It’s becoming warmer and warmer in the northern hemisphere. It’s not only the calendar that suggests that spring has come.
It turns out that rising temperatures can also influence our professional life. This is why I chose the subject of this post easily.
Let’s focus on the warm calling.
It’s the outbound call with the customers you know – you’ve already approached them in the past. You do your best to heat up your relationship with them.
Believe me or not, I think this is where the phrase “warm calling” comes from. Being warm-hearted is one of the most desired soft skills among salespeople.
But, of course, it’s not everything you need to have an effective warm call. The idea is much more detailed.
I’ll explain it piece by piece in this article.
First, I’ll go with the precise definition of the term “warm calling”. I’ll move straight to the situations and ways to use this customer relationship properly.
Then, you’ll see the difference between warm and cold calling. This juxtaposition can only help in a full understanding of the main idea of this content.
And there will also be a list of tips for improving your warm calling strategy, no matter your level of experience. You’ll learn how to surprise customers, even the ones that know you already.
After that, you’ll be able to make a general script of a warm call. Merge the things you’ll learn from this article with your observations. This is how you’ll create something both qualitative and personal.
I recommend you to create this kind of template, so you can reach for it whenever you like to reinforce your skills.
So, we’re after a warm-up (yeah, pun intended). Let’s move to the article.
Table of contents:
- What is warm calling
- How does warm calling work
- Warm calling vs. cold calling
- 7 tips for effective warm calling
- Warm calling at its finest
What is warm calling
OK, let’s start with a general definition of a warm calling.
As mentioned, it’s the situation when you call a customer who you already know. The longer your relationship lasts, the warmer the call is.
You can judge it yourself, with no need for a thermometer.
Imagine that you meet your loyal customer at some public event. You have a nice chat, something bigger than small talk.
You quickly mention that there are new special solutions in your offer for long-serving customers and you’d love to present them to him in the upcoming week.
You set up an appointment and you can assume that the call will classify as the warmer one and be more likely to lead them to make a further step, for example, to sign the dotted line.
Now compare it to the situation where you randomly send your offer by email to your potential customer defined through his LinkedIn profile.
Then, as you don’t receive any answer, you decide to call him. So, it is a warm call as you’ve already started a correspondence with him.
A customer may also ask for a call through your website or email. So, he makes the first step and all you need to do is to start a warm conversation.
It works the same with customers who subscribed for a free trial of your product/service. They belong to a warm audience, so calling them is a promising way to start a longer relationship.
But, the temperature is comparable to the one of your forgotten tea.
As you can see, warm calling is rather a broad term. This is why we’ll approach it piece by piece.
How does warm calling work
Warm calling is a finishing part of a longer process. You need to pave the way for it.
In other words, you just need to find potential methods that help you in reaching out to customers.
But first, it’s important to define the exact target of your business. I mean the industries, companies, or positions that are most likely to respond to your approach.
To achieve that, it’s great to attend conferences where your target appears regularly. During this kind of event there are many opportunities to share views, meet each other, and consequently start fruitful cooperations.
You might say that it’s a bit difficult now as we’re in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, remote conferences, meetings, webinars, etc. also attract numbers of your potential customers.
All you need to do is to follow the upcoming events, find the ones related to your activity the most, and build up the network of relationships.
Of course, it’s not meeting face to face, but the main advantage of this solution is that you can have numerous conversations at once and it won’t be judged as a setback. As a result, your list of contacts can grow even longer.
Social media is another way to reach your target audience. Here the process is simple – publish some posts and look at the likes, comments, shares, etc.
If any, let’s say, the LinkedIn user shows his interest in your content, you’re free to call him and it will be a warm conversation. Try it as there appear more and more spaces to become noticed.
Last not but least, you can always use your email to send some updates, newsletters, articles, or other resources to your customers.
Then, you can observe and analyze whether your target has opened your email, read your article, or downloaded your materials. If so, it’s a clear sign that you’ve drawn his attention and everything is set for a warm call.
There are numerous ways to activate warm calling. Choose the one that appeals to you the most and start to develop your customer network.
Warm calling vs. cold calling
OK, now as we know what are the main features of warm calling, it’s time to juxtapose it with its opposition – cold calling. This is how you can understand this concept even better.
