Cold calling is when a salesperson calls up a complete stranger to see if they might be interested in buying their company’s products or services. Conversely, warm calling is when a call is made to a prospect after they have received some kind of direct marketing material or to a person who has expressed an interest in the products or services.
Warm calling is considered more profitable than cold calling. The client has already expressed an interest in your products or services so there is a better chance they will listen to your pitch. Moreover, your call will be seen as a follow-up call and not an unsolicited nuisance.
How to convert cold calls into warm calls:
1. Warm up your leads. Offer some valuable information about what you are selling to the prospects before calling them. This will warm up your leads and make them more receptive to your call.
2. Send prospects concise letters giving them an overview of your company’s products and services. Provide them with valuable incentives such as CD’s, brochures, free reports or product samples. Follow up with a call after a few days.
3. Initiate a conversation. Do not sound too excited when calling a lead. This may make them a little defensive. Remain calm and engage your prospect in conversation. Try to make them comfortable and put them at ease. Create a feeling of trust. Make them feel that you are trying to help them instead of making a sale.
4. Ask questions. Ask your prospect questions regarding their problems and needs. Help them tell you what is on their mind. Try to understand their needs and express to them how your product or service can help solve those problems. They will be more to listening to you if they feel you are able to understand their problems and help solve them.
5. Avoid trying to close. If everything is going fine and the prospect is showing interest what you are saying, do not try to close. This can put pressure on the prospect and ruin the rapport you are trying to build. Focus on securing an appointment instead of making a sale.
6. Confirm your appointment. Suggest a brief introductory meeting with your prospect. Make a note of the time, date and place of the meeting before you end the phone call. Follow up by calling the prospect the day before the meeting to confirm the appointment.