Warm Calls are the Way to Go

by Ginny Speaks

Now is a great time to ramp up your cold calling and put it into overdrive. Take time here in first quarter to really put a focused effort on opening as many new doors as possible so you can stack your year with lots of new prospects out of the gate.  I am doing this now with my coaching schedule with many of our clients, yet making the cold calls warm. In today’s world, we as sellers have the ability to learn a lot before we ever dial a number. Selling is about asking questions and listening. It is shifting our mindset from persuading prospects to buy to fully understanding our prospects needs. To shift from being product focused to buyer focused.

To that end, ask yourself these questions: Over the past few weeks, when I made cold calls to new prospects what did I do? Did I try to persuade and sell or did I ask questions and listen? Did I do pertinent research to establish a valid business reason or did I just decide to wing it? How much did I know about the client before I dialed?

Whether you have been in sales a long time or a short time, we all should be making warm calls – calling with valid business reasons and solid information to conduct strong conversations — to new prospects weekly. The answer to the posed questions above should give you some insight into how you approach your business. Are you calling cold or warm?

Let’s review what information we can gather easily to turn all our prospecting calls into warm ones.

-  Clarify the role and responsibility of the key decision makers you will be calling
- Work the account broad by calling on key people in sales, marketing and communications

-  Locate these key decision makers via website, articles and LinkedIn

-  Gather information about the companies’ marketing initiatives and their challenges

-  Discern what the top priority is for the marketing and sales decision makers based on website content and current promotions

-  Explore their social media strategy and posts to see what is actively happening

-  Understand how budgets are spent and know their fiscal year

-  Draft three probing questions to elicit solid conversations

-  Gather success stories in the category you are calling to build credibility

This is the short list, but you should get the point. The first call, when prepared for, is about having a conversation to discover the lay of land and to determine who the key decision makers are that can make a yes or no decision on a program. It is like being a detective. When you look at the initial call this way, it should take the pressure off not only you but your prospect. Cold calling is an essential part of our business, yet we can turn them into warm calls when we practice this approach. So put on your detective hat and get those fingers dialing. Your next big close is just around the corner.

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