Get Out Your Chicken List And Make A Call

February 28th, 2007

Who is on your chicken list?I was at a presentation last week where the presenter (a CEO in transition) talked about his chicken list. I may have heard the term before but didn’t remember when. A chicken list is the list of names that you are scared to call – for whatever reason. Its funny to hear such a high-level executive talk about his own chicken list but it was a good reminder for me. Why? Because someone at his level may have been on my chicken list, and to hear that he has his own chicken list (aka, insecurities) helps me bring things into perspective.

Why do people end up on the chicken list? Perhaps…

  • They are veterans in the industry or community, and everyone knows them and talks about how incredible they are
  • You have tried to contact them a number of times but they have never responded
  • Everyone else is so hot to contact them that you don’t want to be just another person trying to get in their schedule
  • They are the hiring manager, or the hiring manager’s boss
  • They have a ‘gatekeeper’ that seems nice but never lets you get past

I’m sure there are many more reasons. And I’m sure you can think of at least one person on your chicken list! Its easier to find other things to do (like apply to one more job on Monster.com)… but here’s my challenge to you: call someone from your list today.

This chicken is not on the chicken list anymore ;)One more thing. If you aren’t going to do this once a day, at least do it once a week. One thing that helped me go through my chicken list was to remember that most everyone on it was one day away from being terminated… that would quickly eliminate them from the list and make them much more human!

I know you have a chicken list. Make a phone call today.

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8 Responses to “Get Out Your Chicken List And Make A Call”

  1. Francie says:

    Ha – love that term, never heard it before. This is great advice! Was just talking to a friend about this last week. He’s in sales and talks to everyone and everyone, so it seems. But, he was telling me how some days even he has to psyche himself up to approach certain (potential) contacts.

    Thanks for putting this topic out front where one and all can admit to it, and work on it. You know, Jason you’re getting so well known you might even be on someone else’s chicken list. :-)

  2. Jason says:

    Francie – you crack me up! I doubt I’m on anyone’s chicken list… well, my three year old has been known to write on the walls and then avoid me – maybe that qualifies!

    Glad you brought up your friend in sales – I think its important to note that EVERYONE has a chicken list – even the folks on your chicken list!

    When you get really nervous, though, just think about that last picture, of the chicken on the platter ;)

  3. [...] After sending him an initial email response and getting a note back from him detailing sort of what his group is looking for, I had an idea. In between my first note and his return email I had read an article on Jason Alba’s (no relation to Jessica) JibberJobber Blog about "Chicken Lists" and it got me to thinking. See I don’t’ really have a chicken list. After starting in my very first recruiting role with MRI, I had spoken to and recruited about 20 CEO’s of various sized companies. In fact when we added up potential fees for their placement, my boss got the idea that restaurant recruiting might just be lucrative… but I digress. Anyway, I decided that since I wasn’t afraid to call Mike that I might just as well do it… now! So I did just that. Mike and I had a great conversation and I gave him an idea for investment into a chain or restaurant properties not far from his office. Both Mike and I were happy to make the other’s acquaintance and I’m sure that we will be doing business in the future. [...]

  4. [...] Last week I encouraged you to get your Chicken List out and make a call. Just work through it. [...]

  5. [...] After sending him an initial email response and getting a note back from him detailing sort of what his group is looking for, I had an idea. In between my first note and his return email I had read an article on Jason Alba’s (no relation to Jessica) JibberJobber Blog about "Chicken Lists" and it got me to thinking. See I don’t really have a chicken list. After starting in my very first recruiting role with MRI, I had spoken to and recruited about 20 CEO’s of various sized companies. In fact when we added up potential fees for their placement, my boss got the idea that restaurant recruiting might just be lucrative; but I digress. Anyway, I decided that since I wasn’t afraid to call Mike that I might just as well do it; now! So I did just that. Mike and I had a great conversation and I gave him an idea for investment into a chain of restaurant properties not far from his office. Both Mike and I were happy to make the other’s acquaintance and I’m sure that we will be doing business in the future. [...]

  6. [...] A powerful post I wrote in 2007: Get Out Your Chicken List and Make a Call! [...]

  7. […] to be a simple “pick up the phone, you chicken!” post, like I’ve written before (February 2007, July 2012, September 2013), … and it has that.  But there is so much more!  This post is […]

  8. […] and the Chicken List (that list of people you are too scared to call) plenty of times… here and here and here and here and here.  I get it, I really do. I’m afraid of the phone, too. […]

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