Home > Cold Calling > Cold Calling is outdated and does not work for the time involved

Cold Calling is outdated and does not work for the time involved

I'm wondering if anyone else agrees. And if anyone if this will make it as a post.

I am a top sales expert and I know for a fact that the others who claim to be experts here do not cold call. They may claim they do to drive traffic to their sites but in reality they do not cold call because cold calling no longer works! The internet has changed all that. I hope the millienials will stop this outdated and abusive technique completely! - by TheSalesWhisperer
Cold calling no longer works? What would you need to believe differently to see that cold calling is a viable source of new business? - by Jeff Blackwell
Let me now get into the fundamentals of why I made my original comment. One, I used to cold call and pound the phones with a minimum of a 120 calls a day. Of those 120, I probably only spoke with 5-7 people. Of those 5-7 people 4 would agree for an appointment. Of those 4, I would find out they were simply only willing to listen to me and most were not qualified. After a week of this I would have 2 qualified prospects and that is if I was really on. I would ask questions, build rapport, but the truth is that I was chasing them and the one's who would speak to me were not in a position to buy for the most part. So After one sale a week, I had really put in a ton of effort for this and a waste of time. Some weeks I would do better than others of course and might make three to five sales but then the next week no sales. I have no fear, so this was never a problem. Then I studied marketing techniques, started my own business, and said, why am I wasting my time cold calling. I began simply by passing out fliers, just like I was trained to do when I used to fundraise for a non-profit. All of a sudden people contacted me or faxed back a form. I could get 100 fliers out in two hours instead of 5-6 hours of calling. After a week my sales went to an average of 10-13 a week. Far more than from cold calling. Then I began combining this with sending out 25 emails a day which only took about 20 minutes to do. This created an aditional 3-4 sales a week. Now I was up to 15-17 sales a week. After a couple of months, I put into a referal plan. This boosted sales an aditional 3-4 a week. I began averaging 80 sales a month. At a 10 percent commission rate, I was the owner so I got full profit, but let's say I had a 10 percent commision rate I would have made over 16,000 a month.

This is why I say Cold Calling is outdated. Using the above technqiues I never had someone cuss me out, or hang up on me. Why would they when they contacted me. Sure some were just interested, but since they contacted me they had a higher level of trust and would open up much sooner.

Let's provide an example here. Let's take two people who are single. Both are similar in looks, same personality types, same occupation, same income and for the most part very similar.

Both want to date and find romance. One decides to frequent bars, or strike up conversations with random people on the street of the opposite sex or in a store. They talk to 50 people and might get one phone number, which turns out to be someone who never answers.

The other person decides to be smart and joins a singles organization and goes on a few outings. They meet several people who are truly interested in them.

Within no time they have dated several prospects and found someone they can truly enjoy.

The other person is still looking and getting an inordinate amount of rejection from people who do not want to be bothered.

I hope this analogy makes since because one is no different than cold calling. I became wealthy once I stopped this method of prospecting. Research has been done that clearly shows out of 15 prospecting methods, Cold Calling is the least effective. Now if you have nothing better to do, and are sitting at a desk staring at a comp screen by all means pick up the phone and cold call.. you have nothing to loose. But I can assure you if you implement other techniques you will no longer have time for cold calling as you will have more leads and prospects than you can handle. - by TheSalesWhisperer
But I can assure you if you implement other techniques you will no longer have time for cold calling as you will have more leads and prospects than you can handle.
So I can better understand your position, what other techniques are you recommending to salespeople so they will have more leads and prospects than they can handle? - by Jeff Blackwell
What I'm saying is that it is a waste of time to simply pick up the phone and call someone cold. With a little bit of research I can target who the key decision maker probably is. I can then get their email address and send them a letter of introduction letting them know that I wanted to say hi and that I had an article I believe they will find to be valuable. Attached would be an article that directly relates to their industry, potential wants and needs and only provides valuable information. No selling, no advertising, and no pitching.. just value. Obviously I would leave contact information and a way to request more info on certain subjects.

If they do not reply I would then send them a handwritten card--Invitation style, hand addressed to them personally.

After this I would send another value article.

At this point I would then call the decision maker simply to see if they receive my info. I have done this many times and boy the reception is much warmer than just picking up the phone and cold calling.