Cold calling is nothing less than calling people for the first time and introducing them to a product or service they haven’t heard of ever before.
In other words, it’s the initial contact, where your main task is to engage potential customers. They should take an interest in your offer. This is your main responsibility.
You need to be prepared that these conversations won’t last for too long. You only have basic information about your caller, such as the approximate age or the size of his business.
So, as you can imagine, there’s no guarantee that it’s the dream customer for you. You should know that the chances of being rejected are incomparably higher when it comes to cold calls.
And one more thing – despite the name of this way of calling, you shouldn’t be stiff and cold-blooded. It wouldn’t be an encouraging attitude for your potential customer.
Warm calling is a more pleasant activity for salespeople. In opposition to cold calling, they just call customers who have already expressed interest in their offer.
You can say that both sides have broken the ice, this is why the atmosphere of a call is much warmer.
As mentioned above, the most frequent reason for such calls is presenting new discounts, introducing new products, offering a transition to a higher package of services, etc.
But you need to know that it’s not a rule. It may be far away from a typical sales call. A salesperson may ask the customer about his shopping experience, feedback, etc.
All is done to ensure loyalty and show that you care about customer experience, his satisfaction, etc. He just needs to know that you constantly work on the quality of your products or services.
You need to remember that you have a competition that only waits for your failure to take over your customer base.
This is why warm calling is more pleasant, but not easier than cold calling. It comes up with its special challenges.
7 tips for effective warm calling
The main idea of this content is to make you ready to handle the challenge easily. This is why we’ve prepared this list of 7 tips for effective warm calling.
I know there are several types of customers, but these tips can work for everyone. Follow them and choose as many as you like to improve your strategy.
Find a trigger event
The work on effective warm calling can be split into preparation and the call itself.
Prepare the equipment – a snorkel, a scuba tank, flippers, etc. It’s because you’re about to dive into your customer’s background.
One of the strategies is to find a trigger event. In other words, you look for some change that may appear in your customer’s business.
It may be an expansion of his activity, change of location, new ownership, different financial strategy, etc. The range of possibilities is really wide.
Do complex research, ask anybody who can share valuable information. It’s worth the try.
And of course, when you’re sure that something big is about to happen, it’s time for you to step up. Determine whether your offer may meet your customer’s expectations and approach him.
If he becomes interested, the warm calling went perfectly. You can fix an appointment and move to discuss the details. Congratulations!
Skim through LinkedIn to find contacts
There are situations when the borderline between warm and cold calling is thin. The perfect example of that is your LinkedIn account.
It’s because among your contacts you may have some people you haven’t ever met. So, approaching them is seemingly a cold call.
But, you need to remember that there’s always a reason behind being in a professional network in this kind of social media. There must have been something that encouraged both sides to connect.
You have already broken the ice, so it’s time to cut to the chase. Judge what may be interesting for your customer, hit him with a personalized offer, and the chance of succeeding is high!
Work on your opening line
Don’t worry, we haven’t suddenly changed the subject of this article to the course of hitting on your crush.
But certainly, there’s some truth in the statement that the opening line is crucial in both warm calling and flirting. I insist on staying with customer service, though.
Your task in the first sentences is to draw your caller’s attention and prove your value. Quite a challenge for about 10-20 seconds, isn’t it?
This is why you need to greet warmly (works well during a warm calling, trust me). Call your customer by his first name to assure him that you know him.
It’s important to sound confident and authoritative. Show some customer empathy. Don’t be afraid to make some jokes, ask about ongoing issues that are far from business, etc.
But you need to find a balance – you shouldn’t sound nervous, but also don’t turn this call into small talk with a mate.
Start with a quick and sincere greeting and move straight to the actual reason for your call.
Have a warm calling script prepared
I don’t doubt your talent at all, but it’s better to leave full improvisation for acting classes. Having everything prepared in advance can be only beneficial for you.
Of course, you don’t have to write everything word by word as a warm calling script is not rap song lyrics.
I recommend you to write the mentioned opening line as the trigger to start a conversation. Then, create a bullet list of general talking points.
It should be an easy task to do as you’ve already done complex research and you have constructive proposals. All you need to do is put them in friendly words and use them during the call.
