Home > Cold Calling > Finally! Proof that cold calling doesn't work!

Finally! Proof that cold calling doesn't work!

Cold calling works... cold calling doesn't work. Up until now no supporting evidence from a credible source has been put forward for either position. Up until now. Let's put this issue to rest once and for all. Can someone finally provide proof that cold calling doesn't work? - by Calvin
I had an appointment fall through today so I stopped off at a hospital that is actually an inside account sales list. (I am still the capital equipment rep for this account)

I dropped into the O.R. on a cold call and asked some questions oriented around a $9,000 piece of equipment I sell. I found out that they are budgeted to purchase my competitors product and they didn't even know we had a similar product. I got them to agree not to order the other product until they trialed mine. I have an appointment to go back.

I guess I mucked up the cold calling doesn't work theory.

Good Selling - by Sell4alivn
You are asking the wrong question. Without a doubt cold calling will lead to appointments and sales. The real question is whether it is the most effective prospecting tool available to you. Your best bet is to create a prospecting plan that includes calling, snail mail, email, faxing, face 2 face introductions and referrals. Then work your plan and figure out what gets you the best results for the time and money spent. Then do more of that! - by jdedwa11
I wholeheartedly agree that a multi-prong marketing strategy is called for but that's another thread.

Opponents of cold calling have said that cold calling doesn't work. This is an opportunity for those people to provide the supporting evidence that backs their position. - by Calvin
Cold calling works better for new inventions than products or services that have already flooded the market.

For new inventions, people will more likely to hear about it or even fix an appointment to talk about it. Curiosity is part of human nature (well at least for most of us).

So that depends on the type of business the salesperson is in. - by Max_Gwee
Calvin you should contact all of the sales trainers who say cold calling doesn't work and ask them to plead their case. I don't think they will but it's worth a try. - by Frankie
Even with proof to the contrary I can say that cold calling works for me. It really is amazing how many people say that cold calling doesn't work while at the same time so many people say it does. It's not that hard to prove or disprove. Send in a pro and see what happens. - by Houston
With all due respect, Calvin,
Your premise is incorrect. It's a blanket statement that is insupportable. What proof can you give that all cold calling doesn't work.

First, define 'cold calling'. Do you mean calling someone on the phone without a prior introduction? Do you mean going right to the prospect's home or office? Do you judge the value of cold calling on getting an appointment or making a sale?

I started my training career by teaching real estate agents, life insurance agents, home improvement salespeople, auto sale people, bankers, printing salespeople and a host of other industries how to make cold calls ... on the phone or in person ... to get appointments so they could make presentations.

IMHO, the main reason cold calling, on the phone or in person,
doesn't work well, is that salespeople don't learn the language of making appointments, the language of qualifying, the language of making presentations well enough or completely enough to survive or do well.

Example #1: I taught Mike, a new real estate agent, what to say to call 'by-owners' and get appointments. The next week he called 50 'by-owners' and got 33 appointments. However, nobody gave him a listing. Did the cold calling not work (33 appointments from 50 calls is 66% success) or was he simply deficient in the next step ... make a compelling presentation? (At that time, I only taught prospecting ... nothing else.)

Example # 2. A Toronto real estate agent (I forget his name) was struggling with getting appointments and listings from 'by-owners'. He said it took him 10 calls to get an appointment, 5 appointments to get a listing, and three listings to get one to sell. That means he had to make 150 calls to get a paycheck. It worked out that each call made him $26.

This time, I taught him not only the exact same language I taught Mike to make appointments, I also taught him the exact language to qualify prospects, to demonstrate why 'by-owners' statistically lose money selling privately, the exact language to persuade sellers to list with him, and the exact language to help the sellers select the listing price that would result in the most money and the fastest sale. By the end of the next year, he could make 10 cold calls, get six appointments, five listings and have four sell. Now, he got 4 paychecks from every 10 cold calls. Mathematically, each cold call was worth $1,600. thmbp2;

So Calvin, here's my proof that cold calling works. Where is your proof that it doesen't? xerm; - by Jerry Bresser
People are always looking to justify that 'cold calling doesn't work'. It is usually the people who are not good at cold calling that are looking to justify that since it is not effective for them, it is simply 'not effective'. They can't handle the fact that perhaps, how they do their cold calling is the problem.

Cold calling should be a part of the prospecting mix for any salesperson. Networking can take a long time to deliver results; marketing and mail campaigns can be costly and are difficult to create statistics for ROI of the money spent. Cold calling can be managed by the investment in time and the results seen, along with keeping statistics of the appointments that result from the effort and the closed sales that occur.

You never have to stand in line to make a cold call....you just need to know how to do it effectively. - by Paulette Halpern
What exactly is a 'cold call'? As I define it, a cold call is a phone call or walk in, when the person being asked for is not expecting you. It doesn't matter if you got their name as a 'lead' from networking or a referral from existing client or from a list. If they don't expect the call, it's as a cold call.

No matter who they are, you're interrupting them; if you get to them and you need effective conversational tools to get their attention and keep it to 'take the conversation to the next step'.

Then you have to be sure of what the next step is, in your world. Most of the time it is a face to face appointment. Not always in some cases.

Whether the cold call results in a sale (not every end result has an immediate monetary value), will be determined by how well the sales person handles the process after a positive 'cold call' happens. But if a positive initial interaction doesn't happen, the next step doesn't either.

