We are in 2021, the age of modern technology and artificial intelligence. Compared to 2018, the marketing industry is currently at an all-time high. And these marketing methodologies and sales tactics are advancing at an exponential rate.
And it’s high time people changed their approach towards calling a prospect. This applies to both sales and marketing departments. The average salesperson hates calling prospects, and the prospects despise receiving those calls too. In the end, no one likes them. But, there’s a way around this dilemma.
Inbound Leads vs. Outbound Leads
You must understand the difference between Inbound leads and Outbound leads. Not to worry, we’ll be breaking it down in the simplest way.
Inbound leads are when a prospect begins contact with you or your organization through SEO, referral links, engaging content on your page, or a referral. You simply generate leads through Inbound Prospecting.
On the contrary, Outbound leads are when a marketer or sales representative commences the first interaction by sending a message to a potential customer. Few outbound leads strategies to include ending emails, radio ads, phone calls, and many more. Outbound leads marketing employs the traditional means of advertising and marketing.
Moving on, you must let the marketing team run the inbound leads. Calling potential customers who seek elementary information or simply want to be educated is unnecessary. Most of these leads don’t appreciate the call. Instead, let your marketing team handle this aspect. Why? Like a plant, leads like this need to be watered and carefully nurtured till they’re mature enough.
In contrast, your inbound leads may be running dry. You may not have enough inbound leads. So what do you do? How do you generate new inbound leads?
One answer: Warm Calling.
In situations where you do not have enough inbound leads, you can employ Warm Calling. So, what exactly is warm calling?
Warm Calling is all about connecting with a prospect or their company, particularly with whom a marketer in your organization has had the previous contact. Before a warm call, you must have established that the firm you wish to connect with has had prior contact with your sales representative and company in general.
Furthermore, it’s essential to note that the prospect has demonstrated an interest in your company’s services or products. And based on your understanding, that the prospect seamlessly fits into the profile you seek.
You can connect with a prospect who is yet to convert on your website. All you have to do is call the right way. During a warm call, you don’t necessarily have to sell the product to the prospect. Remember, you are speaking to a decision-maker. You have just 15 seconds to impress and catch the buyer’s attention. If you do this successfully, you can convert the call into an appointment or a business meeting.
Warm Calling vs. Hot Calling vs. Cold Calling
Okay, let’s clear the air; it’s not about temperature. This trio is not to be mistaken for one another; it could get you in a hot mess.
We have established that warm calling is about connecting with a prospect who is yet to convert to your website. You are simply building a relationship with the prospect by ensuring they buy what you have to offer.
On the other hand, Hot calling doesn’t require you to build a relationship with the prospect. There’s a mutual understanding between you and the prospect, and you know the prospect is willing to buy.
Therefore, the conversation switches from the relationship-building rudimental to budget evaluation, timing, and primary needs necessary to close the deal.
Now, let’s talk about Cold calling- and no, it is still not about temperature. Cold calling is a marketing strategy used to reach out to people about your product or service. It is calling somebody, a group, or a firm with whom you have had no contact regarding your organization’s services. A firm, through research, simply locate people or groups and deem them fit.
- Warm Calling; implies building a relationship with a prospect that is yet to convert on your website.
- Hot Calling; a relationship has been previously established. There’s an agreement, and you’re proving your services.
- Cold Calling; implies reaching out to a firm you have had zero contact with in the past.
Warm calling is more effective and efficient.
Essential Warm Calling Tips
If you don’t have enough inbound leads, Warm calling can help you generate new leads and keep your pipeline full. It’s impossible to have high-value prospects talking to you every day. But with the following tips, you’ll have the ability to utilize warm calling most efficiently and effectively. Let’s discuss some of these tips:
1. Discover Good Fit Companies
You must determine and locate the best customers that fit the profile your organization seeks. They must share similar ideologies and principles with you. This way, it will be easier to sell your product or services, and you’ll also record higher retention rates.
Conduct an extensive study on your best customers. Study their behavior; this way, you can easily spot your next prospect from a mile away. Conduct an assessment of your customer base; take a look at their history. Then, mark out principal similarities between the best of your clients. This way, you instinctively know the type of prospect you need.
Note: While it is crucial to analyze your customer base and determine the top dogs, it’s inadvisable to rely on these successful customers entirely. The giants in your customer base don’t come around often. Instead, focus on your organization’s nitty-gritty- the clients that patronize frequently.
2. Research the Company
Conduct extensive research on the company. You must adequately prepare for the call. This is the only way you can understand the prospect’s needs and desires, and in turn, add value. You could use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Medium to gather essential information about the company.
You don’t have to go over the board; you just have to know the basics. Some of the basics include the company’s name, number of employees, company’s location, the number of years the company has been in the industry, and its value proposition.
3. Research Primary Executives in the Company
Trust me; this will work wonders. Investigate principal executives in your prospect’s company. Find out if you’re in any way connected to the company’s senior staff members.
Dig in a little deeper into their background, educational setting, lifestyle, and more. This will help you connect deeper with your prospect. It makes the conversation friendly and less tense. You can examine your prospect’s LinkedIn profile to know a bit more about them.
