Warm calling VS cold calling. How to create a sales call script.

Calling seems to be a well-trodden path on a lead generation journey. Calling seems quite straightforward so it may even strike you that there is no reason to reinvent the wheel. But it is so if calling is taken at face value. If you get to grips with it, you may find it an uphill struggle when facing the wall of silence or rejection. Therefore, outspoken critics relegate calling (notably cold calling) to the dustbin of history. However, with social media tools in mind, has calling really exhausted its potential? Or is it pointless to rebut critics’ arguments? Let’s explore the potential and essentials of good old calling!

  1. Cold vs. Warm Calling. How Social Selling Changes the Game
  2. Cold Calling Essentials
  • Cold Calling Pitfalls and Remedies
  • Cold Calling Tips to Make the Most of the Call
  • How to Create Your Cold Calling Script
  1. Warm Calling Essentials
  • Warm Calling Tips
  • Tips to Enhance Your Warm Calling Script

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HOT CALL AND A COLD CALL

Calling can be cold and warm depending on a person or a business you are going to reach out to. 

What is cold calling?

A cold call entails ringing around people who have no prior knowledge of the product, though the product itself is likely to ease their pain points. These are the cold leads and their contacts are mined through a variety of means: databases, social media sites (Linked In, Facebook), purchased lists, lead generation software, etc. As it is the first time you approach a lead, there are some templates and scripts you can make use of. The bottom line is to test the waters, not to push a lead into making a speedy decision.  

Let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of cold calling.

A cold call is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.

What is warm calling?

A warm call involves contacting a person who is aware of the product you promote at some level and has displayed an interest in your brand somehow. These are the warm leads because they have already dipped their toes in the water by, for example, filling the contact form on the website or leaving email in exchange for valuable information (which acts as a lead magnet) you can provide for free. The approach to warm calls should be more personalized and more tailored for a particular warm lead.

Figuratively speaking, this time a box of chocolates isn’t that intimidating. 

As a matter of fact, it’s ironic that the initial function of a mobile phone (calling and taking calls) nowadays has been put on the back burner. Social media now steals the show. In terms of lead generation, it is social selling that enters the game.

Turning cold calls into warm calls

As a rule, contacting a warm lead generally gives much better results than calling a cold lead. To warm up a cold lead you can use Convolo. Our widget compliments your website and offers your customers to receive an immediate follow-up call. Not only it “warms them up”, it also gives them a felling of a pleasant surprise and raises your company’s credibility. You can sign up for a demo today

What is social selling?

Social selling is a means of lead generation that centers around social media usage (source). Social media allows marketers to lift the obstacle that hinders their success when calling – the lack of information about a lead. Instead of a litany of leads’ contacts a whole host of leads’ profiles that are more informative are now at hand. After evaluating and qualifying a person or a business into a lead, you may utilize a less direct method than calling – messaging. Social selling is a much more flexible lead attraction method than cold calling. Moreover, social selling naturally paves the way for warm calling. Therefore, many experts deem cold calling to be out of place in such circumstances. 

Though social selling is a growing trend, we can’t still pigeonhole cold calling. In experienced hands, cold calling may turn out to be a valuable tool.

COLD CALLING ESSENTIALS 

Cold calling is fraught with pitfalls and it requires continuous introspection to overcome them. For example, here is a list of questions you can ask yourself to evaluate your cold calling experience:

  • Have I done enough research on my leads? Is there any information I miss out when contacting a lead? Is data on a lead up-to-date and relevant?
  • Do my leads take interest in what I suggest? Do my cold calls stand out from any others?
  • Am I being too pushy? Or do I give up too early? Do I understand the psychology of cold leads? 

If the answers are not in your favor, you’ve faced some cold calling pitfalls and you should take steps to remedy the situation. 

COLD CALLING PITFALLS AND REMEDIES

Pitfall: Poor research on a lead.
If you call without preparation, it would be a leap in the dark. The outcome of the call can only be pure guesswork.

Remedy: Do comprehensive research in advance.

Take advantage of the data on leads available. It would pay off because you can learn whether there is a mismatch between a company’s product and people’s real needs. It is essential to make even a call meaningful, but in this case it won’t do to make something out of nothing. When gathering nuggets of information, pay attention to these points:

  • Am I going to speak to a decision-maker, gatekeeper (a person in a company who could block or pass on the offer) or influencer (who can encourage a decision-maker to buy)? The approach with each one of them would differ.
  • Make sure that information you have is fresh.
  • Visit a lead’s website/profile.
  • Review your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software for new info.

Pitfall: Leads’ lack of Interest.
You’ve already interrupted a person from his or her daily routine, what could you do to make up for it? Just pitch a product? Your call will be knocked down like a house of cards when a lead decides to hang up. 

Remedy: Make use of psychology to arrest leads’ attention.

