By Wendy Weiss, The Queen of prospecting®
I received the following question from a reader of this newsletter. She wrote:
“I am following up on leads from people who are requesting information on a long-term care insurance program. Although I have their personal information in front of me, they patently deny having sent in the request. Since these leads are our bread and butter, I don’t want to be confrontational. I want to win them over–not an easy task under these circumstances. Do you have any suggestions for this type of ‘warm’ call, which gets treated like a ‘cold’ call?”
Those pesky prospects. Denying that they’ve requested information. How do they dare?
Yep, that’s the problem with the label, ‘warm.’ Nobody told the prospects.
While it may indeed feel like your ‘warm’ prospects are lying to you, the reality is that every one that you call, every prospect whether they are a ‘warm’ lead or a ‘cold’ lead, everyone is extremely busy. Your prospects, even the ‘warm’ ones, are not sitting by the phone waiting for you to call. At the moment that you call your prospect each and every one of them is doing something else. They may have at one time filled out a form or clicked a link online, but you really can’t expect that they’re going to remember doing so. In addition, just because a prospect may have at one time filled out a form does not mean that prospect is an educated prospect who understands the value of your offering and is ready to buy.
The above caller’s challenge could be solved with appropriate messaging. It’s all about the message and not about the label of the call. ‘prospecting’ and ‘warm calling’ are exactly the same skill set. You need to be able to help your prospect understand the value that you represent. Too many prospectors instead rely on the appellation, ‘warm’ and so skip this important part of their introduction. They assume the prospect knows everything about the product and/or service and is ready to buy. In most cases, nothing could be farther from the truth.
The prospector above actually had the answer. She asked what to do about “a ‘warm’ call which gets treated like a cold call.” The answer is that in every encounter with a prospect forget about the label. Instead craft a script that is crystal clear and that focuses on how you help your customers. Then if your prospect really did fill out a form they’ll remember why. If they didn’t fill out a form, well you’re covered for that situation as well.