4. Let Your Opening Be Impeccable.
Your opening must be exceptionally flawless and remarkably perfect. It’s a one-time shot. You have just 15seconds to arrest your prospect’s attention and show value.
You have to nail it. For example, you can say, ‘Hi Paul, this is steve from Airbnb.’ Then you pause and wait for a response.
Note; Your prospect might have no clue about who you are, your location, or what products/services your company offers. Therefore, it is vital you sound confident and commanding. People are more likely to pay attention to callers who are confident and assertive than nervous marketers.
5. Be Human
The fastest way you can connect with a prospect is when you are at ease. A sales rep has three secret weapons; tone, sense of humor, and a fake smile. If you can combine these three, you’re good to go.
Your tone matters a lot, so try to be at ease by adopting a friendly tone. A sense of humor is what gets the conversation going. Try to throw in some jokes but don’t overdo it. By doing this, the prospect connects with you above a superficial level. Prospects are always busy, but they can spare you some minutes by being a little less formal.
Ah, finally, the fake smile- the biggest weapon in your arsenal. When warm calling, smile as much as you can. Trust me, they can hear it, and it goes a long way.
6. Prepare Your Talking Points Ahead of Time.
It’s only right you prepare ahead of time. You do not want to call a prospect and not have a clear idea of what you wish to achieve. A key element in warm calling is Referencing. It keeps the conversation going.
Referencing opens up doors for other conversations. You can reference non-generic information by asking a question. This opens doors to a more professional conversation. Plus, the prospect develops a level of trust for you. For example, you could say;
‘About a week ago, I read a post on your blog about the need to eliminate malaria in African countries. The title was quite intriguing, so was the third and fourth paragraph. I found myself reading it more than once. I remember reading that you tested strategy XY on a few African countries already. I thought I’d put a call through to ask how it went.’
You have undoubtedly arrested your prospect’s attention. Not in a thousand years do they expect a sales rep to come on strong like that. You have successfully captured their attention, complemented their effort, and, most importantly, engaged your prospect in a conversation.
You must relate with the executive beyond a superficial level. Better still, on a topic that they are familiar with. If you successfully integrate this opening line in your call, congratulations; you have revolutionized the game.
7. Ask Open-Ended Questions.
Don’t do all the talking; the conversation becomes one-sided and boring. Despite knowing that the prospect fits your firm’s profile, you must ask questions.
Try not to stick to polar questions. Assess their needs, wants, and interests. By asking open-ended questions, you can engage the prospect in a conversation. Additionally, this gives you a better understanding of what the prospect is all about. Therefore, you’ll be able to help them better.
8. Watch Out for Triggers.
No, it’s not about a gun. Triggers are your prospect’s reaction to events and questions. When asking open-ended questions, notice what triggers joy and sadness in your prospect.
What gives them a hard time? Capitalize on this and explain how your product/service can eliminate the pain.
9. Keep the Call Brief
Irrespective of how pure your intentions are, you must understand that prospects are busy people. Keep it short and precise under 5minutes.
Understand that a warm call is an interruption; the prospect didn’t plan to have a call with you. Intellectually assess the conversation to know if the prospect is interested. Once 5minutes is up, ask, ‘Do you have more time to spare, or should I send an email?’
Remember, it is an opening call, don’t stress about knowing every information there is. Proceed to include the appropriate executives in the mail.
10. Leave a Voicemail
Remember, a warm call is an interruption, plus your prospect doesn’t know you. There’s a good chance your buyer won’t pick up. Notwithstanding, don’t be discouraged or deterred. Don’t even attempt to abandon this prospect and move to the next one.
Instead, leave a voicemail. You can leave a voicemail if your prospect doesn’t call back; voicemails are quite valuable.
Don’t forget to offer to share more information.
11. Follow up With an Email
Emails are essential; it enhances your visibility. If your prospect picks up the phone and you both engage in a good conversation, you must send an email. The buyer is more likely to open your email because they are familiar with your name.
Adopt this same routine if you sent a voicemail. Alternatively, if you neither spoke to the buyer nor sent a voicemail, you can still send an email. Picture it as a different communication channel.
In your email, thank them for their time and provide supplementary solutions for their company.
12. Call Again
Do this without crossing the harassment line. If you feel you have a good chance of connecting with your buyer through phone calls, put a call through.
You can call four times in 12days. Remember to switch your opening line periodically. Also, call early in the morning, around 7 pm-8 pm, before they get ingrained in the day’s activity.
13. Plan Your Next Step
As a sales rep, you must be tactically sound. Carefully plan your steps. With each call, drive your sales design and marketing purpose further.
14. Have Your Colleague Call You
Practice makes perfect. Have your work partner call you. Practice some of your moves and monitor their reactions. Call them back and ask for feedback. This way, you can build yourself for the task ahead.
15. Track All Calls
Tracking all calls and leads is essential. It is crucial for your organization. You should investigate and evaluate your prospect’s feedback. It helps in the long run.