Why, because now I am seen as a person of value, its all about poistioning and leverage. I learned this concept when I was in Law School. It has taken me several years but finally after much trial and error I realize their is an easier way to make a ton of money in sales. Kudos for those who are out there finally writing on this subject and I hope sharing these techniques with others.

I do not have time to share my techniques much as I'm running three different business including a top power seller business on ebay. However, if I did have the time, I'd share all of these techniques for free. It's time to blow the lid off cold calling forever. In fact, I hear several states are considering laws against business cold calling. I hope it becomes completely illegal.

It's not about not having the skill or techniques, its about not being abused or interrupted anymore period!! - by TheSalesWhisperer
What I'm saying is that it is a waste of time to simply pick up the phone and call someone cold.
Are you suggesting that "cold calling" is contacting untargeted prospects?

In fact, I hear several states are considering laws against business cold calling. I hope it becomes completely illegal.
Illegal? When you refer to "cold calling" what are you referring to? - by Jeff Blackwell
So I can better understand your position, what other techniques are you recommending to salespeople so they will have more leads and prospects than they can handle?
That's a great question that I was about to ask myself... I would not say I am a fan of cold calling, but I would also not say it is dead. The real trick to it is learning to use voicemail effectively. I used to cold call in my previous outside sales job and by getting to understand my clientele (HR Managers) I learned how to leave voicemails that would almost guarantee a callback.

I dont think it's dead you just have to do it a little diffrently. You can use tradeshow marketing, flyers, and other "lead generation" techniques but in some businesses it is just hard to do it that way. How many flyers could you pass out every day to people who can by $10,000 software packages? - by bmtrnavsky
Let me begin by the premise of how I would define targeted and how I would not define it.

Targeted means you have researched the prospect, you have discovered facts and knowledge about their industry, current supplier, etc.

You now, know who most likely is the main decision maker or has the most influence amongst a committee. You have their email address, phone number, and mailing address.

Now you have a targeted prospect.

For many companies, the definition of a targeted prospect means someone in an industry that is similar to their target market and all they have is a company name and phone number or at best just the name of the HR Director or CEO or Say CFO or COO.

Yet you do not have their email, you do not know their business at all.. and the company says they have provided you with a lead. This is not a lead, this is just a name and calling them is like dialing for dollars without a preapproach as I mentioned above.

Now, let's look at the top techniques for prospecting as verified by research. 1) Small Roundtables, Lunch and Learns, Small Events

2) Seminars

3) Speaking--It puts you in a position of Authority, Think Donald Trump, if he offered to speak to you for an hour without charging of course would you turn him down? No, because he is in a position of Authority.

4) Authorship

5) Referrals

These are the top 5
Number 15-- Cold Calling

Why do number 15 when there are 14 other ways is all I'm saying. - by TheSalesWhisperer
I agree with you 100% I am a big fan of seminar selling and lunch and leans and have used both extremely effectively...

I still cant walk away from the fact that you are doing what I would call intelligent cold calling. Your right picking up the phone book, chamber of commerce directory, or whatever else it is people use is not very effective, but unsolicited letters, marketing material and hand written notes backed up with research to someone you have never met is still a cold call. Its just a FAR more effective way of doing it.

I sincerely hope you are not feeling attacked... I am just trying to gain better understanding of your initial statement and see where you are coming from. - by bmtrnavsky
Whatever your reasons for saying cold calling is dead, I still believe that once you travelled those hundreds of miles to that neighbourhood, and you have time to spare, it wouldn't hurt to pay a visit to some businesses in that area if not just to pay a courtesy call and introduce yourself. If I have flown from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu (over the South China Sea and over 1,500 Km away), I'm sure to drop by a potential client's office and see whether I can drum up some business. If not at least to let him know of my presence. More often that not, he appreciates my taking the time to call on him, and business is subsequently generated.

But like a friend here said earlier, polish up on your cold calling skills first. - by wiromal
My sales prospects are scattered across the entire U.S. and they are definitely too busy to spend a day at a seminar. What now?
Pick up the phone and call 'em!
The notion that cold calls are a thing of the past is simply ludicrous. Telemarketing might be dead, but cold calls certainly aren't. You've got to start somewhere, people, and the phone is a useful tool.
As for your credentials, saleswhisperer, you might want to include something besides being a power seller on ebay. That dog won't hunt. Giving away free advice is very generous of you, but ebay and B2B selling are worlds apart, so making blanket statements about selling methods is going to leave you wide open for critics to start tearing your words apart. You've started a great discussion, I just happen to be on the opposing side of this subject. - by Mr Paul
I cold call, I like to call it 'slightly warm calling' people on behalf of our clients. I know it works, you have to have motivated people you train or trained to sell on the phone.

