4 Tips for Warming the Cold Call or Email from this Month’s Book Club Pub Crawl Pick: Never Eat Alone

by Ronnie Nurss on February 9, 2012

This month’s book for Book Club Pub Crawl, which will be Thursday, February 23th, will be Never Eat Alone  by Keith Ferrazzi.

Connecting and building authentic, genuine relationships is pivotal for success, both professionally and personally. Dale Carnegie nailed it; people like to do business with people they like.

Never Eat Alone is must-read primer on building relationships for success.

Some themes that we’ll be touching on this month relative to this book:

  • Building your network before you need it and how to expand your inner circle
  • Managing gatekeepers artfully
  • Connecting with connectors and influencers
  • The benefits of throwing dinner parties
  • Finding mentors and mentees

and much more…..

Today, we’ll introduce the Warm Call or Email and why you should never, ever, cold call.

Warming the Cold Call/Email

We’ll begin with one rule about cold calling or cold emailing here: Don’t do it.

Ferrazzi lays out 4 rules for warm calling, which you should satisfy while drafting a 15-30 second pitch. They have worked successfully for me, although I adapt it for warm emailing instead.

Warning:  I define a cold call as the same generic script you recite as you rapid-fire through the phone book. The warm call or warm email requires personal investment and research and the belief that no one warm call or email is ever the same.

1.  Convey credibility through connection
Do this right away by meshing it into your introduction. Do so by mentioning a shared connection through a person or organization. This is social proof.

Usually it’s best if you draft a reference for each warm call or email. Establishing credibility in the interaction is the first step towards building trust. Do this by tapping into your network for any possible shared connections. Or research the specific individual and try to find mutual contacts.

Ferrazzi states that when you mention a connection both of you have in common, all of a sudden the person your calling has an obligation not only to you but also to the friend you just mentioned.

2.  Give a personal, high-value proposition
Be prepared to deliver a high value proposition that is personally tailored to the person you’r contacting. Basically, what can you do for him?

Ferrazzi looks at it from this angle: Selling is, reduced to its essence, solving another person’s problem. Do your research and find a specific problem the other person or his company is having – then propose how you can solve it.

Cold calling is where you call everyone and anyone to pitch the same, generic service or product. Warm calling is where you pitch a personalized and tailored solution to a real and specific problem the person has, which you will find out through research.

3.  Use urgency and convenience to meet
Do this by talking a little, but saying a lot. And be very specific and definitive.

So don’t end the call or email with “We should definitely meet soon…” Instead, be as specific and convenient as possible with something like “I’m going to be in town next week. How about lunch on Wednesday?”

Remember, the main objective of a warm call is to secure an appointment with a decision maker. That’s where you’ll discuss your proposition in detail, not during this first warm call.

4.  Compromise to secure a definite follow up
Always have a backup, and show that you are more than willing to compromise. Ferrazzi suggests that compromise is a powerful force in human relations. If you are willing to make concessions, the other person will more likely do the same.

He can’t meet next wednesday for lunch?

Then offer a compromise at the very end with a, “or if getting together next Wednesday isn’t convenient, I’ll make room in my schedule for whatever is more convenient for you…”

Practice: Write up a personalized and unique 15-30 second pitch (to be made during a warm call or read in a warm email) that encompasses these 4 rules. I personally put at least one hour into each warm call or email I send out after doing extensive research and reaching out genuine connections who could help me.

Stay tuned for next week’s blog post on another theme from Never Eat Alone. And remember, our next Book Club Pub Crawl will be the last Thursday of this month, February 23th at 7pm here at ThinkHouse.

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