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Cold Calling vs Warm Calling: The 2020 Guide to Crushing Them Both

Colv vs Warm Calling

Let’s dive into cold calling and warm calling so that you can understand it a little more, and fear it less, because it really is an awesome sales tactic.

The Definition of Cold Calling

Cold calling in its simplest definition is when a salesperson calls a potential customer to sell them something, without being asked by the customer to do so. Here are some benefits of cold calling:

  • Potential to reach more people and expand your customer base
  • It’s awesome training, especially for newcomers who want to practice their pitch
  • A lot more humanizing than an email, get to know your prospects personality and humor better to establish a connection and build rapport

While the two methods of generating outbound sales (cold and warming calling) differ in their approach, there are multiple techniques you can learn to improve the quality and outcome of your calls. This post will break down the warm and cold calls, and give you some handy techniques to squeeze the most out of all your calls, according to temperature.

What is cold vs. warm calling?

Why You Should Keep Cold Calling in Your Sales Arsenal 

Let’s unpack cold-calling a little further…

You’ve probably seen the blockbuster hit ‘Wolf of Wall Street’, whereby Jordan Belfort’s success in the penny-stock game is because of his hunger for turning cold calls into sales. Cold-calling is a method of contacting prospects without any prior contact, and is definitely still a successful sales method despite its reputation, with  82% of buyers reporting they have accepted meetings with salespeople after a series of contacts beginning with cold sales calls. If cold calling suits your business model and prospects, then you should not give up on it, rather just brush up on your skills.


Make Cold-Calling Hot Again: Sharpen Your Skills

While calling a prospect with no prior contact is by definition a cold call, there are plenty of things you can do to prepare yourself beforehand to ensure the call is a lot more successful for you, and enjoyable for your lead:


  • Have a game plan


The old and tired saying, “‘Fail to plan, you plan to fail”, is so true for making cold calls. You’ve found the right number to dial, thanks to Lusha, now it’s important to have a strategic plan for whether or not the prospect answers the phone.


Lucky for you, a lot more people are spending time at home and without gatekeepers, making them more likely to answer the phone. But what if they don’t? Give yourself a plan of action, this might look like the following:


  • Call one more time an hour later
  • Send out an immediate follow-up email
  • Set a follow-up task on your CRM 


Lusha lets you automatically store all of your contacts in your CRM of choice. Result? You can organize your entire sales game, from finding potential leads to following up and closing the sale. 

Need to nail cold calling?


  • Remember they cant hurt you

We know that cold calling can feel scary at times, but it’s important to remember that the person on the end of the line can’t hurt you. Don’t be afraid to mispronounce a last name, or stutter over your well-studied pitch, we are all human and more often than not, your prospect will not immediately judge you for a small mistake. Take a deep breath before you dial, and remember that if you strike out on the call, there will be plenty others for you to nail the next time. 


  • The trigger event approach


If you’re sick of hearing, “now’s not the right time”, then you probably need to learn about the trigger event approach. This method of cold-calling is a simple way to both attune and time your sales call to the direct needs of the business you are selling to. According to Medium, you are 5 times more likely to close a deal when this approach is used.


A trigger event is any opening for a sales or marketing opportunity, an example of this could be a company expanding into a new market where they could utilize your support. How to employ the perfect trigger event?


  1. Analyze your prospects social media for any upcoming announcements or events/when there might be demand for your product or service
  2. Research any news outlets for further company information
  3. Figure out the companies pain points and how you can address them 
  4. Reach out to your prospects with your customized selling pitch 


This trigger event approach is a great way to show your prospect that you have done your research and can offer them a tangible solution. 


The Queen Bee of Sales Calls: Warm Calling


Now that we’ve discussed the ins and outs of cold calling, let’s talk about the well loved warm call. Warm calling is when you reach out to a prospect with whom you have already had some form of contact whether it be an email, a referral, direct mail campaign and so on. As you’ve already warmed up the prospect, the potential customer has some prior knowledge of who you are and what you do, which can make for a much less clunky introduction and a smoother sales call. 


The following are some methods you can use to warm up your prospects prior to your first call with them.


  • Ditch the gatekeepers


The days of bribing gate keepers like secretaries and office managers are over, at the click of a button, Lusha Contacts browser extension provides you with accurate, fast contact information about your prospect. This means you’ll be able to save an exponential amount of research time, and get on the phone or email to the right person fast, without hearing the dreaded “sorry she’s not available at the moment”. 


  • Get to know your prospect


Let’s not forget that when you dial a number, you’re talking to a person, not just a potential sale. Use social media to get to know your prospect well before you pick up the phone. 78% of sales representatives reported that researching prospects on social networks helps them to perform better on the job. LinkedIn is your friend here, run a quick search to see if you have any mutual connections with your lead, take a look at when and where they went to college. This is a super easy way to build rapport and connection with your prospect, which helps to build trust between the two of you, making the call go smoother. 


  • Set the anchor


An important part of the sales process is following up on your initial call. Prospects deal with an overwhelming amount of calls and follow ups, so how can you make your follow ups stand out? Set something up on your call that gives your prospect a reason to talk to you again. 


An example of this could be following up about that Youtube video you told them to watch, or the new restaurant in town. Perhaps you’ll be able to start your follow up call or email with something like “hey did you get the chance to watch that movie?”. When done organically, this not only helps to build rapport, but can also make the sales process a lot more enjoyable for both you and your potential customer.  

Need help cold calling?

Key Takeaways


Using cold and warm calling in tandem is a sure fire way to score great leads and nail your sales approach. So before you make the decision to hang up your cold-calling boots in favor of warm-calling only, remember that practice makes perfect, and although it may seem overwhelming at first, cold-calling is just the first step in establishing great rapport and human connection with your prospect. 


Now more than ever, we seek comfort in connecting with others over the phone, use this opportunity to form connections with your leads, and approach your cold calls with the same care and regard that you would with your loved ones. 

About Dan Reynolds

Dan is an Account Executive at Lusha.co