  • Don’t stick to your script but rather let the conversation flow simultaneously establishing a real human connection.
  • Your product pitch should be short and sweet to leave some time for a lead to speak and ask questions.
  • Instead of picking on your competitors, try to shed more light on the features of the product you offer so that a lead could draw comparisons oneself.
  • Listening attentively to your lead is of paramount importance because it helps to reveal pain points.
  • Introduce options and opportunities you offer but limit them. It would be a savvy move because it is easier for a lead to pick and choose between personalized offers rather than between the profusion of offers available in your company.
  • Be enthusiastic about the product you offer. Positive emotions are contagious in sales (source).

Pitfall: Salespeople aren’t patient enough to deal with rejection.
Faced with rejection, some salespeople may fall into thinking that the product they offer just isn’t cut out for the leads they call. It could be so, but what if a lead rejects you just to brush you off without even listening?

Remedy: Try to figure out the underlying motives of rejection.

  • Is it your approach that gums up the works?
  • Ask a lead what he or she considers to be a dealbreaker.
  • Provide viable alternatives.

Pitfall: Insistence of a salesperson.

Even if everything goes smoothly, sales are all about right timing, no matter how tempting it is to fall into a question ‘Are you ready to try out our product?’.

Remedy: Give some room for thought.

  • Strike a healthy balance between making offers and letting a person consider the offer.
  • The focal point is to create connections. Redirect a person to your site for further research. Offer a personal discount. It will create ties between you and your leads.

Is it all you need to know about cold calling? There is even more to it than that! 

COLD CALLING TIPS TO MAKE THE MOST OF THE CALL

  1. Keep in mind when you call.
    Late afternoon (between 4 and 5 pm) is the time when leads pick up the phone more often, as the data suggests (source). Though, late morning (10 am to 11 am) is also suitable for more active calling. Of course, leads wouldn’t appreciate taking calls in their off-hours.
  1. Wh- questions are the best ones to ask.
    These are the questions beginning with what, how, which, etc. If you compare a Yes-No question and Wh- question, what type of question will draw a lead into a conversation? A Wh- question. The more you encourage a lead to speak, the more opportunities for making offers you’ll happen to get.
  1. Make use of testimonials and experience.
    Your experience is one of the most powerful tools in building trust with your leads, especially if you call them for the first time. Maybe your company’s solutions incorporated to meet your clients’ expectations would resonate with your leads. 
  1. Leads are more likely to pick up calls from local numbers.
    The phone number itself is the first impression you make on your leads. Sometimes a number itself plays an integral role in whether a lead picks up the phone or not.

HOW TO CREATE YOUR COLD CALLING SCRIPT

As Benjamin Franklin famously said: ‘By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail’. Therefore, a cold calling script should serve you as a map so you don’t get lost and, therefore, fail. However, can you get off the well-trodden route? Sure! Treat your script as a music sheet and yourself as an instrument that can not only bring the music into life, but also improvise and add your own voice.

To craft a script we need to keep in mind the essential structure of a cold call. The integral parts of the cold call script are listed below:

It is just the backbone of your cold call, the rest is your intuition and salesperson grit at work.

WARM CALLING ESSENTIALS

If cold calling is like fishing with a simple fishing rod, warm calling reminds of fishing with a net because it is much more rewarding. Warm leads are already educated and it’s high time you nurtured them.
To help build strong rapport with your warm leads, take advantage of the tips below.

WARM CALLING TIPS

  1. Ask about pain points. A warm call allows a lead to take the helm and speak out more than during a cold call. Your task is to listen carefully to provide a solution tailored for them.
  2. Get a decision-maker involved. If you’re talking to the gatekeeper of a company, your aim is to pass along your offer to a decision-maker. The best case scenario is when you get a decision-maker email or phone number. Aim high.
  3. Don’t put all eggs in one basket. Warm calling is great as long as it is reasonable to call. If you have a lead’s email, start an email nurturing campaign. Sending text messages would also do. 

TIPS TO ENHANCE YOUR WORK CALLING SCRIPT

The structure of a warm call correlates with one of a cold call. But warm calling is less of an arduous task, of course. However, there are some specific aspects and strategies that apply for a warm calling script:

  • Free flowing back-and-forth conversation going on.
    Warm leads consider your call to be an opportunity to ask clarifying questions. Make sure to provide informative answers to the questions.
  • Customer is the one who takes the helm.
    If a cold call was driven by you, a warm call centers around a lead.
  • Warm lead is more willing to provide you with contact info than a cold lead.
    Take advantage of this opportunity to put all the lead nurturing channels into action.

No doubt, calling as a lead generation strategy is definitely not a low-hanging fruit. However, when calling gives you lemons, make lemonade! Maybe it is cold and warm calling that would help you get the deepest insight in your target market and provide you with empowering experience.

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