How to make cold calling, warm

by Charlie Lawson on January 2, 2012 · 3 comments

Imagine the scene.  It’s 10am, you’re in your office, onto your second cuppa of the day, Facebook pages have been checked and updated, and you’re dealing with the unanswered emails in your inbox.  The phone rings, and the person on the other end launches into their sales pitch: “I don’t know who deals with your stationery supplies, but I wanted to tell you about our fantastic offers…”

This immediately breaks the mood and instils a sense of irritation.  “No, sorry, we have an office supplies company.”  End of conversation.  Now – you as the targeted customer certainly didn’t enjoy that – but what of the person who was calling?  What if there was another way?

A contact of mine who runs an office supplies company wanted to get in touch with the facilities manager at the school near to our office.  He asked me if I could help, which I was keen to do as they were a long-standing BNI member.  Unfortunately though, I didn’t know anyone in the school, so I had to think outside the box to help.

My contact had been able to get hold of the name of the facilities manager, so I rang the school and asked to speak to him.  This is what I said: “Hello, my name is Charlie Lawson, you don’t know me, but I’m trying to help a contact of mine…”  I then proceeded to tell him about my contact, and the various reasons (which I’d been taught beforehand) why the school should want to talk to him.

I was slightly surprised at just how easy it was to gain agreement from the facilities manager to accept a call from my contact – but it really was that easy.  The pair met, and guess what, the school changed their stationery supplier.

So why was my cold call so different to most others?  I believe that because I had no vested interest in the business deal, and made that clear, I called with the impression of doing the school a favour.  This dramatically changed the whole tone of the cold call, such that it became warm.

Have you ever tried this technique?

Charlie Lawson
Charlie Lawson – BNI National Director and Word of Mouth marketing expert, whose passion is to see BNI members succeed in their businesses.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jon January 4, 2012 at 16:02

A great tip Charlie, thank you. Even though I’m happy making cold calls for myself and help others to do so; it is still easier to ring on behalf of another person.

That’s another great reason to network with good contacts.


Charlie Lawson January 6, 2012 at 17:57

Absolutely – once you’ve built up a good relationship with contacts through networking, they’ll be happy to make cold calls on behalf of you using this technique.


Linda Parkinson-Hardman January 23, 2012 at 09:38

Being nice and open always works and it’s great to see this evidenced by your own experience Charlie.


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