This is seen as a big scary monster type of call. But why? Often the image we have is of mass, one size fits all batch of calls using the same generic script – we’ve all received them, and hated them – and I don’t believe many people can sell to their maximum potential with this approach
So what is warm contact, and what made it easier to start those conversations?
- An introduction by someone you did know
- A shared situation or interest that you could talk about
- Personal and unique conversation
Use Linked in – run a search on the company and Linked in will not only give you a full overview of the company, any recent posts and other information that they have posted, but they will also show you if you know anyone working for the company, or if anyone you know, knows someone working there – is this your route to an introduction to the individual you want to speak with?
Google is your friend – check out the individual you would like to contact not just through Linked in, but also through Google – this will often pick up on items they don’t show on their Linked in profile such as articles they have written in the past, or events they have attended – is this a shared situation or interest that could help with your initial contact? Remember though – don’t turn into a stalker – keep it business, even if you do come across their Facebook page complete with photos of what they got up to last Friday night…
Prepare to call
So armed with a bit of knowledge, and possibly a recommendation, you are now ready to make first contact. And at this point you need to be clear as to why you are calling.
Unlike the view of the traditional cold call, in this day and age selling is all about the relationship – so your actual aim should be to start to create and build a relationship – and if possible to build some value. This should be done before you call – if you both attended a recent event do you have a related whitepaper that might be of use? Or some information about a follow up event from one of the speakers that your contact might be interested in knowing about?
Making the call
Now for the hardest bit – pick up the phone! People you never speak to are 100% likely not to buy!
Once you have done your research have a think about how you are going to personalise the call – there’s no point spending the time researching if you aren’t going to use what you have found out. A few ideas might be –
‘I wanted to get in touch as we were both at the recent x event and I was keen to see what you thought of it’
‘I’ve worked with x previously and when we were talking recently he thought that I could add some value to some of the projects you are involved in right now’
‘I was reading your article on x and thought you might like a copy of this whitepaper we have produced on the same topic’
Congratulations! You’ve just made a ‘warm’ call – and after an intro like this you’ve taken the first step in building a useful business relationship.