Cold Calling vs Warm Calling. What is the difference?

by Jan 23, 2017Appointment Setting, B2B Lead Generation

Cold Calling vs Warm Calling. What is the difference? 

It was American author Jeffrey Gitomer who first said that cold calling in sales was dead. In his experience, there are three truths about cold calling:

• “Cold calling is the lowest percentage sale call.
• Cold calling has a very high rejection rate.
• Multiple rejections can change the salesperson’s mentality and make it more difficult to act friendly and complete calls.”

Since then, there have been different positions on this statement. Certain people believe cold calling is a waste of time while others have seen the benefits of this type of call.

What Do Statistics Say?

Statistics say that 1-3% of cold calls are successful, but this is because most sales professionals don’t know how to master a cold call. The idea of calling people from scratch scares salespeople so much that they fail to learn the top tactics to master this art.

Before we get into how to master a cold call, let’s define the difference between cold calling and warm calling.

Cold Calling

A cold call is when a salesperson makes an unsolicited call or a visit to a stranger to sell his/her goods or services. In most instances, the salesperson would’ve received a random list of contact numbers which he/she will call to try to convince them to buy.

When this practice first started, salespeople would go through the good old yellow pages and create a manual list of people to call. Today, the practice has somewhat evolved due to technology. Salespeople can now select a targeted list to call based on certain metrics like location, habits and traits.

To avoid being a spammer, companies now use cold calling as an introductory tool instead of a selling tool. When first calling the prospect, they aim to identify customer pain points before introducing the company’s solution.

Warm Calling

The opposite of cold calling is warm calling. As you may have guessed, this is when the salesperson has had prior contact with the prospect. The form of contact could be email, phone call, referral or an introduction at a networking event.

Modern social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter makes it easy to turn a cold call into a warm call. Instead of calling from the yellow pages, one can go through the list of people who liked their Facebook page, give them a call and say, “Hi Mrs Lamfel, I saw you followed our Facebook page, just to introduce you to our company…

Even if the prospect does not do business with you, ask for three referrals from him/her and you will most likely get valuable leads.

Top 10 Tips to Master Cold and Warm Calling and Increase Sales

1. Cold Calling: Introduce your company instead of selling your services in the first call.
2. Warm calling: Study the prospect’s business in advance. Read their latest news, blogs and press releases to understand where you could fit in. When you bring such things up in conversation, the prospect will be highly impressed.
3. Both: Sound human. Many salespeople use scripts that make them sound like a robot. Ditch the script and have a normal conversation with the prospect.
4. Warm calling: Always ask for a referral at the end of the call. This prospect has already been introduced to your business, and a simple, “Do you know anyone who may benefit from this service?” at the end of the call won’t hurt.
5. Both: Follow up with an email marketing campaign so that you can remain top of mind.
6. Both: Keep the first call short. You don’t want to disturb the prospect with your first call, so rather keep it short and let them know you will make another call at a later date.
7. Cold calling: Never leave a voicemail, they don’t work with cold calls. Rather call back at a later time.
8. Both: Remove the word “no” from their options. Instead of saying, “May I give you another call?” Rather say, “Would you prefer Monday or Wednesday for our next call?”
9. Cold Calling: Don’t talk price before value. If the prospect requests a price, ask them if you can schedule a meeting to discuss your value offering for a good return on investment.
10. Both: Practice your elevator pitch. At times, a prospect may ask you why they should do business with you. Make sure you have prepared a 60 seconds answer.