Warming Up to the Cold Call
Now that you established that an affiliation with your prospect exists, a successful effort requires a bit of research before you pick up the phone. But — and this is practically unheard of in our business — I'm going to emphasize the words "a bit of research." Don't get too bogged down in prospect research at this point. You needn't discover everything there is to know about a prospect before you place a cold call. A few factoids might be helpful — a profession, an address and other tidbits that might give you a general idea of your prospect — but resist the urge to complete a comprehensive report before making the call. Research often becomes an excuse for not picking up the phone.
Having learned a few potentially pertinent facts, it's time to make the call. You dialed the phone. Now what? When someone answers, here are some next steps:
Say hello, and state your name, your title and your organization. Don't be surprised if you get a chilly reaction. Think about the last time you got a solicitation call at home — you probably did the same thing. Not to worry — as you move along in your conversation the tone will probably grow more pleasant.
Thank them for their support
I usually start with a thank-you for the support that has been received in the past. Perhaps they gave to a capital campaign or an annual fund, or maybe they have volunteered or taken advantage of your organization's services (in a past position, we sincerely appreciated those who had become ticket subscribers). Remember, you're cold calling them, but you have established that they have some relationship to your organization now or in the past. Let them know they're appreciated.