Okay, time for a reality check: Is there such a thing as a “warm call” in telemarketing?
You see, a call is considered cold when the person you’re calling doesn’t know you and is not expecting your call. So if you’re calling off a list of prospects, that’s equivalent to saying all initial outbound telemarketing calls are generally cold, right? The exception only occurs when:
- you’re calling someone you’ve been talking to more than once (such as an established lead or a previous client)
- you’re calling someone who knows you through an introduction by a third party (mostly a referral)
- you’re calling someone you really know, who just happens to be on your list (pure coincidence)
Outside of these circumstances, you will most likely end up doing cold calling. But just because it uses the word “cold” doesn’t mean you have to be cold as the North Pole. There are ways to make prospects feel they’re talking to a casual friend:
- “Stalk” your prospect. There’s an online equivalent of physically stalking a person. Google him, or check out his LinkedIn profile. See if he’d written any books or blogs. Find him on Facebook, if you must. Anything relevant that lets them think you really know them. 3 minutes of good research would suffice.
- Start with a “qualifier”. If you were referred by someone, then you should definitely mention that person’s name. But even without a referral, you could at least say something like, “ We’ve worked with similar businesses within your industry….” This makes you a “qualified” caller and will get them to thinking perhaps you’re worth the time.
- Detect a need, provide examples. If you’re on the right track, you’re prospect will now respond to your questions and open up regarding business matters. Make sure you catch keywords that manifest a business need, highlight it, and then cite a similar event wherein your company was able to provide a solution for a previous client. It will help them paint a picture of what you’re offering them.
- Don’t just hear them out; listen. The word ear rhymes with sincere.
- Make it a habit. When you’ve gotten the hang of this “warm” approach to cold calling, it will eventually become integral to your personality and will lead to better over-the-phone relationships.