Cold Calling Advice

Below are some comments about cold calling made by one of our most successful clients who used our techniques to master the art of cold calling. He is now working full time in the Investment Banking Division of a top 3 investment bank.

I did cold call a lot of people but I was in a far worse position than you are right now. I was an international student who did not go to top 4 schools in the UK (Oxbridge plus LSE or Imperial).

Cold calling works better on the Trading floor than in IBD (Investment banking division - M&A, Leveraged Finance, ECM etc). It also works best with older American Sales & Traders. Why? I think Americans are more aggressive for starters, but more importantly if they are older there is a chance they did not start in Sales or Trading. For example, I went to see Mike Pascucci, former Head of credit for Merrill Lynch in EMEA. He told me he only saw me because back in the day he came up from the back office and he loves people who know what they want and go after it.

Another thing which I believe adds weight to a cold caller is whether he is working or not. If you have an unpaid job at a CDO house, for example, you can always call the High Yield desk at a bank (or any credit guy) and talk to him about how you read his research or heard he is one of the top salesperson your firm turns to (if you are a buy side intern) etc.

If you are working you can also play the "I want this job" angle by telling him "I am working 14 hours a day unpaid & work 20 hours on the weekend at a supermarket, bar or whatever, to pay the bills so I can land my dream job at (insert name of his bank) and work for your team. Is there any chance you could spare just 3 minutes from your busy schedule to give me the honour of introducing myself to you in person? I would be happy to come to Liverpool Street/Canary Wharf to say hello."

Another way you can get in touch with the big swinging dicks is to get a temping job. Before I moved to my new employer I had 3 months to kill and I had interviews and offers (not all at once) for temping roles in middle and back office at Merrill Lynch, ABN AMRO, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and UBS. In the end I wanted to take a holiday so did not take up any of the offers. Even if you start small (Middle/ Back office as a temp or the Buy Side) you can get in touch with the senior guys at your bank or the banks your buy side works with. Temping interviews for graduate positions are a joke, so if you follow Peter's tips you will NOT have a problem at all.

I think it is BS that you are doing your dissertation during all your waking hours. I am sure you can spare 5 minutes to call someone. It's August, things are slow so they will have time to take your call.Don't wait for September when the mad rush for graduate recruitment begins.Start now so when you apply you can call senior guys or write their names in your application.

Also, register interest with job agencies and ask for graduate or temping roles. I have attached a list of recruitment agencies (not all our helpful for graduates/ temps). I would be grateful if you do not share these with many people (do not give anyone else the edge).Keep whatever Peter tells you highly confidential. This is a very competitive industry so do not be a hero and try to help others before you help yourself.

Keep watching two movies over and over again: Wall Street and now Pursuit of Happyness. Keep watching them until you want it as badly as they did.