3. Make a Cold Call Warmer

One of the challenges that we all face when we're cold calling is the fact that it's cold. Make it warmer! In this third cold-calling tip in the series from Joe Friedman he suggests how to make a cold call warmer. 


One of the challenges that we all face when we're cold calling is the fact that it's cold. I'm calling someone up out of the blue; I don't know what to say; I don't know what they're going to say. And so it begs this question: Is there something I can do to make the cold call warmer? Is there something that will make it easier for me?

Here's one answer to that question: Send something in advance. Why? It's totally self-serving. I want to send something in advance because it gives me something to say. “I sent you something a couple of weeks ago.” Or, “I sent you something a couple of days ago, did you see it?“ If the answer is “Yes,” now I have a place to go in this call. If the answer is “No,” I can reply, “Can I have 30 seconds to tell you what it said?”

What am I usually sending? I don’t want to send product literature because the last thing you want to do is give people a reason to say “No.” Or, [disparagingly] “Oh yes, I looked at your stuff.” A lot of people have a “gatekeeper.” That's all good with me too... “Did you happen to see it?” “Did you happen to look at it?” “Do you happen to know if the person I’m trying to talk to looked at it or saw it?” “Did you have any discussion about it?”

The real reason I send something in advance is that it gives me something to say!

I love sending something in advance because that makes it warmer. I may send an article; I might send a whitepaper; I might send a link to one of the blogs that we've created. There are all sorts of ways that you can make that call warmer. You can use snail mail. You can use email. You can actually leave voicemail messages to make the call warmer. So, you have a number of options. And as I said, the real reason I do it is it gives me something to say.

A quick annecdote: the most unique thing I ever got to make a cold call warmer... This happened so many years ago, that when I tell you the story, you'll recognize that receiving an unmarked, brown paper wrapped package did not lead to then a call to the bomb squad. Years ago, I was working for a company that sold and delivered presentation skills training. I received a package in the mail. When I opened up the package, inside was a green, foot-tall gym locker. And there was a note: “Don't open it, the key's coming.” The next day, I got a tiny keychain with a tennis shoe on it and the key. Opened up the door, and what's on the inside? Someone's résumé is on the inside door of the gym locker. Then, inside was a set of nesting barrels—where one fit inside the other. And on the end of every barrel was one of the person's competencies or skills. Did this person, when they called, get an interview? Absolutely. Would I open an unmarked brown paper package these days? Probably not. Do they all have to be that unique? Absolutely not. But there was a creative way of making a cold call warmer.