Advice on cold contacting

Hi,

I have soon finished my first year as an analyst, and am thinking of moving to another city. However, I have no network there, and very limited insight into the operations of the banks located there. I will thus have to start cold contacting people, and have found LinkedIn to be the best place to do so. Is it fine to contact people through linked or should I try to find their email addresses?

Also, how senior people should I go for? I guess my chances to receive answers increases a lot if I target more junior people.

Thanks,

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Comments (19)

Sep 25, 2017 - 2:54pm

Just find a something you have in common for the the Link'dIn approach. It doesn't even have to school. I have not sent as many cold emails as I have cold LinkdIn messages. Some people say they have had no luck but I've had some decent results. Also contacts from your firm.

“The only thing I know is that I know nothing, and i am no quite sure that i know that.” Socrates
Sep 25, 2017 - 2:55pm

Cold contacting tips (Originally Posted: 06/10/2016)

How do I contact bankers and schedule a meeting with them? I've contacted over 100 of them over the year and have had success with maybe 5 so far. I am reaching out to people in the industry that are within my area but most don't reply. Does anyone have tips on how to do this better? Are there any bars/locations I can go to meet some of them? I live in Washington DC by the way.

  • Anonymous Monkey's picture
  • Anonymous Monkey
  • Rank: Chimp
Sep 25, 2017 - 2:56pm

Hi, I also live in the DC area. We're at a slight disadvantage here since there are fewer banks than you'd find in NYC. Plus, some of the banks here are extremely small, so that makes networking to find an internship harder.

A few questions for you to better understand the problem:

-- What template/script do you follow when you send out emails?
-- Are you reaching out to some of the bigger banks in the area (e.g., HL, McLean Group) or those that have fewer employees?
-- Are you set on the immediate DC area (I take that to include DC, MD and VA) or are you looking at Baltimore, too (a few banks are there as well)?

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Sep 25, 2017 - 2:58pm

Try stalking them online and personalize your message

Life is too short to be on WSO. But here I am.
Sep 25, 2017 - 2:59pm

Persistent is key. Just don't stalk them to the point where you'll be blacklisted for creeping on them.

Be friendly, courteous, and show that you are eager. Also, try and see if they're free for lunch or coffee, literally.

Sep 25, 2017 - 3:01pm

Cold Contacting: Let's Look at a Specific Firm (Originally Posted: 04/28/2013)

I'm about to begin cold calling and e-mailing boutiques in Chicago to try and get my foot in the door.

Two quick questions:

1) Which order of contact method is best to follow? Call first? E-mail first? Get a list of addresses and walk around handing out my resume?
This information is surprisingly-accessible for very small firms.

2) Let's just look at one seven-person firm as an example:
Abrams & Jossel:
http://ajworkout.com

They have one phone number listed, but each member has his own e-mail. Should I e-mail them all at once? Should I e-mail only the partners? Should I e-mail the lowest-ranked people? Should I e-mail the partner and keep moving down the chain until somebody responds?

Nobody has a title listed other than the partner. For this firm, they all appear to be very experienced. There's no 25-year-old associate who maybe doesn't get 300 e-mails a day who I can e-mail.

When I do get in contact with someone, should I ask for an informational? My real estate finance professor told me to offer to buy them breakfast at this high-end place.

Or do I jump right in and ask whether they're looking for interns, and then handle objections?

Do seven-person firms even hire interns? I guess I just don't see a natural transition from intern to analyst, etc when everyone there is older than 50. What value could I possibly provide for them, regardless of how smart and hard-working I am? These guys just trump me in experience by so much.

Thank you very much for any advice.

Sep 25, 2017 - 3:02pm

Not to be a you-know-what, but if you spent five minutes searching, you would have the answers to all of these questions. Do not e-mail all of them. Pick one, ask if they are still looking for summer inters, and go from there.

Sep 25, 2017 - 3:03pm

KKS:

Not to be a you-know-what, but if you spent five minutes searching, you would have the answers to all of these questions. Do not e-mail all of them. Pick one, ask if they are still looking for summer inters, and go from there.

Would you mind linking or telling me where I could have found that? The same place will probably have other good info. I've read every article I could find on landing an internship by cold calling/e-mailing that I could find on here.

