Marie-Claire van PoeljeMarie Claire van Poelje is someone who knows people having herself spent a large portion of her life living in other countries. In her presentation she gives us tips on how to use this concept of warm calling as a way to acquire new customers.
At the very start, Marie Claire explains that while she has a presentation prepared, she often likes to go off the script to make the presentation more interactive with her audience. This certainly did play out from the onset. She said rather than write word for word her presentation, she offered to email to those who drop their business cards in a bowl. Wow, already we can see how she works in acquiring some calls!
Marie Claire helps entrepreneurs to realise that calling potential customers does not have to be a scary thing.  She asks us, “What scares us from calling someone we don’t know?”
My neighbour in the audience said, “It’s a bit outdated.” She continues to say that most people don’t use the phone to find their clients rather most people use social media. Another person in the audience says something about 1 billion of telemarketing type of calls.
I suppose to prove that it’s not outdated. Marie Claire says that most telemarketers don’t know their customer and thus never close a sale because of that fact.  She believes that you should learn more about your customer and make sure you know your customer’s pain point (service or product need).
A few other audience members also said that calling is not optimum because they can’t see the body language of their client. Marie Claire advises to use  Skype or use FaceTime where you can see your client.
According to her, you should do your homework to get to know your potential client. This ultimately is what makes a call a WARM versus a cold call. She offers some practical tips on how to begin the process.

  • What does your customer want? Most of us know this. After exploring that you should make a list of potential customers and/or industries.
  • How to connect with them? Or where can you find them? By joining a professional networking group (WBII’s for example) or attend events, find the contact for your industries on LinkedIN, and/or begin a blog and create a following.
  • Always have an Elevator pitch where you can say what you do in an efficient but quick way.
  • She also spoke to preparing scripts before your phone appointments. A script is simply a way to guide the conversation.
  • Follow up and keep your promises. 

The important thing that Marie Claire really conveyed during this presentation was how to get comfortable with your audience/clientele by preparing yourself in every way possible. In this way, you look more than ready to handle any situation or problem that may be brought up in the conversation with your prospect. You build your confidence in such a way that rejection also supports you. It no longer is a scary thing but something to learn from and grow.
As entrepreneurs we must feel comfortable with hearing No but what Marie Claire offers us here is a way to get more Yes’s because of taking careful time to research our targeted clientele.
In the end, having a thoroughly prepared conversation with your potential client is what will win you a new client or sell your product more than randomly calling or sending emails from an automated system ever will.
To those who missed it, Marie Claire’s presentation is available below:

SusandeVriendSusan de Vriend also known as the Life Coach for Expats. I’ve been living in the Netherlands for 7 years. I support expatriates in creating an exciting and fulfilling life fit for their new home in the Netherlands by exploring with my client on what home feels like to them.