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"Warm Calls vs. Cold"

by
Wendy Weiss

Recently, a participant in one of my public seminars gave me a “warm” lead, the name and telephone number of the training director of a company with a large sales force. She told me to call. She said she knew that they needed help, and she told me to use her name.

Wow! A “warm” lead! I was excited! I called!

Once I reached the prospect, I introduced myself and then mentioned the name of the participant who had given me the referral. 

The response was not what I expected. “What did she say?” he snarled. “How do you know her?” It seems the two of them were not on very good terms, and he didn’t think very highly of her. What had just happened to my “warm” lead? (Why this woman gave me this lead is perhaps the subject for a different article.)

Does this type of scenario happen all of the time? Let’s hope not! But the point is that the difference between a “warm” call and a “cold” call exists only in your mind. Whether or not you have a referral, when you call your prospect, you must have done your homework. You still must be able to represent yourself intelligently and articulately on the telephone. If you cannot do that, you will not move to the next step.

These arbitrary distinctions of “warm” and “cold” actually make it more difficult for you, because you assume that the “cold” call is harder than the “warm” call. That is not necessarily true. Frequently, people avoid making “cold” calls, assuming that they will be more difficult and yield fewer results. Conversely, they don’t always do their homework on a referral, assuming that it is some how “in the bag.” The truth is that “cold” calls quickly become “warm” calls when the caller has done her homework and is able to introduce herself in a clear and succinct manner. Don’t limit yourself with artificial distinctions of “warm” vs. “cold.”

Whether or not you have a referral, you are calling to introduce yourself, your company and product or service. Forget “warm” calls and “cold” calls.” Think “introductory” call.

So, what happened with my “warm” call turned “cold?” I stayed calm. I got the appointment anyway. The rest I’m still working on. 


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