A very difficult proposition, even for those of us with experience.....
My success rate is about 5 - 10%, and that's because I always try to get a
face to face meeting, even if I have to travel.
1. Figure out who you need to reach before you call, and what you need to say.
An outline is not a bad thing to have in front of you.
2. Be polite and professional - get to the point and wrap up quickly.
3. LISTEN both to what's being said and what's not.
4. Accept that you may never reach some people by phone.
And there are always stories, but never enough time to tell them all! ;-)
Thanks for the reply - excellent words of advice. Do you call places based on the work they do and that they produce stuff that you specifically want to work on, or is it more of an information gathering thing? If you are going to make a bunch of calls in a week, how do you manage your time - do you have specific goals or is it more of a shot-gun approach?