Warm calling vs. cold calling – They both have a place in your outbound sales strategy, but there’s something you need to know first.

Warm calling vs. cold calling. A comprehensive sales strategy will include both, but that doesn’t mean they don’t each have unique advantages. And like any tool in your box, you have to know which one to use, and when to use it. 

Some sales strategists would argue that when done strategically, there is no such thing as a cold call. Every sales call is a warm call. Your “cold” calls may be referrals or people who share an interest in your product or service on LinkedIn. Or they might be business owners and managers who have a problem you can solve; they just don’t know it yet. 

Still, there are some ways that warm calling vs. cold calling can inform your approach. Before we get there, though, let’s define the two types of calls. A cold sales call is one in which the prospect does not expect a call. There has been no prior contact or introduction. A cold call is one that comes out of the blue, at least from the perspective of the person receiving the call. 

A warm call, on the other hand, is a sales call to a person who has shown an interest in your business. That could be something as simple as signing up for your newsletter or as evident as contacting you to inquire about purchasing from you. 

Without question, warm calls give you the home-field advantage. But don’t rule out cold calls. Play your cards right, and cold calls can be a centerpiece of your business success. 

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warm calling vs cold calling

Warm calling vs. cold calling: How you can make both of them better, more effective, and more valuable

Based on the definitions above, the warm calling vs. cold calling debate leans decidedly toward warm calls as being preferable. However, we can redefine cold calls to make them less of a gamble, and make them more competitive with warm calls. 

It’s true in cold calling that the prospect isn’t expecting to hear from you. They probably don’t even know who you are. Don’t let that deter you from a possibly rewarding call. You can warm up those cold calls by doing some research and making your calls strategically

Here’s an example. Suppose you’re selling insurance packages to small businesses. You could randomly dial business numbers, ask to speak to “the owner,” and promptly discover that you’ve just called another insurance company. Oops. 

Or… you can do your homework. Look for businesses that are expanding into your area or just starting out. You can find out the name of the manager or business owner. You can find out how many employees they have and design a package as an estimate of what it might look like for them to do business with you. Then, and only after you’ve done your work, you call. 

Technically, these are both cold calls. Clearly, one of these approaches is more effective. What about warm sales calls? Your prospect is already acquainted with you on some level, so how can you improve those? 

There’s a lot you can do to improve your cold calls and make more of your warm calls before you ever speak to your prospects. Ask your best clients and customers to give you a review on Yelp. Be part of your community by sponsoring park clean-up events, 5k races, or writing an advice column in your local monthly free neighborhood magazine. Anything you can do to get the name of your business out into the world is helpful for introducing yourself to new people. 

One of the biggest things you can do to shift the odds in your favor is to offer value. Going back to the insurance example, do you provide a free email newsletter that shares tips for insurance shopping or what to do if you need to file a claim? Or is it just a big promotional outlet? 

Does your website have a blog that’s helpful to business owners? Do you share information about how to get a business license, write a business plan, what kind of insurance a business may need, or even helpful business tips? Or is your website yet another place where you try to “sell” people on your service? This all applies to social media, too, as well as almost all of your marketing material. When you provide value to your clients, customers, and prospects, you’re setting yourself up for success. 

Alas, there are still pros and cons in warm calling vs. cold calling. Here are some things to consider when you work out your sales calling strategy

The cons of cold calling 

  • Cold calls aren’t easy, even if they can be effective.
  • Most sales reps don’t do their homework ahead of time.

The pros of cold calling

  • You can perfect your sales pitch.
  • You can start to develop business relationships.
  • You can reach more people and find out more about their needs.

The cons of warm calling

  • Some sales reps don’t take warm calling as seriously as they should. They’re too casual or don’t work hard enough to capture the prospect’s attention. 
  • Voicemail messages aren’t strategic or well-planned.

The pros of warm calling

  • Warm leads are already in your sales funnel and are more likely to become customers. 
  • Warm calls can be more customized to meet the needs of your prospect. 
  • You can develop a mutually beneficial business relationship. 

Ultimately, the warm calling vs. cold calling debate really isn’t about one being better than the other. They’re just different. And there’s a good chance that both have a place in your outbound sales strategy. 

Reach out to more clients and keep track of them with Call Logic’s cloud-based auto-dialing software. Schedule a live demo to find out how we can help you build relationships that lead to closed sales.