Most people have gotten that dreaded sales call during dinner, and understand the difference between warm and cold calling: The community member you just met at an event calling to introduce themselves will probably be a call you’ll return; the fundraising call you didn’t initiate? Probably not.
Both methods of outreach can result in your solidifying connections with people and groups with whom you might want to do business. But overall, companies often see that warm engagements and salespeople with friendly attitudes are a much better investment of their time and resources
The Era of Cold Calling is Over.
Cold calling doesn’t work anymore because people can “ignore” your call easier than ever. Apple even marks some business lines as a spam risk if calls are placed outside business hours or from suspicious online connections. People are no longer surprised or cornered by cold calls — they’ll simply ignore the call, text, email if they don’t want to talk to you. And cold calling has a pretty shallow conversation rate, so you’re more likely to find your salespeople will be ignored or worse, someone will waste their time with no intent to purchase, frustrating and discouraging your salespeople.
Getting Warm Contacts
What constitutes warm engagement? How do you go about attracting people through warm engagement? And how do you get people to respond to you?
Warm engagements involve attracting people, engaging them, and delighting them with your products and services. Unlike walking up to a stranger and trying to sell them something, you first establish rapport and then, through the engagement, you get invited to pitch your product, by way of an introduction, form submission, or something else.
Some ideas for generating warm leads include reaching out to your existing network, affiliate or referral programs you design with other companies or small businesses, and attending in-person or online events. You will want to use tools such as emails and website chat features to engage new contacts immediately and start the qualification process. You can host events, use virtual tools like Meetaway, or create targeted online marketing campaigns surrounding your business mission and products.
Ignite Engagement by Defining Your Sales Process
It might sound complicated or maybe even difficult if you’ve never done it, but defining your sales process is the place to start to develop warm engagement.
Develop a buyer persona — Drawing customers in starts when you know exactly who your customer is and why they will buy.
Create a contact strategy — A contact is someone whom you may have met or an acquaintance; it could also be an email or customer data that was referred to or you purchased or collected from targeted referrals or affiliate processes.
Design the qualification process for your potential clients — A lead is a contact that you’ve qualified. In order to qualify your leads, you’ll need to know more about their intent to buy from you and whether they are a fit for your service.
Bottom line: using your network to realize your message and connect your community to your mission, can take your business to the next level. By creating a buyer persona, and mapping out your buyer’s needs, wants, interests, and potential attraction points to your brand, you are empowering yourself, your team, and your sales process to close more deals and grow your business faster.
Alessandra Desiderio is a serial entrepreneur, strategist, and consultant with a focus on connection and communication. She’s a member of The Helm Group, a full service marketing and growth firm.
Read the Importance of Building and Maintaining Client-Seller Relationship on our blog here.