What’s Right with Warm-Calling?

by Jacques Werth

Earlier this year, I answered the phone and a man said “I hate cold-calling.”

I said, “I’ve heard that from hundreds of salespeople. What about warm-calling?”

Warm-calling, what’s that?” he asked.

I asked, “What’s your name and what do you sell?”

Ten minutes later, I knew Robert was calling lab managers, at myriad different types of laboratories, trying to get appointments to sell lab equipment and supplies. He had a good value proposition and he was trying to get the prospects interested enough to give him an appointment.  He seldom got appointments and, when he did, he rarely sold anything.

Most successful salespeople have been cold-calling for a very long time.  They are the survivors, the ones who stuck it out, put up with the pain and pressure, and hardened themselves to rejection. They learned how to get appointments with prospects who are interested in their products and services. Now, they get enough orders to earn a good living.

The first call that top producing salespeople make to a prospect is, by definition, a cold-call.  However, they don’t try to get appointments. They offer their product or service and ask the prospects if it is what they want.  Then, they call the same prospects every few weeks, again-and-again. They, change the wording of their offers each time.  Those are warm-calls. When a prospect is ready to change to a new supplier, it’s the prospect who asks for an appointment. A high percentage of those prospects eventually become customers. That’s just one of the results of “warm-calling.”

So, Robert learned warm-calling. “Now I make the most prospecting calls of all our salespeople, and the fewest sales visits,” he said. “And, my sales volume is  growing faster than I would ever have imagined.”

Obviously, there is a lot more to warm-calling than is explained in this article.

If you want to know more, or to tell me why you think it’s impossible, feel free to post your questions and opinions as a comment below.

What’s Right with Warm-Calling?

14 thoughts on “What’s Right with Warm-Calling?

  1. I no longer do cold calling or warm calling. I never call anyone who didn’t call me first, and I never ask for referrals. This way of operating came from your insights and training.

    My company trades stocks, futures, and forex with a “pool” of money that belongs to our clients. Clients refer others because they are making money (I suppose). Our pool has more than doubled this year.

    Many thanks, and may you have a prosperous 2012.

    Like

      1. Jon says:

        Now that’s what I’m talking about Steve! I like to hear successes like that as a direct result of using HPS training. I want to hear more too, if you want to share it.

        Like

      2. Yes, HPS has changed the way I interact with everyone in my life, including the ones who call about our service. I simply tell them the truth and try to talk as little as possible. When they ask questions, I answer their questions, and I try not to embellish or add anything they didn’t ask about.

        If they ask, “What’s your year-to-date return?”, I say, “30% after all costs and fees.”

        “You mean if I had put in $10,000, January 1, 2012, I’d have $12,900 now?”

        “The minimum we accept is $25,000, but you have the general idea. If you had put in $25,000 in January, you’d have $32,500 now.”

        “That’s 10% per month average. Sounds too good to be true.”

        “It’s higher than we had expected, but that is what has happened so far this year.”

        “What had you expected?”

        “About 3% per month.”

        “Can I take my money out at any time?”

        “No. We require 30 days notice for withdrawals.”

        “Is it possible to lose money with you?”

        “Yes.”

        “Are there other details I should be asking about?”

        “Probably. Everything you need to know is covered in a written contract we make with you. Is this something you want, or are you just curious?”

        Basically, I don’t attempt to “sell” people, or persuade them, or educate them. It makes business so much simpler, and life feels lighter for me, and I think for them, too.

        Like

  2. Solid comment by Steve.
    I appreciate his expertise in the skill of having referrals pour in.
    50 years ago I felt the same way and it has generated a comfortable personally defined Lifestyle.
    However, the Reality is when one first embarks on the road to Sales Professionalism calling to people WHO WANT to hear form you is almost required.
    It does not take large numbers and is easily assimilated, as hundreds, who have followed some simple road maps, have realized

    Like

  3. David Ross says:

    To all:

    During the High Probablitity Prospecting course, Richard Himmer introduced the following warm-call script:

    “We’ve found a new, much more efficient way to communicate with clients and prospects, and here’s how it works. I’m going to give you a call every 3 or 4 weeks and make an offer to you that you may want or you may not want. I would appreciate it if you would immediately say yes or no. If you say no, I’ll say “Ok. Goodbye” and the call will be over in less than 30 seconds. If it is something you want, tell me, and we can talk about it. Will that work for you?”

