Make a “Cold Call” Warmer – The Triggering Event

Make a “Cold Call” Warmer – The Triggering Event

Happiness is a Warm… Trigger.

O.K., I’m dating myself, and revealing my wanna-be cult past.  The above is a play on a Beatles title, one of their more surreal songs from The White Album.

But it fits this Friday’s post for two reasons.

  1. Cold-calling is extremely difficult in the Brave New World.  A buyer’s guard is arguably at its highest when taking a first call from a salesperson.  Therefore, any tool for turning a cold call into, what I call, a “warm call” is a tactical advantage.
  2. The tools for pre-heating an approach call are few.  One of the most effective ones is to seize the moment — the moment you learn of a “triggering event.”

Remember, most purchases are initially driven by emotion.  Then ration sits in the passenger’s seat and feeds the driver with analytical reasons to satisfy this emotional need or desire.

Activating the triggering event addresses the early stages of the buying process, be it in B2B or B2C, when buyer emotion is often at its highest.

As Kendra Lee writes in All Business, “Triggering events are changes in (your prospects’) companies, community or world that cause your prospects to make an adjustment and possibly a buying decision.”

“Pain” has become a big word in sales over the past decade, as pain often drives buyers to act.  And “trigger” implies sudden, catalyst.

So triggering events often create an immediate need to act, whether it’s to correct a problem, exploit an opportunity or fulfill a desire.  What better time to be seen as resourceful by your prospect?  What better time to distance yourself from one of those… cold-callers?

This is not just about seizing an opportunity; this is about “customer focus” in its most genuine form.  If your goods or services can address this sudden awareness of pain, you owe it to yourself and to the prospect to show how you can help!

This still requires good cold-calling skills (topic for a future post), but the point is, your call will be warmer if there has been a triggering event.  You will be seen as being up-to-date and resourceful.  You will be positioned as a professional.  You could be a white knight.

Here are several types of triggering events.

  • Positive financial news.  Prospects may be able to exploit opportunities now, may have to now, and may have the budget now… but not tomorrow.
  • Negative financial news.  They may have the need to correct something.  Pronto!
  • New product launch.  They need to get it right.  Can you help them?
  • Product recall.  They really need to get it right.  Can you reduce the pain?
  • New management.  Perhaps previous management should have used your services in the past.  (“If only they would’ve listened to me!”)  Perhaps the new managers see the light, or know they need a flashlight.
  • New legislation.  Big brother has put up another obstacle.  Everything needs a re-think.  “All hands to the pump!”
  • Other stuff.  Your field may have triggers that other industries don’t.  You’re the expert in your field… you get the point.

Keep an ear to the wind.  Keep an eye on the news.  Be solutions-oriented.  Be fast.  Be trigger happy!


Post Script:  Here’s a timely and cool example of a B2C trigger.

A few friends of mine here in Luzern Switzerland are as passionate about FIFA World Cup as I am.  (See previous posts.  And for those who know me, “Viva España!”)

Switzerland beat Spain in the first group match… which was Spain’s only loss in the tournament, before Spain went on to win every match thereafter, including the final.  Spain, World Champions.  Campeones del Mundo!

So the buzz in Helvetia this week has been, “Switzerland, the only team to beat the World Champions.”


And so my three amigos, Padi, Wes and Thomi, designed t-shirts in Swiss red with white letters, “Weltmeister Besieger” (see photo above).  They put together an online campaign including a website Weltmeister Besieger and a Facebook page.  By Monday morning they had their campaign going online.

They’re doing alright with it, they’re having fun, and they’re staying in touch with their Brave New World entrepreneurial-side!  I bought a t-shirt for my son, who’s in touch with his Swiss side.  “Kewl.”

Padi, Wes and Thomi seized the opportunity, and they’re helping Swiss fans fulfill their desire to celebrate this tiny country’s most positive story out of World Cup.

Pride = emotion = triggerable.

“Happiness is a Warm Gun.”  (Lennon/McCartney, 1968).  Sehr kewl!