Even the name is chilling. There is a very small percentage of sales people that will tell you that they enjoy and look forward to “Cold Calling”. We have all had to walk into a business and ask “is the owner or manager in” or even the dreaded “I need to see the person that does the purchasing of your products”. Cold calling at its finest. You’re not alone if you dread this process.
Now, there will always be a need to cold call businesses whether it be in person or on the phone to generate new leads and prospects in the marketplace where you work. If you want to grow your business, you have to make new contacts. But, I am a firm believer that cold calls can be minimized by information gathering, organization skills, networking skills and some pre-call planning. We can minimize those cold calls by making them into warm calls.
Warm calls are made on a potential prospect when you have a contact name, a referral, pertinent industry information and/or news or a common contact, event or topic that can be used while asking for the potential prospect. We could always refer to this as the proverbial ice-breaker.
It is so much easier walking into a business and getting to ask if Joe Smith is in and then talking about his business. This seems to take a bit of the uncertainty out of the call and most likely will get a dialog going to work on getting your card in his hands and on your way to making an appointment. By the way, getting an appointment for the first pre-planned call is the main objective of this warm call. Wishing for anything more than that may be setting yourself up to fail.
Making cold calls into warm calls does take a bit of work on your part. If you are looking for an operators name you may have to do some pre-call investigative work on the account prior to making your first call. You can ask your current customers for a contact name, look into local business organizations, i.e., Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, Kiwanis and the like, or search on the Internet. When searching the Internet for contact information you can gather as much information as possible about the potential prospect via the local newspapers web site, business web sites or by conducting a Google search using the prospects name.
Always be in information gathering mode when it comes to working on potential prospects. When you are out and about, at business functions, at social functions or at any possible networking event, always have a business card and be ready to gather contact information. Take any opportunity to get information that you can apply to your initial call to make it a warm call.
Statistically speaking, most sales are not closed until after the fifth call, but, we can’t get to that point without that all-important first call. Gather as much info as possible to make it a warm call and be confident in yourself, your company and your products. So be organized, pre-plan your call and go have some fun now with warm calling.