Cold calling is when a salesperson calls up a complete stranger to check whether they might be interested in buying his products or services. On the other hand, warm calling is a term used for situations when a call is made to a prospect after sending him some kind of direct marketing piece or to someone who has expressed an interest in the products or services.
Warm calling is considered better that cold calling. The client has already expressed interest in your product, so there are more chances that he will listen to you. Moreover, your call will be considered as a follow up call, providing important information instead of being considered as an unsolicited nuisance.

How to Convert Leads into Warm Calls

Here are few tips for turning your leads into warm calls:

1. Warm Up Your Leads: Offer some valuable information about your products to the prospects before calling them up. This will warm up your leads towards your products and make them more receptive towards your call.

2. You may send them concise letters giving an overview of your products and the company or provide them valuable incentives, such as physical CDs, brochures, free reports or product samples. Then follow up with a call after few days.

3. Initiate a Conversation: Do not sound too excited when you call up a lead, as this may make your prospect a little defensive. Remain calm and engage your prospect in a natural conversation. Try to make them feel comfortable, put them at ease and create a feeling of trust. Make them feel that you are trying to help instead of making a sale.

4. Ask Questions: Ask your prospects questions regarding their problems. Help them tell you what exactly is on their mind. Try to understand their needs and then tell them how your product can solve their problems. Your prospects will be more open to listening to your solutions, if they feel that you are able to understand their problems.

5. Avoid Trying to Close: In case everything is going fine and the prospect is showing great deal of interest, do not try to close. This can put pressure on the prospect and ruin the relationship that you are trying to build. Focus only on securing an appointment instead of making a sale.

6. Confirm: Suggest a brief introductory meeting with your prospect. Note down the time, date and place of the meeting before ending the conversation. Moreover, call up the prospect a day before the meeting day to confirm the appointment.

Source: Orson Dixon link