yourself in the most favorable ways to make others remember you.
–The Job Dog
To optimize your career transition, are you willing to do things that make you uncomfortable? Every day?
- Implement The Times 7 Strategy
- Ask yourself, “Who can I contact today?”
ALWAYS a Winning Tip : Numerous clients attest to the significant value of adding a visual management tool to their career transition process. Once you have a list, post it on flip-chart paper in your work area. Creating a visual dashboard helps manage both your daily activities and long-term strategy.
If people knew how hard I worked to achieve my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful after all.
—Michelangelo: Painter, Architect, Poet, Sculptor (1475–1564).