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Thursday, February 26, 2009

How to cash in on a referral

Here is a question that was submitted by one of my students:

“I'm wrestling with how to contact a particular manager. My question is, can I call their office and try to set an appointment that way without sending a letter of introduction? Is that tacky or unprofessional? What do you think?”

Hi, there! Here are my thoughts. The only time you would want to make a phone call is if you have a really good referral to use- ie: an agent or casting director, or one of their successful clients, who is recommending you. If you have a referral of this kind, I would suggest having the referrer call and tell the manager about you, so that the manager is expecting your call. Then, you could certainly call and say something like, "John Doe just gave me your information and recommended that I get in touch with you. I am wondering if we could set up a time to meet to see if we’d be a good fit?"

If you do not have a referral of this kind, ie: perhaps you heard about them through the grapevine or you know an actor client of theirs but the actor is unwilling to make the call for you, your best bet is to submit via the mail and simply mention at the beginning of your cover letter what it is that is drawing you to this particular company.

I hope all of these suggestions are useful for you- let me know what happens!

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