A unique “cold-call” telephone prospecting methodology based on a special application of the ”foot-in-the-door” technique is described. This technique’s success is brought about by generating initial compliance on a sequential series of requests with each increasing in importance. The final goal is to obtain a major commitment. Subjects should attribute compliance to their own desires and not to external pressure. In this prenotification method, the first call seeks permission to mail a product brochure and call the recipient again. The follow-up call ascertains the brochure’s arrival, notes the prospect’s reaction, and sets up a sales meeting. In 1985, a burglar alarm company compared single-call telephone canvassing to the prenotification method. The 1,620 prenotification calls required 912 follow-up calls, but a significantly larger proportion of these contacts were converted into appointments as compared to the 1,568 contacts in the single-call group.

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