8 Ways to Warm up Cold Calls

3 Dec


Baby it’s cold outside… First off, I will suggest that seasoned salespeople probably shouldn’t be making cold calls. I’m hoping you have developed an extensive list of past clients or prospects and you already know which 200 people to contact this month. Option two is that your marketing department and/or junior salesperson is generating leads for you. With that said – SOMEONE still probably has to make cold calls and I have some ideas for you.

8 Suggestions to WARM it Up!

1. Targeting. I rant about this on an ongoing basis. If you don’t have a focus, you are losing – so practice the art of targeting businesses that you can help most. Wouldn’t it be great to have a conversation starter as you are calling on 100 banks (or insert industry here) this week? After reading up on banking on a Monday, you’ll already have a lot of intel and understanding of their present needs.

2. Find their email address. Today, you will usually get a hold of prospects on the phone after an email conversation. You know the name of the person and their website (i.e. Drew Schmitz and blueoctopusllc.com). You can always guess “dschmitz@blueoctopusllc.com”, but in this instance, you’d be wrong. I usually Google the following:

  • “*@blueoctopusllc.com” to figure out the typical prefix for emails within a company.
  • You can also try Googling “Drew Schmitz” and “*@blueoctopusllc.com” to possibly find the specific person’s email address.

I’ve found over half of my prospects’ emails just using a search engine this way. The internet is loaded with surprising information and you will even bump into a few direct dial numbers online as well…

3. Get their direct phone number. If you call the front desk and ask for Joe Blow, you will get Joe’s voice mail about 95% of the time. If he/she is important, they already have multiple salespeople calling them every week and they don’t answer phone calls from people and phone numbers that they don’t already know. Get a referral (LinkedIn is a great tool for this), start with the email (you may get an auto-response with their phone number attached) or just ask the receptionist. If you get their direct line, the odds of them answering skyrocket.

4. Lie. There’s one place in my life where I blatantly lie and that’s when I’m trying to reach a prospect. Some of my favorite lines are “I’m calling him back”… “I lost her phone number”… or “I met him at a function last week”. When they ask for your name, tell them “Drew”. Drew who? “Schmitz”. Drew from where? “Blue LLC”. They’ll get tired and stop asking. If you are stern/direct with the receptionist, I’ve found them more likely to put you through because you sound important. These are the stupid games we need to play in sales in order to get decision makers on the line.

5. Control your voice. Keep in mind, they are hearing half of your words (at best), so vocal pitch, volume and rate (not too fast) are keys to piquing their interest. It’s something that can be practiced and perfected.

6. Memorize your script. Your call sounds natural. You are shooting for 5 things: (a) a clear/direct opener (b) it’s somehow personalized (c) they are targeted/chosen (d) the pitch or voice mail message is less than 30 seconds in length and (e) it ends with a question.

7. Use their name. Dale Carnegie once said “A person’s name is the sweetest sound“.

8. Get them to talk. How do you make this happen? If your call continues past the first minute, you are prepared with five good questions to ask. They automatically like you more when they are talking and you are attentively listening.

Here is what a good script sounds like:

“Hello Name, my name is Drew (no last name or company in order to save the precious opening seconds of the call) and I’m a sales recruiter with my own firm here in Minneapolis. We focus on filling sales positions for small and mid-size organizations throughout the country. Our recruitment and pricing approach is unique and we only focus on star talent. Have you worked with a recruiter in the past?”

If they respond positively, I’d roll into your questions. If he/she starts asking you questions, you probably have yourself a bona fide prospect.

On voice mails use a similar opener (but keep the entire message at 30 seconds) – then follow with “Please contact me at 612.234.2175; I’ll try you back again on Thursday afternoon if I don’t hear from you – again, it’s Drew at 612.234.2175. Have a great day!(“threaten” a call back, repeat your phone number, end it positive).

Try some variations on these scripts until you find what works best for you. Good luck!

It’s time to grow faster.

~Drew Schmitz

"M@il" button (blue)









Twitter: @drew_schmitz



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: