Close your eyes and try to imagine the below scene:
You notice your phone beeping. Unknown number.
You hesitate but decide to pick it up. Unknown caller.
He tries to sell you his amazing product.
What are your thoughts at this point?
Oh, that’s amazing you called me!
Well… Why are you calling me?
Oftentimes, that’s how recipients of such cold calls feel about receiving the calls. Pretty much everyone would quickly interrupt a caller to inform that they’re not interested in the offer.
Things would look much different if the person decided to make a warm call instead of a cold call.
“Warm call..” – you may think. “Do I have to put my phone into a microwave? And if so, for how long?”
Nah, before you burn your iPhone, let me take you on a journey that’ll reveal what warm calling is and what is the definition of warm calling.
For your convenience, here’s the list of topics that we’ll cover. If any of them seems especially interesting to you, click on it and head straight to what you want to read about.
Table of Contents:
- What is warm calling
- Warm calling vs cold calling
- Warm calling = warm leads
- How to always make the leads warm
- Warm calling tips
Now, that you’re ready, let’s go straight to the main topic.
What is warm calling
The easiest way to describe warm calling definition is to say that it is a justified version of cold calling.
Whilst cold calling means that the recipient of the call doesn’t know why he or she is getting that call and doesn’t know a reason for it, a warm call tries to break this stigma by creating a bond between caller and recipient.
The reasoning behind such an action is that a person who receives a warm call will be much more likely to carry a conversation with you than it’d be in the case of cold calling. To understand why is that, head back to the example from the introduction. The whole situation would do a gracious 180 degrees spin if a caller didn’t seem to be unknown.
It is especially important in regards to sales calls. Why would you buy from a person that you’ve never met before nor have any connections with?
Yet, you’d consider buying from or at least listening to a person who you’ve made friends with or have met in person, through social media or via email.
Remember that in the end, sales are all about relationship. That’s why warm calling can be such a game changer.
The biggest advantage of warm calling is that it doesn’t take that much work. Of course, it’ll take you more time than simply cold calling leads but would you rather call out 100 of numbers to strike three deals or focus on half of that amount to multiply the deals-scored metric by five?
Warm calling requires you to do the work up-front before you call the lead.
Salespeople have various methods of turning a call into a warm one. Some of them take much longer than the other but even the simplest ones yield great results and outperform cold calling efforts.
Warm calls are all about the relationship, the bond, and the sense of familiarity.
If you’re able to make a lead curious, like “Yes, that’s right, I wrote that…” you’re on a good way to hearing “Sure, let’s do it” at the end of the call.
During the warm call, you can relate to literally anything.
It can be your lead’s job, hobby, interest, plans, aspirations, goals, passions, struggles, articles he wrote, posts he shared, content he liked.
Again, if sales are all about the relationship it means that you cannot be a stranger. Anytime you call a lead, make yourself recognizable and introduce yourself using a piece of information that he or she can relate to. This is how you open the gate.
Warm calling vs cold calling
When answering the question of “What is warm calling?” there is no way you avoid the other question. Namely, “What’s the difference between a warm call and a cold call?”.
That’s because as I’ve previously shown, both are related and it is best to explain one by comparing it to the other.
At this point, we know the difference between warm calling and cold calling but is any of these two methods a better one?
If you don’t know whether to decide on warm calling or cold calling it would be best to weight the pros and cons of each.
Cons of warm calling are that it requires waiting and upfront work. Waiting because you actually want to connect with the lead, thus you need him to notice your efforts and reply, upfront work because before you proceed with any of your efforts, you have to do research on the lead.
Cons of cold calling are that it’s not sustainable, makes you waste good leads, and yields poor results (is inefficient). Is not sustainable as it makes you quickly burn contact lists, wastes good leads as you are more likely to be turned off by both good and bad fits (and you never know whether that happened or not), and is inefficient as you have to put so much time for little to no results.
Pros of warm calling are that it makes cold calling fun and pleasant to-do, is sustainable and helps you create long-lasting relationships with your customers.
Pros of cold calling are that it doesn’t require any work up front and it can be done super-quick using the proper software.
Vastly overlooked but actually, a very important aspect of warm calling is that it is actually pleasant to do for both caller and recipient. While cold calling seems very awkward to do, warm calling is much easier to tackle as it feels more like a friendly convo, not a typical salesy talk.
Also, warm calling is quite sustainable as you simply won’t be able to waste so many of the connections you have or acquire. It takes more time but can be carried out over a longer period of time being a constant source of new customers.
Lastly, if your company is all about recurring customers, building long-lasting relationships is what you should be focusing on. Through warm calling, you make a good first impression which can help you kick off the relationship-building process just right!
On the other hand, we have a cold calling which doesn’t really take that much of a time. You need a list of contacts and from that point, you’re good to go.
What’s more, you can speed up the whole process, even more, using a calling software that’ll do the futile tasks for you. This way, carrying out the conversation will be the only thing you’ll have to do and be focused on.
Warm calling = warm leads
The essence of warm calling and its effectiveness is turning cold leads into warm leads.
This simply means that instead of calling to people who know nothing (or very little) about you, you call people who are aware of your existence and have an idea of why you might be calling them.
This might seem like a little difference but it can be as groundbreaking as Michael Jordan was to the world of the NBA. That’s why taking time to take your leads up the temperature scale is worth doing.
But at this point, you might be asking what are the methods to make the leads warm?
