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How to warm up cold leads (without being a pest)

Cold is not usually a positive association. Cold coffee. Cold weather. Cold attitudes. Not many people will jump up and down with excitement when you’re describing something cold…unless it’s ice cream.

The same goes for cold leads. They’re not the easiest to work with–and you need to find a way to warm them up while prospecting without being a pest. If you don’t do anything, your relationship is likely going nowhere — what was once a potential sale is now lost.

So how do you avoid that? Here are a few tips for making your cold leads a little warmer to close a sale.

1. Connect on social media

Say you got a new lead at a networking event a few weeks ago, and you reached out via email but never heard anything back. You’re stuck in the cold zone. Connecting with them on social media is a nice, subtle way to remind them you exist. Start by seeing if they have a Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn presence and connect with them there.

Now, you don’t want to appear stalker-esque, so don’t go overboard on this one. Take it slow, and see if anything comes from one platform at first. Then you can move on to other social networks.

2. Offer an update

Have you recently hired someone new or changed your services or offerings? These are relevant pieces of news that can provide a way for you to restart the conversation with past leads. Now you’re not just sending a nagging follow-up message, but you’re offering something new to the back-and-forth.

This might be just the right thing to pique the interest of that potential client whose initial interest fizzled out.

3. Educate

Let your cold leads know you’ve got lots of valuable expertise up your sleeve by producing a constant trickle of helpful content in the spaces they use to gather information. Whether it’s an insightful blog post, podcast, or e-newsletter, this consistent reminder that you really know your stuff can eventually tip the scales in your favor. Think about where they go to find information on how to be better at what they do (maybe LinkedIn, a popular industry website, etc.) and find ways to build a presence there.

Gary Vaynerchuk describes this as “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.” Your jabs are those awesome pieces of material that help your cold leads, and the right hook is the direct ask that follows through. Since you’ve provided so much free information, your cold leads are more compelled to give back.

5. Send something valuable

See an article that might be right up a cold lead’s alley? Send it over with a quick message referencing the helpful resource you found that you wanted him or her to see. Or, maybe you know that they’re looking for help within a certain department. Is there someone in your network of connections that you could refer for that role?

When you can offer something valuable to a cold lead, they start getting the warm fuzzies (and they might feel like they owe you something.) Make introductions and be a helpful resource for those stubborn cold leads, and they’ll begin to change their tune.

6. Reinforce your ethos

Have you recently won an award, been featured in a prominent medium, or done something groundbreaking that people are taking note of? Highlighting your accomplishments on social media helps you reinforce your ethos as an expert in your field–and reminds your cold leads that you really are fantastic at what you do.

Don’t be boastful, but be sure to highlight your successes in a way that compliments your efforts.

7. Call

Yes! It’s true. Picking up the phone is sometimes the only way you’ll get a finite answer if the two of you are working together. Grit your teeth, dial the number, and use your dazzling charm. Oh, and be sure to re-introduce yourself. If it’s been a while, you shouldn’t expect your lead to remember you immediately.

One caveat, though: Don’t leave a voicemail. They’re worthless. You want a concrete yes or no–so try to get your cold lead when they can actually pick up the phone.

Hang in there

Perseverance is the name of the game. When it comes to cold leads, you know there’s some initial interest there…but it’s your job to work them through the sales pipeline and turn them into living, breathing customer. Try out these tactics and see which ones are most effective with your target audience.

What did we miss? Anything you’d tack onto this list?

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I know exactly who I'm selling to. Looking at someone's LI profile or website, I can tell if they are a prospect or not.(Required)