For example, the right time to call is when your contact has just released a new product. You’ve seen the advertisement with all features described briefly. One of them has drawn your attention as it’s linked with your activity.
You have a bullet list of follow-up questions prepared, so the chances that your caller will surprise you are rather small.
And of course, remember to sound professional and self-confident, it can only improve the quality of your warm calling.
Learn general information about your customer
It’s great for everyone when you mention some nice event from the past. History reference can only work in your favor.
The customer feels appreciated when you recall some pleasant situations that have had a good influence on your relationship.
However, not everyone is in a close business relationship with you. Sometimes you need external sources to refresh your memory.
And sometimes it’s a warm calling to LinkedIn contacts that you haven’t contacted by phone ever before. You can collect the information to strengthen your script from anywhere you want.
But, you need to know that it might be a time-consuming activity that can only affect your work productivity. Here comes the technology.
You can always use a data-driven phone system that will do this part of the job for you. Channels is the perfect example of such a solution.
You have all the important information displayed on your screen before a call. They include name, the branch of industry, office address, purchase history, etc.
What is more, you can record a call, so you can rewind it any time you want and point out the areas to develop further in the following conversations.
Channels gives you new perspectives on outbound calls, but it also helps you to improve your customer service in general.
The newly introduced feature is Web Call that works perfectly for inbound calls. Your customers can call you for free with one click from your website. You can also design the color, theme, and location of your widget however you want.
Care about the human side of the call
OK, you have everything set. All the necessary information, talking points, trigger events, everything stored in a script.
Good for you, but warm calling can easily freeze if you forget about one simple thing – be human.
I’ve already tried to convey this message between the lines when I talked about the attitude – being confident and authoritative is nothing bad – you show your human side.
The customer will value this approach. And when you add a sense of humor and pleasant voice tone, you’re in business.
To make the call more engaging, feel free to ask open questions. This is how you build a mutual dialogue. Both sides can only benefit from that.
In opposition, the “Yes/No” questions are much more likely to discourage your caller from carrying on the conversation. He will feel like he speaks to the cold interviewer rather than a gentle and honest business partner.
It’s also humanlike to respect other people’s time. Even when a warm call has a temperature comparable to lava, you need to remember that you may have just broken into your customer’s daily schedule.
This is why you need to set the longest possible time of a call. 5 minutes is fine.
When the conversation still lasts for too long, you have the escape door. It’s the last tip.
Send the call summary via email
As your customer might be busy, inform him that he can always recollect your conversation as you’ve noted the most important statements and you’ll send them to him right after you hang up. Do it at the end of a call.
This kind of message is called a warm email as it isn’t any colder than a call. It may only increase the chances of strengthening your business relationship.
Remember – you’ve already met, talked, and, most probably, you both concluded that you have mutual benefits from knowing each other.
This is why the chances that your customer will open your message and read it carefully are very high.
How to make them even higher?
Make the message personal. Continue some inside jokes, ask about some everyday matters, quote your customer and respond directly to the specific parts of your phone conversation.
You can even make one more step and record a short video in which you address your message directly to your customer.
He is more likely to appreciate your engagement. Besides, the general chances of integration are higher as you use two channels to reach out – phone and email.
So, prepare a pen or text editor before a call, note everything attractive, and strike then!
Warm calling at its finest
I hope that you enjoyed this guide through the idea of warm calling. I’ve looked at this activity from different angles, so you can have a full view of it.
Let’s sum it up – you know exactly what is the warm calling and how it works.
I’ve also explained how it differs from cold calling, so you know when each technique should be used.
Then, we moved to the key part of this guide – you’ve learned 7 tips that can be used together or interchangeably.
Remember – you’re the king of your castle. The creation of an effective warm calling strategy is up to your experience and preferences.
I did my best to raise the quality of your customer service. You’ve become familiar with 7 proven and effective warm calling tips.
And, of course, you’ve met Channels as a great warm calling tool. It also has multiple other features. You can start a 7-day trial and experience it yourself.
Now, feel free to return to this content whenever you want and have a full grasp of helpful information.
And don’t believe in the opening metaphor too much. It surprised me too, but you can use warm calling through the winter as well.
So, learn from the article and improve your marketing skills. Do you have any more questions? Feel free to ask!