Social media provides terrific research, but it doesn’t warm your calls. Cold is still cold.

More and more, sales professionals use social media as an indispensable sales and prospecting tool. It provides valuable insight into prospects and decision makers. The social media impact prompts some sales pros to wonder if cold calling is dead, and whether it’s being replaced by so-called “smart” calling.

Hence, the question on one top social community site: “What are the top 3-5 ways that inside sales reps can turn cold calling into smart calling, and what are the benefits of doing so?” And it continued, “High quality answers may be included in an upcoming report on inside sales.”

My answer to this question: Some sales professionals refer to “smart calling” because they diligently research the sales prospect, identify trigger events, discover similar group and educational affiliations, and believe when they reach out, that they are smart calling.

It’s Either Hot, or Not

Do not be deluded. There are only two kinds of calls: Cold Calls and Hot Calls.

A rep makes a cold call to a prospect when the information he collects is a name, background, and contact information. (Read, “Why Cold Calling Is the Bottom of the Barrel.)

Referrals Are Your Best Research

A hot call is when the rep receives a referral introduction. The rep still has the relevant details from his research, but now the sales prospect knows the rep and offers to have a conversation.

Working from referrals, sales reps:

  • Get the meeting at the level that counts
  • Shorten their sales process
  • Convert a sales prospect to a client more than 50% of the time

There’s no such thing as a “warm call” or a “smart call.” Only cold calls and hot calls exist. Which would you rather make?

Join the Conversation

Some people like cold calling. Most don’t. And most people reap fantastic rewards from HOT CALLS through referrals. Share what works for you here.