I’d say that there are endless methods but these are some of the most popular ones:
Cold mail. At first, you proceed to email your lead and only after you do so, you call such a lead. Using that approach you can relate to an email you’ve sent (and its body) or – even better – to a conversation you had over an email.
Direct mail. It might seem old-school but as with every method which is commonly described as “outdated” or “dead”, those who rely on it and do it right cherish great results. Nevertheless, sending a nice package before you call someone is a perfect way of justifying the reason for your call. Plus, you make use out of the Rule of Reciprocity. You give them something, so they’re much more likely to give you back.
Social selling. Nowadays, it is a very common method of warming up leads. It requires you or a specific person in your company to be active on social media channels as well as to actively search for any social mentions regarding your brand. Warming up leads through social media works really well as you can easily reach hundreds of people with low effort. Yet, as a downside, you never know who you reach so it is much harder to solely target the right people (but it’s doable).
Research. It can be as simple as doing quick research on a person you want to call. Getting to know his job, role, interests, hobbies, problems, and goals will help you create a sense of familiarity during the call. Although, this method is the “coldest one”, it still helps you warm up the leads.
All of the above are great methods of warming up the leads and each of these approaches will help you get the “yes” during the call.
Most skilled salespeople who want to double-down on their efforts tend to mix various methods to get the best results. How does it look like?
Let’s take a look at three examples of such mixed approaches.
- Send a welcoming packaging to get to know the brand
- Send an email as a follow-up to the gift
- Make a phone call
- Send a cold email as an introduction
- Send a follow-up email with free resources and an ask to schedule a call
- Make a warm call asking whether they liked the resources or not
- Find your lead on LinkedIn and invite him
- Comment on what he likes, share his posts
- Make a phone call
There is no bad approach to that. You can use all of the above methods in any order. You can even send 5 emails if that’s what you feel is a good amount to warm up the lead before making a call. The point is always to create a relation-point between you and your lead.
How to always make the leads warm
Hot leads are the people you wish to reach every day when you call. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen.
They’re as precious as they are rare. Thankfully, warm leads are more common and you can turn them hot with some skills and knowledge.
So, the question is: how to always turn up the heat?
You need to know your target group by heart. Katy Zabriskie said “The customer’s perception is your reality.” and that is exactly how you need to work. Understand your customers and it automatically becomes easier to find those close to being “hot” among dozens of warm leads. With a little practice, you’ll know precisely what your “almost hot” leads are looking for and you’ll offer them that very thing.
Warm calling tips
Now, that you know what exactly is warm calling, why it is so effective and worth using, it’s time to learn some handy tips.
Each of them will help you boost your warm calling efforts and avoid mistakes that most of the salespeople make when trying to make warm calls for the first time.
But… you can take a breath… The hard part is already over!
You’ve learned the most important principles, methods, and approaches. Yet, as you know, there is always room for improvement and now it’s time to polish your skills!
Use the best fits only
Warm calling works great. – True or false?
Mostly true, but to make it undeniable we should make a slight change.
Warm calling works great when using best fits only. – True or true?
As we’ve mentioned before, a great thing about warm calling is that it is a sustainable method as you don’t burn your contact lists immediately. The process takes longer, but so lasts your leads database.
The thing is, not everyone lives by this rule and that’s a huge mistake.
When you decide on warm calling you basically make a decision that you put much more effort and expect great results because of that. Yet, you won’t see any of the results if instead of using top-notch leads, you focus your efforts on low-quality ones.
That’s why when trying to warm up your leads for the warm call always focus on sales- or marketing-qualified leads that have a greater chance of being a good fit for your company and for your specific offer.
This way you’ll make sure that you don’t waste your time nor your hard work.
Due to its complexity warm calling heavily relies on automation. To save time, salespeople use various software that helps them limit the number of futile tasks, as well as, doesn’t let them forget about sending another email or scheduling a call.
Because of that automation, it is easy to think of new leads as just another user in the pipeline. Beware such approach.
Warm calling is all about creating a relationship and that’s what you should strive to achieve. If you exclude the human piece from the equation, your warm calling efforts, again, will plummet.
People like to be taken care of. They don’t want to get the same email as a thousand of users before them. They want to be unique. Of course, it is not that from now on you have to write new emails to each of the new leads. It is about making them feel unique and that is your job to make them feel this way.
Automation is a great solution and you should make use of that, just don’t forget to remain human.
Keep it short
Time is precious, thus don’t try to borrow too much of it from your leads.
Nowadays, we get bombarded with hundreds of emails, tens of calls, and dozens of newsletters on a daily basis. We already have a limited amount of time to search through those – keep it in mind when you’ll be contacting your own leads.
Make sure everything you send is easy-to-digest, doesn’t take too much of their time, and is straightforward.
Your emails should be straight to the point, so your lead doesn’t waste time on searching what he or she has to do next.
Your calls should be under five minutes. There is no straight rule for that but that’s a good rule of thumb. Phone calls generally tend to last for a few minutes, yet don’t take it as an excuse to talk for the next fifteen minutes.
Be concise and give your leads a feeling that you care about their time and don’t want to take too much of it.
Turn up the heat
Now it is your turn to make the place scorching hot.
Take your time to research your leads, find the best fits, and kick off the warming-up process.
Above all, remember that it’ll take some time until you’ll be able to see the results, but the moment your leads will go through the whole warming-up process you’ll surely notice the difference.
Before you go… Maybe you’ve already had your own warm calling methods and if that’s the case feel free to share any of them in the comments. I bet everyone will be glad to get to know new and fresh approaches from other salespeople.