    So why not call people and get their permission first, before calling with a specific offer? You could even qualify prospects somewhat by asking what kind of offers they would like to receive. Imagine having a database of 400-500 such prospects, prospects who were expecting, even welcoming, your call. I have a friend who sold meat from the back of a truck. He had such a list, and he knocked on their doors once a month. They didn’t always buy, but they were always glad to see him. Ultimately, after a couple of years spent knocking on cold doors, he no longer needed to cold call; and the referrals poured in. Even more amazing, he would get referrals from people who had never bought anything from him.

    I never could explain my friend’s uncanny success, until now. Why can’t professional sales be more like that, like a sales route that you can call on again and again? Can the above script be used on the very first call or should the salesperson make a specific offer first and then later call with the get-your-permission script? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    David Ross

    Like

  4. The “warm calling script” that you posted above is intended for customers and prospects with whom you have previously communicated before you learned High Probability Prospecting. It alerts them to the new way you will be communicating with them in the future. It is highly effective for that purpose. A vast majority of prospects agree with the strategy.

    Cold calling “… people to get their permission first, before calling with a specific offer…” has been tried by legions of salespeople. Very few have been successful.

    Like

  5. David says:

    Jacques,

    Once you start warm-calling with the refreshingly brief 40 second offer, how do you keep the prospect from drawing you into a long conversation? It happened to me three times today. They start asking questions and, not wanting to be rude, I engaged them in conversation and tried to uncover “needs” that they didn’t know they had. I felt terrible because I was aware of what I was doing as it was happening, but I didn’t know how to get off the phone with such an interested–if low probability–prospect. How can I call them back in three weeks if I was short or abrupt with them on the phone?

    Like

  6. God deliver me from an interested prospect.

    “I’m glad you’re interested Mr. Prospect, and I’ll be glad to answer your questions later, but right now I need to know if you want X and Y, or not. It’s OK to say no.”

    Stop playing the old sales game where you blow smoke up each other’s butt.

    If they don’t already WANT and CAN AFFORD what you are offering, you should not be talking to them. It can only lead to loss of trust and respect. No good can come of it.

    Like

  7. David, Your question is like asking “How to put the toothpaste back in the tube.”

    The next time you call those prospects, if they want to engage you in more conversation, follow Steve’s advice, above.

    PS: A High Probability Prospecting offer should be no more than 45 words – not 40 seconds.

    Like

  8. David Ross says:

    To Steve and Jacques,

    I should have the words “God deliver me from an interested propect” tatooed on my forehead. Interested prospects are fools gold, a deadly trap to ensnare mediocre salespeople. I’ve been a friendly, helpful, unpaid consultant for far too long. No more.

    Thanks for your comments.

    Like

    1. Hello David,
      You put that so well and so concisely. Thank you. You have expressed one of the greatest disadvantages of “Consultative Selling”. Too often, it turns you into a “friendly, helpful, unpaid consultant”.
      Carl Ingalls

      Like

  9. David Ross says:

    You’re welcome, Carl.

    I wonder if anyone who is paid to sell something can really be an objective consultant. I remember a joke by the comedienne Paula Poundstone. She quipped that, one time in a clothing store, a salesperson help up a dress and said, “This looks better on,” to which Paula replied, “On what? On fire?”

    In one of the blogs it was said that salespeople should NOT educate customers. Educating customers is marketing’s job. Spot on advice. Back when I was a car salesman, I remember that our top producer never gave out any information. He pretended that he didn’t know. Sometimes, when customers asked too many questions, he would send them to me. “David’s a college boy. He can answer that for you.” And I did. And I made very little money. Who is the dumb one now?

    As always, thanks to all for your insights.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.