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What’s the Difference Between Cold Calling, Warm Calls and Social Calls?

Cold Calling, Warm Calls and Social Calls


As a member of several sales-related LinkedIn Groups, I’ve noticed a common misconception within the sales community with respect to cold calling, warm calls, social calls, and even referrals.

What is cold calling? For the record, the definition of “cold calling” isn’t blindly picking up the phone and dialing random numbers, and pitching your product or service to whoever answers. That is a “method” of cold calling, (and the lowest ROI producing method known to sales at that)

Cold Calling Definition:

Cold calling is contacting any suspect/prospect who currently isn’t “raising their hand” at the moment.

So even if you call your best client and ask for referrals… guess what… When you call that referral, it’s still a “cold call” because the prospect wasn’t raising their hand nor asked to be contacted nor was expecting your call. It’s still an interruption. And you know what? That’s OK!

A salesperson shouldn’t base the prospect’s “temperature” on how much they know about the prospect but rather, how much the prospect knows and has an interest in the product or service a salesperson is selling.

Warm Call Definition:

A warm call is when for example a lead form gets filled out on a website. The prospect has some level of interest.

A hot lead is when an inbound call comes in and the prospect says “I spoke with so and so and they bought your system and I want one too!”

Or, your current clients come to you and say they need more or something else.

Social Selling Definition:

Social calls / Social selling is using social media tools such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc to brand you and or your company as an industry expert as well as to lead capture a prospects contact data in order to utilize drip marketing campaign techniques in order to continue to brand and position oneself as the solution provider for a prospect’s problem.

To be successful in sales, you will need to fill your sales pipeline from all channels.

– Michael Pedone

Michael Pedone teaches inside sales teams how to pick up the phone and close business. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – An online sales training company.

Tired of Cold Calling and Getting Poor Results?

Sign up for Michael Pedone’s online B2B Inside Sales Training Program.

  • Eliminate “No, Thanks,” “Not Interested” & “We’re All Set” Responses
  • Learn a step-by-step process for Cold Calling and Warm Calling
  • Neutralize Gatekeepers & Get Voicemails Returned
  • Ask Engaging Questions Instead of Probing
  • Improve your Qualifying Skills
  • Learn more effective Sales Questions to ask (and ones to avoid)
  • Give Stellar Presentations & Handle Objections
  • Close Follow-up Calls and Get Targeted Referrals
  • How to Set & Achieve Your Toughest Sales Goals
  • Improve Your Time Management Skills

Duration: 1 hour per week for eight weeks

Where: Online @ your desk, conference room, or home

Presenters: Michael Pedone