What do YOU say when the secretary of your senior level executive asks any form of the following, 'May I ask for the purpose for your call?'  'Your name and company?' 'Who's calling?'

 

I want to sound legit, but obviously not disclose my true reason for calling.

 

Thanks for your ideas/tips!

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It's a personal call but thank you for asking.
Actually, the executive assistants are very helpful if you ask for help but don't come off sounding desperate. I always like to introduce myself and then ask them if they could help me. I tell them I was referred by whomever and that I was interested in a professional introduction. The response is usually positive. then I ask for their advice as to the best way to get in contact with their executive. They will usually offer vm or they will give me their email address so they may forward it on to the executive. In many cases you can simply send the email directly to the executive and copy the assistant.

You have to remember something; these executive assistants hold the key to these executives lives. They handle everything for them. You need to develop a relationship with these people since in many cases, they know more about what's going on inside the company than the executive they support. If they like you and you treat them with the respect they rightfully deserve, they will go out their way to help you. If you try to BS your way in or are vague in any way regarding the reason for your call, you will get nowhere.
I agree with Bill. According to the time of day or day of the week our CEO or COO might answer the phone. Explaining that you are a relative or trying to put something over on someone can come back and bite you. It is also a reason to treat the person on the other end with respect. Treating them like someting beneath you is not going to get you anywhere. Who ever it is, you need their help. Why would anyone want to help a bully?
If you are trying to develop the company as a client i agree that Bill is right on the money.

If you are trying to recruit the CEO or executive it is in fact a personal call. If he or she wants his admin to know that he is talking to a recruiter it is up to him/her to share that information. It is not putting anything over on anyone or being disrespectful to indicate that a call is personal. An admn is not normally privey to their boss looking for another position nor does he want them to be. Would you tell the admn that you were the nurse at the HIV testing facility calling about the results of his test. I think not. It would be a personal call.
My question is focused around calling a CEO or COO or Sr VP, etc to recruit them or anyone they may know. I am not comfortable lying, but realize I do need to word my response so that I get through AND so that I don't disclose my purpose.
Today I tried/used, 'I'm working on a networking project for a client of mine and was hoping to connect with him/her.' Realizing, vague, likely rolling their eyes on the other end, at least I have something to give. I did follow up these messages with an email, but I too realized the admin likely saw it as well. My wording in the email was for the purposes of networking regarding 'xyz position'.
I guess there is no true 'trick' and if we all used the same 'in' then perhaps are cover would be blown!

Thanks for the notes/suggestions!
You're not lying if you say it's a personal call. I'm with Sandra on this, recruiting is personal. All you need to ever say is 'it's a personal call.' Simple enough and it works.

Heather Larkin said:
My question is focused around calling a CEO or COO or Sr VP, etc to recruit them or anyone they may know. I am not comfortable lying, but realize I do need to word my response so that I get through AND so that I don't disclose my purpose.
Today I tried/used, 'I'm working on a networking project for a client of mine and was hoping to connect with him/her.' Realizing, vague, likely rolling their eyes on the other end, at least I have something to give. I did follow up these messages with an email, but I too realized the admin likely saw it as well. My wording in the email was for the purposes of networking regarding 'xyz position'.
I guess there is no true 'trick' and if we all used the same 'in' then perhaps are cover would be blown!

Thanks for the notes/suggestions!
This scenario works either way in my experience.

Heather Larkin said:
My question is focused around calling a CEO or COO or Sr VP, etc to recruit them or anyone they may know. I am not comfortable lying, but realize I do need to word my response so that I get through AND so that I don't disclose my purpose.
Today I tried/used, 'I'm working on a networking project for a client of mine and was hoping to connect with him/her.' Realizing, vague, likely rolling their eyes on the other end, at least I have something to give. I did follow up these messages with an email, but I too realized the admin likely saw it as well. My wording in the email was for the purposes of networking regarding 'xyz position'.
I guess there is no true 'trick' and if we all used the same 'in' then perhaps are cover would be blown!

Thanks for the notes/suggestions!

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