Cold Calling is Not Dead!

Recently a national sales trainer said cold calling was dead and that salespeople should write more blogs.  I’m going out on a limb here, but I think he was conceding in order to sell a recently released book.

Blogging is marketing and can be used to demonstrate experience and knowledge.  Marketing is passive, like buying a billboard, but prospecting is active and is done at your pace, not others.

Cold calling is prospecting, like attending networking events and asking for referrals.  In order to grow your sales revenue at your pace, you cannot stop prospecting, but rather invest on being more effective at it.

Cold calling works and is still the fastest, easiest, cheapest, most focused way to introduce yourself to your next potential customer.

I posted this discussion in a few LinkedIn groups and asked the questions; “Do you believe cold calling is dead?  How have you been successful cold calling” and here are the responses…

Wha…? Well, maybe I am not surprised some folks believe this. Cold calling is a huge time saver, far as I’m concerned. Especially if you factor in its personal nature. Sure, a massive email blast if faster, but it has a higher chance of being tossed or lost.

Ultimately, it depends upon your goals. Blogging is great relationship marketing, if you don’t mind the months or years of building that reputation. Cold calling is faster, and you get the benefit of directly inserting your presence in their mind.

Could it be that the national sales trainer specializes in passive selling tactics, as opposed to active?

I do not believe cold calling is dead. In fact, people tend to fear it so much, you have a leg up on the competition. Anyone will get some anxiety over imposing on a stranger, but I have a tactic for that. Fact is, people have needs, maybe you can fulfill that need. In a way, you are like a guardian angel, swooping in just as your prospect is thinking, “Boy, I sure wish I knew where to find X. *sigh*”

Imagine a world where when you think, “Gosh I’m hungry. Wish I had a gyro right about now.” And suddenly a gyro vendor strolls by out of nowhere. But then, I’m a firm believer in Synchronicity.  –Posted by Shawn Ruter

I don’t consider it even close to dead. What you say is exactly correct. In fact, when times are tough, picking up the phone and cold calling is what our firm does. If you have something different to offer, the calls are easy and effective. Besides finding quality cold callers, the only other real challenge is finding your differentiator to make the prospect care or listen.   — Posted by Brian DuFresne

Cold calling, whether your voice on a telephone or a face-to-face meeting always will be a more personal approach and the best way to connect, make an impression and receive feedback.  — Posted by Curtis Rons

We keep good records of monthly RFQs and how many get converted. We have strong physical evidence that cold calling works. And works well. If the list is strong and contains companies that we already know buy our products the results are significant, 50% more requests monthly with no reduction in conversion rate. The tough part is to find somebody good at it that doesn’t mind doing it consistently. I’d hire any sales person who would spend at least 35% of their time cold calling. It grows our business and quickly grows their commission checks!   –Posted by John Talbot

Hopefully there will always be the “human element” in business, and Cold Callers will be a part of that PRO-active process.  –Posted by MagicBrad Gudim

I’ve been cold-calling 44 years. My daily regime (Mon-Thur) is to dial out for 2 1/2 hours, or until I actually speak to 20 legitimate prospects . . . whatever comes first. I even cold-call, when I do not have a product . . . just pick up the yellow pages and “GO”! Something always comes back to me . . . maybe not right away . . . sometimes several years, but cold-calling always PAYS! Cold-calling is only dead to those that are too lazy to do it!   –Posted by Larry Thompson

I am in a Sales/Business Development role at a marketing agency and I completely agree that you cannot rely 100% your blogs or marketing communications alone. However, sharing your blogs and other marketing content with a prospect helps to build trust. The most successful sales calls I’ve made are what I would consider are, at minimum, ‘Luke Warm’ through the research I do on the person or company I’m trying to reach before I pick up the phone. I look for the company’s website, Facebook page, Twitter account, or find the person I’m trying to reach on LinkedIn and make a reference to the fact I took the time to do my research first. I would suggest that ‘Cold’ Calls can be a thing of the past because there are so many resources available to warm them up first!
–Posted by Michelle Falling

Good point @Michelle. Prospects do expect salespeople to do some research before calling, and professionally designed website and timely blogs demonstrate a certain level of qualification of the prospect.  This helps determine the questions the salesperson asks.  So maybe the new term is ‘cold contacts, warm conversations?’  Is that a stretch?  –Posted by Scott Plum

Michelle, I would agree with you (and do), however, there is the initial step of getting that prospect TO your blog that would still be a “cold process” right? The latter part of what you say is completely accurate IF you already have a name…Cold Calling to me is not knowing who to call, or knowing the name and not contacting them until you pick up the phone. This is the real obstacle with getting people to pick up the phone and cold call. “The unknown”.  –Posted by Brian DuFresne

Thank you everyone for your comments and thoughts.  Much appreciated.

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