Also, if cold calling doesn’t work, there are allot of telemarketing companies surviving on something. - by Lance_Best
Dear Top Sales Expert

Well. . . as you believe that cold calling is dead, there are thousands of salespeople cold calling every day and making incredible incomes. A salespro (copier sales) said recently that he gets far better leads from cold walking into offices than all the networking events in town combined. The big question is how are you keeping your pipeline full of warm, qualified leads? - by Connie Kadansky
I believe there was a previous thread here about a book titled "Selling Sucks". Also the author wrote, "Cold Calling is a Waste of Time", or something like that. This thread kinda hits on the same theories of the book. Makes sense. A lot of people still make a good living cold calling. But a lot of people make as much money and never cold call. Is it coaching, training, educational level, internet skills, or a comfort zone? I'm open for comments. - by mcaldwell
I believe there was a previous thread here about a book titled "Selling Sucks". Also the author wrote, "Cold Calling is a Waste of Time", or something like that. This thread kinda hits on the same theories of the book. Makes sense. A lot of people still make a good living cold calling. But a lot of people make as much money and never cold call. Is it coaching, training, educational level, internet skills, or a comfort zone? I'm open for comments.
Cold calling isn't a requirement to making money in sales it's an optional lead generation strategy and method of contact. Often times cold calling isn't the highest and best use of a salesperson's time however many times it is. Which is more of a waste of time sitting on deck waiting for a prospect to come to you or taking the bull by the horns and seeing the people? - by Jeff Blackwell
Mr. Blackwell,

Please excuse the way I worded my comment. I am aware that cold calling is a lead generation activity. Some people are excellent at it and generate sales (and do well), while still others never develop that quality or else they give up. I fully agree with you that it is sometimes better to get out and see the people but more than likely, somewhere, someday, you will cold call someone on the phone. So be prepared. Your ultimate goal is to develope
lead strategies that encourage people to be calling you. - by mcaldwell
Hello mcaldwell. Your comments are great and my response wasn't pointed at you.

It seems to me that the people who state that "Cold calling doesn't work" or "cold calling is a waste of time" are making a gross generalization that has the potential to do more harm than good.

In my opinion cold calling, executed properly (time, situation, etc.), has it's place. For someone to dismiss in general cold calling as a viable lead generation strategy shows either a serious bias or a serious ignorance neither of which does much good for those in the profession. - by Jeff Blackwell
While I agree that traditional cold calling is outdated and doesn't work as well anymore, it's far from being "dead". With a well-crafted message and a little research on the prospect, most salespeople can make 10 dials, reach 3 people, and gain 1 appointment.

The best approach is to create a prospecting campaign that leverages tele-prospecting, email, voice mail, internet marketing, event marketing, blogging, and creative campaigns. Each salesperson needs to design a campaign that works best for their type of industry. - by Jake Atwood
I think alot of people have different ideas of a cold call. I started selling a product that almost everyone has a need for. so even making a true "cold call" was productive, atleast more productive than sitting at my desk wandering why im not making any sales. but now I have to target customers because of my product, I have to learn what their business is and how they could use my product. do i do some research? yes. do I try to find out who the decision maker is before i call? yes. do i still consider this a cold call? yes.

I do not think cold calls are dead, I just think that salespeople are learning how to warm up the tempature a bit by arming themselves with information about their new client. If i see a van driving on the road, i write down the name of the company and the number. I still consider this a cold call, even though I already know they use vans. - by Jaron Watkins
I think perhaps we need to define terms, all of you seem to think of cold calling as making phone calls.

To me, cold calling is what I do when I show up at a business without an appointment.

What you are describing to me is telemarketing.

As far as cold calling being dead, it isn't and never will be, there will always be a place for intelligent cold calling whether over the phone or in person

Pat - by toolguy_35
What an absolutely fantastic debate, I feel a little sorry for the originator of the thread as he has provoked some interesting dialogue, so I thought I would way in with my thoughts on the subject.

