Job seekers often tell me that they don’t want to follow up on a referral or lead right away because they don’t want to come across as desperate. I’m always disappointed when I hear that, because they often miss an opportunity or create a poor impression when they let time go by.
There’s a saying in most sales organizations… “Time kills all deals”. The longer it takes a sale to close, the less likely it ever will. Obviously some sales cycles are longer than others, and there are exceptions often. However, it’s generally a good rule of thumb to keep in mind. The same rule often applies in a job search.
Certainly the perception from whom ever you’re contacting is very subjective. Some MAY think you’re connecting too soon. However, I believe that HOW you connect has a great influence on how you’re perceived. Connecting in a professional, pleasant, and upbeat manner generally erases any negative impression they may have initially had. In the process, the job seeker moves things forward in their search, and/or catches a great job lead before it’s gone or further down the road for another candidate!
A greater likelihood than being thought of as desperate, is that they will be thought of as on-the-ball! Someone that sees an opportunity and goes after it. Someone that doesn’t hesitate and let momentum dwindle.
A good salesperson will not wait to follow up on a referral or lead… and make no mistake… a job search is a sales process!
Many job seekers that are uncomfortable with the sales aspects of their search get pretty effective at rationalizing inaction. Because they don’t feel confident in contacting people they don’t know, they convince themselves it’s better to wait for the right time, to spend more time preparing, to only catch their contact at the ‘perfect’ time of the day or week, or many other ‘reasonable’ sounding reasons to delay.
Those reasons, however, often result in creating an impression of having no sense of urgency in their search, or in missed opportunities.
Do you want the people you connect with to have a greater sense of urgency for you, and would you like to see your job search to move along at a quicker pace? Then demonstrate that you’re professionally prompt, and have a great sense of urgency yourself. People will often respond in kind!