Jim Grant's Blog

Help for Job Seekers – It's all about the process!

Overcoming Objections to Meeting with You

In the course of your job search, there will be many times in which you will contact someone (usually by phone) in the hopes that he/she will meet with you face-to-face. I’m not talking now about a job interview. I’m focused on a networking meeting.

When you call someone, it is more than likely that he/she will have an objection to meeting with you. If you hang up as soon as you hear the objection, then you’ve lost the opportunity for sure. If you haven’t noticed, yet, when two people have a disagreement about something, the last one to speak typically “wins.” (When my wife hears me say this, she always pipes in with “Yes, and in our house, I always get the last word.” – – – Unfortunately, that’s usually the case!) So, it is critical that you, as a job seeker, not give up when you get an objection to meeting with you and you have a rebuttal at-the-ready.

To help you get prepared for this, I’m going to name the 3 most likely objections you will hear to meeting with you and I will offer some rebuttals. Let me start with an opening script when you place the call and get the person on the phone. I’d suggest you start off with something like:

“Mr. Jones, my name is Jim Grant. I got your name from Tom Smith. I am looking for a job as a programmer/analyst. I know you don’t have a job for me. However, Tom indicated that you would be a great person for me to meet with. I’d like to share with you the kind of work I do and explain how you might be able to help me. Would you be available to meet with me for 20 minutes next Tuesday or Wednesday?

Objection #1 – “I don’t know you.”

While that’s true, the opening script I suggested above helps to overcome that objection. I referred to Tom Smith, someone Mr. Jones already knows. People tend to prefer to meet with someone who was referred to them by someone they already know. If you’re really good as this networking process, you will have asked Tom Smith to call Mr. Jones before you call, give a little background about you, tell him that you will be calling, and to please take your call.

Objection #2 – “I don’t have a job for you.”

Well again, the opening script helps. People commonly don’t want to meet with a job seeker who might badger them for a job, when they have none to offer. So you want to defuse this concern as soon as you can and overtly say during the call at some time that you know Mr. Jones doesn’t have a job for you.

Objection #3 – “I’m too busy.”

No doubt, Mr. Jones is busy, but he is more than likely just using this as an excuse not to meet with you. I’d suggest you respond with something like: “The last thing I would want to do is disrupt your work. I noticed there is a Starbucks right next to your office building. How about we meet there next Tuesday or Wednesday morning at 7:30 AM, before work?” (Be sure to offer more than one day/time. If you only offer one, Mr. Jones will be sure to be busy then!)

If you are unable to get Mr. Jones to agree to meet with you, express your appreciation for his time, but don’t hang up until you ask him if he could refer you to someone you might be able to meet with.

You will encounter other objections to meeting with you and, the first time you hear each one, you may not have an effective rebuttal at-the-ready. I suggest, though, that after the unsuccessful phone call that you write down the objection and develop a good rebuttal for it.

I found that when I made these types of calls, I was more effective if I reviewed my notes on the probable objections and my rebuttals before I placed the call.

I hope you feel this explanation makes you more effective at placing these types of calls in your job search and getting people to meet with you.


April 24, 2010 - Posted by | Networking, Uncategorized


  1. Jim,

    In a sense, job searching takes a little bit of salesmanship and overcoming objections is apart of the process. I’ve found that remaining calm and finding someway to meet in the middle always helps.

    I think you hit it on the head with the “I Don’t Have a Job for You” objection. When I was in college, I got this objection a few times but eventually learned how to overcome it. Instead of being direct and hitting them up for a job, I focused more on receiving advice from the other person being respectful of his or her time and it worked!


    Comment by jeffrsabo | July 17, 2010 | Reply

  2. Hey there! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I
    genuinely enjoy reading through your articles. Can you recommend
    any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same topics?
    Thanks a ton!

    Comment by Lorraine | January 28, 2013 | Reply

    • Lorraine, the Internet is loaded with blog/websites/forums that offer material for job seekers. It is about impossible to list them all, much less to determine which are really helpful.

      However, don’t lose site of your goal. It is to land a job, not read material about doing a job search. There are 1,001 tips out there for job seekers. If you are new to the job search, you need to understand the job search “process” and start doing it. If you don’t know where you are going, any road will lead you there. – – – As I tell many job seekers, you need to become as good at the job search “process” as you were at performing your last job – and how did you become good at it? By understanding the “process”, doing it, screwing it up, and getting better.

      Comment by Jim Grant | January 29, 2013 | Reply

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