Client of mine USED to send out hundreds of letters to marketing executives and their presidents at mid to large credit unions. If they were lucky, they got 1 interested call in a year. We changed the approach to cold calling on the Presidents of the credit unions, and they added 9 new clients in a year. Sure the President did refer the sales person to the marketing executive in the first call, but the end result was a business deal put together.

Were those cold calls effective? - by Paulette Halpern
Opponents of cold calling have said that cold calling doesn't work. This is an opportunity for those people to provide the supporting evidence that backs their position.
I wouldn't hold your breath. Claims like cold calling doesn't work survive in the shadows not in the light. - by Houston
Cold calling works. People who say it doesn't are people who don't know how to use it and/or don't do it very well.

To be successful, your list must be highly targeted and you need a message that will resonate with your prospects. Bottom line, this is a communication skill. If everyone with whom you speak says, "I'm not interested," you're not saying anything interesting. - by Wendy Weiss
..........you need a message that will resonate with your prospects. Bottom line, this is a communication skill. If everyone with whom you speak says, "I'm not interested," you're not saying anything interesting.
I will agree, that your message has to be meaningful to your prospect. Saying something 'interesting' is not necessarily going to get their attention.....pointing out a 'problem' that the prospect has, that 'other companies or people have had that your product or service can resolve', will get their attention. Then they may be willing to focus for a minute or two or 5 on it, so you can determine what to do next. - by Paulette Halpern
I am a Senior Advertising Sales person for a Fox and a CW affiliate which means I have been doing B2B sales for many years. I am the local direct queen in our sales staff and do you want to know how I won and continue to wear that CROWN? COLD CALLS!!!! - by MPrince
You are asking the wrong question. Without a doubt cold calling will lead to appointments and sales. The real question is whether it is the most effective prospecting tool available to you. Your best bet is to create a prospecting plan that includes calling, snail mail, email, faxing, face 2 face introductions and referrals. Then work your plan and figure out what gets you the best results for the time and money spent. Then do more of that! - by cocosan
A client asked me last week, when we were going to be doing our next "No Pressure Prospecting Workshop" (our secret title for our cold call workshops), and I asked him why.

His reply was simply, "I struggled making cold calls until I learned how to do them effectively." It seems he has a few friends who have gone into business in the last year, and they are frustrated making cold calls the way they are.

He went on to elaborate, that he attributes much of his business growth to cold calls. Of course he does get a lot of referrals now, but he can trace 'many, many' clients back to an original cold call he made. Even today, he sets aside an hour a day to introduce himself to new people at companies, via cold calling, using our No Pressure Prospecting Process.

Effective cold calling starts with a belief it works and then finding a strategy that can help you be successful at it.

For those in S. Florida, we are holding a No Pressure Prospecting Workshop on May 21, 2009. It is on the Sales Practice Calendar. - by Paulette Halpern
Is it really that the people who say "cold calling doesnt work" just don't know how to make it work for them?

Personally, I find that cold calling is the only way to launch a new service into a new market where there are no referals (as no one knows you or your offering).

Better to have a fully rounded prospecting plan as mentioned previously. Don't leave out cold calling, refine your approach, list and practice. - by Julian
even without a good sales script, cold calling works. Part of sales success is the "number of games" theory....meet lots of people then statistically there will be prospects who need our products/solutions.

It is very interesting that competitors sales person did the cold calling (educating the prospects about the products/services) and he just gave up, then I came (cold calling in the same area), met the the prospect and he was so happy to meet me because he wanted to buy the products but cannot find the competitors' sales person who previously cold calling in the area.

Cold calling always work. - by wiriadinata
Cold Calling by phone is cost effective, however there are periods when it appears to be like digging a hole with your head. This month is a particular example. It's not that people are on vacation, its just that they wont take sales calls at all... - by Julian
Cold calling works... cold calling doesn't work. Up until now no supporting evidence from a credible source has been put forward for either position. Up until now. Let's put this issue to rest once and for all. Can someone finally provide proof that cold calling doesn't work?

1 The number one reason why people leave sales is "rejection." Everyone knows this.

2 So, how attractive would it be if you read that a speaker was offering a seminar called, "Never Cold-Call Again." Or "Learn Why Cold-Calling Doesn't Work?" (Implying there is an alternate available)

3 Since the cold-calling environment is responsible for initiating rejection, having not to cold call and still make a living is very attractive.

4 The alternative is usually called "relationship" selling and/or making "warm" calls. Others involve marketing techniques based on shared interest etc. I am sure there are other derivations.

5 Depending on what you sell and to who, you run out of these "warm" and "relationship" calls and must inevitably resort to cold-calling.

6 Also, just because you know someone better than a stranger, that does not mean he or she will buy.

7 In fact, I have had "warm" and "relationship" calls be less fruitful than a cold call. Since I know this person, I will not push a "no" further than the relationship can withstand.

8 Now, if your product or service is repeatable whereby a client base can grow yes, cold calling will not always be necessary. In fact, I had a sales route of over 1,000 solid accounts I saw every 3 months. Once this was build, I cold called only if I wanted to.

9 From my experience, cold-calling is very effective and essential at various points in a sales career.

I hope that helps - by John Voris
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