The solicitation of a potential customer with whom a sales representative or business has had prior contact. Warm calling refers to a sales call, visit or email that is preceded by some sort of contact with the potential customer or prospect, such as a direct mail campaign, an introduction at a business event or a referral. It is the opposite of cold calling – the solicitation of prospects who were not anticipating such an interaction, with whom the sales representative or business has not had prior contact.
Warm calling tends to be more personalized since the prior contact can be referenced or mentioned (such as "Hi Mrs. Jones, I saw you followed our company on Twitter" or "Hi Mr. Jones, we met last week at the ABC Conference"). The previous contact acts as an icebreaker for the follow-up warm call.
Warm calling and the use of more effective sales channels such as email, text message marketing and social media portals are considered to be more efficient and effective than cold calling in generating new leads. Modern social media portals – such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook – also allow opportunities for potential clients to reach out indirectly or directly to businesses by posting comments on a blog, sharing an article with a peer or tweeting something that is of interest.