Sep 25, 2017 - 3:04pm

My approach with small firms that list their entire staff like that is to e-mail someone with a more senior ranking. The reasoning is because since it's a smaller firm they usually have more time, and are more willing, to answer your e-mail. Plus, since they're a small firm they likely don't get many cold e-mails from students, and from speaking with senior staff in that position they've told me that they view it as a sort of treat to be able to help out a prospective candidate.

Definitely don't e-mail the entire firm at once, just keep it to one guy. Send him an e-mail, and if you don't get a response send another e-mail in a week. Usually if they still don't respond I move on, but if that's a place you're set on you could call.

Keep your e-mail short and to the point. Give a short introduction about yourself, how you found their information, and that you'd like to schedule a time to speak with them for 15 minutes or so about their experiences in the finance/investment/real estate/etc industry.

A 7 man firm may not hire any interns, but who knows. I received an offer a couple weeks ago from a 5 man firm, albeit it wasn't a structured position. Even if they don't have positions you still have the opportunity to make a positive connection and they may be able to refer you to another firm.

Sep 25, 2017 - 3:05pm

StryfeDSP:

My approach with small firms that list their entire staff like that is to e-mail someone with a more senior ranking. The reasoning is because since it's a smaller firm they usually have more time, and are more willing, to answer your e-mail. Plus, since they're a small firm they likely don't get many cold e-mails from students, and from speaking with senior staff in that position they've told me that they view it as a sort of treat to be able to help out a prospective candidate.

Definitely don't e-mail the entire firm at once, just keep it to one guy. Send him an e-mail, and if you don't get a response send another e-mail in a week. Usually if they still don't respond I move on, but if that's a place you're set on you could call.

Keep your e-mail short and to the point. Give a short introduction about yourself, how you found their information, and that you'd like to schedule a time to speak with them for 15 minutes or so about their experiences in the finance/investment/real estate/etc industry.

A 7 man firm may not hire any interns, but who knows. I received an offer a couple weeks ago from a 5 man firm, albeit it wasn't a structured position. Even if they don't have positions you still have the opportunity to make a positive connection and they may be able to refer you to another firm.

Thank you for the reply.

So you'd recommend to ask for an informational over asking whether they're looking for interns up-front?

And if I were to land an unpaid internship at a firm like that, would that be considered a success by most? Should that be my goal at this point if my long-term goal is to become an analyst at a very reputable boutique, a MM, or a BB?

Sep 25, 2017 - 3:06pm

Here's another example with a different layout:
Arvon Advisors, LLC:
http://arvonadvisors.com/

They have a generically-named contact e-mail, so I don't know who'll be reading it. They have a phone number as well.

I found the names of the MD and two VPs on BusinessWeek:
http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?…

Should I address an e-mail to the MD, one of the VPs, or use something generic like "Dear Arvon Advisors Hiring Manager,"?

Also, the MD is apparently a third degree LinkedIn connection, but I need to upgrade my account to see through who. That's probably an investment worth making.

And the MD has two boutiques listed as his current employment. How does that work?

Sep 25, 2017 - 3:07pm

I assume you are in the same position that I was in last year: no luck with SA recruiting and in need of something finance-related. I e-mailed MDs and top people at these types of boutiques. If they only have five to ten bankers, their culture is probably very flat, meaning their MDs would think nothing of it if some random college kid e-mailed them, as opposed to an MD at a BB, who would most likely never bother replying.

You should normally ask for informational interviews, but it is almost May. You no longer have time to play the networking game. You need to be direct and up front. The worst that can happen is that they say "we have no room for interns" (assuming you send them a professional e-mail).

I e-mailed ten to 20 boutiques before finding an M&A shop that needed one more intern. It worked out well and made my resume a lot stronger. Good luck!

Sep 25, 2017 - 3:11pm

I just upgraded my LinkedIn account, so I'm now able to send InMail to random people.

Would my allowance of InMails be better used asking alumni Associates for a meeting, who are probably more likely to take it? Or should I try to meet with VPs/MDs, which is riskier, but has a higher potential payoff?

Basically, is an alumni associate who likes me likely to do anything to try and get me face time with higher-ups? Or is he just trying to survive until he can sleep more hours and not worry about losing his job when the intern he brought in doesn't perform?

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