Ahhh, the dreaded phone call. I recently did a very non-scientific poll in my Facebook Group, and the results were clear. Many of us loathe picking up the phone. And even us marketers—who really understand what cold calling is about—get cranky when we get cold calls from folks. So imagine how Joe Public feels! Which got me thinking: what about warm calling?
Let’s explore how you can make warm calling work for your business.
Warm Calling Versus Cold Calling
Cold calling is just as it sounds: calling prospective clients or customers out of the blue and hitting them with the hard sell in the hopes of converting them in some way. “But wait!” you might say, “I have a friend who said so and so might be interested in such and such!” Nope, still a cold call. Unless the subject of your call has actively sought you out in some way shape or form (and a referral doesn’t cut it), you are cold calling.
And when you’re cold calling, no matter how genuine your intentions, the call is really about you. You are looking to drum up business in some way. And most importantly, you’re not reacting to a soft lead or a natural connection made online. You have zero relationship built with the person on the other end of that phone line.
Warm calling is the opposite. By its very name, warm calling is friendlier—because you have already developed somewhat of a “relationship” with the subject of your call. Those of us who work in digital marketing and communications really believe in, and coach our clients on, the benefits of relationship building. And yes, there’s a method to our madness.
Warm calling takes lead generation from the rather impersonal world of demographics, audience personas, and statistics, into the cuddlier world of actually getting to know a person.
People Want to Feel Personally Connected
It’s human nature to want to feel personally connected to others. But it’s also human nature to be wary of strangers (remember what your mom always told you?). So, it makes perfect sense why warm calling is the clear winner. Putting warm calling into practice also results in better leads and broader audience outreach. Why? Trust.
If you’re to the point where you’re making a warm call, said person already knows/trusts you in some way. And generally speaking, warm calling happens when a prospective lead has already professed an interest in what you offer. There are a few ways this can happen:
- They’ve signed up for a free webinar, and shared on screen comments and questions with you.
- Maybe they’ve shared certain pain-points by downloading an ebook or white paper (and provided contact information)?
- Having already bought your product, they want to discuss other offerings you have available!
- You met them face to face at an event—they heard you speak, and shook your hand!
- By helping them through a customer service issue, ensuring they got excellent treatment and their problems were solved.
- Or you’ve connected with them via Twitter or Facebook, and built up a friendly rapport with them.
Warm Calling For the Win!
To wrap, think of warm calling as a friendly chat. Use the opportunity to deepen your relationship, and explore what your prospect is looking for, and leave the hard sell at home.
There’s also a good chance your subject will invest more time with you once they realize you’re actually looking to get to know them, to help them, not simply trying to close a deal. The goal here is to build on the trust that’s already developed, and nurture that conversion through real connection.
What do you think? Do you prefer warm calling over cold? Have you had success with either? Or are you maybe concerned it takes too long to develop relationships with leads online? I would love to know your thoughts!