I had a job cold calling, and I was reasonably good at it. I however hated every minute of it (barring the successful sales of course). Lead generation at such a cold level without any preparation of course involves a lot of luck, however if that is the only source of lead generation then of course it isn’t going to be reliable.

In studying the learning habits of human beings teachers are taught that we all learn and respond to one or a mixture of different learning styles i.e. visually, through Tactility or Aurally. Teachers nowadays know that old fashioned lecturing doesn’t help students who best learn through visual or tactile means. If the same theory then is applied to sales, it is obvious then that connection between a prospect and a cold caller may be hampered by talking to people who are visually and kinesthetically more perceptive.

What a lot of you have mentioned is a way of researching and intelligent preparation in cold calling scenarios that may involve other methods of sensory perceptive learning. By sending a letter you can relate to a person’s visual perception or by sending an email or an online demonstration you could be accessing a person’s tactile responses. The cold call, I don’t think is ineffective and outdated just yet, but I do think it is just one of a number of lead generation weapons in the arsenal that should be used in an overall strategy. - by nesh thompson
cold calling doesnt work....????

not sure if you just mean phone exclusively...but can get a lead from a cold call all day as long as theres some kind of significant contact rate....which all goes back to the quality of your list and your timing etc....

anyways cold calling obviously works or there wouldnt be thousands of telemarketing rooms across the USA...

as for in person cold calling, i made between $5-10 grand this week cold calling...door to door...not sure if you considert hat successful cold calling or not...but i do...

i beg to differ with the dating analogy....dont get me wrong its nice to think you can just join some dating website or social network...and meet dates...thats not hard....but i guarantee the guy that goes up to women in person and is able to use the right approach will get way more quality dates then some guy looking on a dating service...

on a dating service youre always being like matched up....

or theres just too many guys to browse so that there is actually more competition that way...i mean think about it...more guys can send an email than can approach a women in person....that means less competition and a chance to show your true personality....somethign not so easily done on a computer say....

but ive dated both ways ....so there both doable...

BUT to say that cold calling is outdated or doesnt work anymore....that dont sound like anything a true pro would say...

a sales trainer that sales cold calling doesnt work shouldnt be a sales traiiner....thats for sure....

people get way to complex...thinking about all these details to how different people learn and all this and that...sure thats great....

but if you are afraid to make a cold call, i dont know what to say...

it also depends highly on what your selling...i mean obviously selling jet airplanes on a cold calling list is gonna be difficult....but to say it couldnt be done would be naive...
someone might want more info...u just never know.... - by coolmtn
One reason to make cold calls is because you don't have to 'wait for success'.

The key of course is knowing effective ways to (1) get past the gatekeeper, (2) get the decision maker to talk with you, (3) determine early if they have a genuine problem you can solve and a willingness to take action to resolve it (4) set an appointment, OR (5) early disqualify the business and move on to another call.

Seminars, Round tables, lunch and learns sometimes take months to develop and occur; Authorship is a slow process; referrals are wonderful from 'happy clients'; networking groups are slow referral circles.

There is nothing stopping someone from picking up the phone and making a cold call.....except of course themselves. That is why learning effective skills to do it is key. No one wants to be 'making' the call they don't like to be 'getting'. - by Paulette Halpern
Happy client story: I have a client who was doing lots of mailouts, followup calls on the mail out, more letters/emails (etc, etc)....happy with results, but costly (brochure printing, mail expesnse etc) -- unhappy with the ROI being seen for the project(s).

Changed approach to cold calling. Taught their team how to get past the gatekeeper to the decison maker; how to deliver a 30 second commercial that got to uncover issues the company had that they could solve, and if they could not get interest, understand WHY and that maybe they did not have a qualified prospect.

But very little now went out via the mail; now, even if they got the same results, their ROI went up...however, since they learned more effectively how to be 'talking with the real decision maker on a topic that was of importance to them', instead of closing 2-3 new deals a year; they were closing 8-10 deals a year.

BTW, they had talked themselves into believing they had a long sales cycle and they it had to be that way.

These were learned skills...did they have some employee turnover. Sure, these people just could not get comfortable. That is why we now use pre-employment screening tools to make sure they hire people who have the personality to do the job.

How did I find my client....a cold call. People ask me all the time if cold calling works....you know what I tell them. - by Paulette Halpern
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