Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Warm Calling

What Is Warm Calling?

Warm calling is the solicitation of a potential customer with whom a sales representative or their firm has had some prior contact. It refers to a sales call, a visit or an email that's preceded by some sort of contact with the prospect, such as a direct mail campaign, an introduction at a business event, or a referral.

Warm calling is the opposite of cold calling, the solicitation of prospects who weren't anticipating such interaction and with whom the sales representative or business has not had prior contact.

Key Takeaways

  • Warm calling is getting in touch with a prospect with whom you or your company has had some prior contact.
  • Warm calling is the opposite of cold calling and it's generally more efficient and effective.
  • Warm calls can be somewhat informal and personable, acknowledging the connection between you and the prospect.

How Warm Calling Works

Warm calling tends to have a personalized element because the prior contact can be referenced or mentioned, such as "Hi, Mrs. Jones, I saw you followed our company on Twitter" or "Hi, Mr. Jones, we met last week at the ABC Conference".

The previous contact acts as an icebreaker for the follow-up warm call. Warm calling works best on prospects that check all the customer suitability boxes even though they haven't yet expressed any interest in a product or service.

You don't have to sell to the prospect during a warm call. In fact, it may be better to use the call to set up an appointment or a virtual meeting instead.

Warm calling also describes a classroom participation technique that lets students know in advance that they're going to be tagged to contribute a demonstration or a response. The premise is that cold calling on students can produce anxiety and that this can thwart learning.

Warm Calling Tips

An easy introduction breaks the ice with the prospect, but successful warm calling still takes a significant amount of effort. Here are a few tips.

Target your prospects

Target prospects who are similar to your company's most common customers. Working from a familiar profile will give you a better idea of what these prospects are looking for and how to appeal to them. Resist the temptation to go after only bigger prospects. They're fewer and farther between.

Do your research

Prepare by researching your target company and its decision makers. Knowing their needs and values will help you tailor your pitch and better serve them.

Get your target's attention

You must get the target's attention and do it quickly. Be sure to tweak your pitch to ensure that it's brief and gets to the point fast, while demonstrating your value proposition. Try to hit all your key points in a minimum of time and words. Be sure to respect their time.

Humor is okay

Don't be afraid to employ humor or attempt to be informal and personable when you're making the call. The product may be good enough to sell itself but you'll never get to that point if you lose the target's attention or miss the opportunity to connect.

Use various methods

Be sure to use various methods to ensure several points of contact, such as voicemails that include an offer to provide more information and emails that offer tips and assistance via video.

Frequently Asked Questions

How successful is warm calling?

LinkedIn has indicated that warm calling can be 2% to 30% more effective than cold calling, but your own success rate will depend on your technique and your preparation for establishing leads.

What is the drawback of warm calling?

Warm calling requires that you have warm leads: prospects with whom you've had some prior contact. Establishing them may take some time and require preliminary efforts, such as an email or direct mail campaign or attending certain events where you're likely to make contact with the type of consumer you seek. These efforts can cost money so warm calling can be more expensive than cold calling.

What's the difference between warm calling and hot calling?

Warm calling and hot calling are basically the same concept and the terms are often used interchangeably. But hot calling typically involves reaching out to and engaging with a prospect who has already actively expressed interest in your product or service. They may have called you and left a message, requesting to talk.

The Bottom Line

Warm calling and the use of effective sales channels such as email, text message marketing, and social media portals are all considered to be more efficient and effective in generating new leads than cold calling. Modern social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook also allow opportunities for potential clients to reach out indirectly or directly to businesses by posting comments on a blog, sharing an article with a peer, or tweeting something that's of interest.

Article Sources
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  1. University of Minnesota. "Warming Up the Cold Call."

  2. LinkedIn. "Cold Calling vs. Warm Calling."

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