I've often heard repugnant sales professionals exclaim, "When sales prospecting, I never 'cold call.' I always 'warm call.'" What does that mean anyways?
So you sent them a piece of literature through direct mail. Upwards of 95%+ threw it away.
So you met with them two months ago when you stopped by for a visit. Do they still remember you?
So you got a referral. Still no guarantee that the prospect will like your products or even meet with you.
I often refer to teleprospecting as "creating a working relationship." It's a skill that can be learned and it can be sharpened. The whole process of creating that relationship as it relates specifically to B2B prospecting:
- Contact prospects.
- Engage them.
- Ask questions.
- Position your solution to solve some challenge you've uncovered.
- Set a next step.
Catching and engaging prospects happens in a split second. Be sharp. If you miss the mark, the call ends unsanctimoniously. If you exercise the right technique, however, it is likely that you will have fruitful conversations with B2B prospects, regardless of whether you designate them warm or cold.
B2B warm calling vs. B2B cold calling is really just a state of mind that the prospect has nothing to do with. Right?
Yes, YOU have designated this call as a "warm call" but does the prospect think so? Probably not. It's just a smoke screen, a pile of semantics, when the real issue at hand is that a successful sales professional knows how to penetrate a prospect base by asking questions and having a solution to a challenge.
It doesn't really matter how exactly you got to them or how well you coddled them beforehand. It's about starting meaningful dialogue.
Focus on the end and not the means.