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What is the difference between prospecting and cold calling?

Why do some salespeople think "cold call" when they are asked if they "prospect?" What's the difference? - by Connie Kadansky
Connie I think possibly somewhere in time some sales managers or maybe some sales trainers started using cold call in place of the word prospecting. I talk with my clients about different forms of prospecting and to consider cold calling as only one technique IN the prospecting piece.

I love this question and am hopeful someone might have the REAL answer! - by patweber
"Cold Calling" is one form of prospecting as both you and I know. "Prospecting" itself is the ongoing 'activity/behavior' of looking for new people to meet, who may become your clients or be able to introduce you to people who could become your client. Prospecting happens in many ways, not just by cold calling.

Most people, just want to 'hang out a sign, 'Open for Business' and have people willing to pay them for their services. Just not the case very often.

I can't tell you why some salespeople think 'cold call' when asked if they 'prospect', only those that do, can.

But you probably have some interesting explanations yourself for the phenomena. - by Paulette Halpern
I don't know why some people think "cold call" (or how many actually do think that) when asked if they prospect.

Clearly, cold calling is one specific form of prospecting--prospecting referring to the act of seeking sales opportunities. - by Ace Coldiron
I think cold calling is a separate activity than prospecting. I believe it requires a different skill set. Cold Calling (the initial contact) is done first followed by Prospecting (the follow up) with time and date specific action steps.

Just my two cents. - by accelerated-sales
Prospecting can be done on the phone, by letter, by email ... heck, you could tie a benefit written on paper to a rock and throw that rock through the window of the President's corner office ... though it might land you in jail, eventually, if you did it enough, you would find someone that would show interest.

Old school teachers use the example of the person who is unable to talk. Going door to door, knocking, then when the lady of the house answers, they hand a note to the person ... eventually, if this form of COLD prospecting was practiced, someone would ask "how much" and a few of them would buy.

The point is; when we prospect, regardless of how we go about it (meeting people in public, referrals, direct marketing techniques either online or off, advertising, etc.) what we say to those suspected prospects makes a huge difference to our success - to how many end up converted into qualified prospects.

To me, the act of CALLING - either walking in or phone calling - to someone we don't know and have no connection to is COLD CALLING. The act of CALLING - again either walking in or phone calling - to someone we do have a connection to is warm market or not cold market prospecting.

PROSPECTING telephone is TELEPHONE PROSPECTING, as apposed to the form of prospecting known as DOOR KNOCKING.

If I asked for a referral, I then can call a person and say "I got your name from John Smith ..." - instantly I've established a fair reason to talk that is quite separate from the benefits I might have to offer. I am therefore better received. This does not mean I will get an appointment, at best it means I have a wee bit of an advantage I would not have had if I was not enterprising enough to ask for the referral in the first place. It also means that I saved time, as a referral takes less time to get you a SUSPECTED PROSPECT than does any other form of research.

COLD CALLING is part of PROSPECTING ... so is WARM CALLING ... as is writing and mailing or hand delivering letters.

The Art of Prospecting is a dyeing art. There are those who not only don't understand the differences between "prospecting and cold calling" but actually believe "that does not work any longer!"

Those of us to "hunt" know, it works alright. And the fewer that try to prospect professionally and master the art of Gold Calling® for instance, the better those of us who do seem to do (achieve).

What a world!!!

Oh, Gold Calling® is changing one letter from COLD CALLING to use a more positive term or phrase in self talk and communication with other sales people about what it is we do. A massive benefit can be derived from using more powerful language, not only with prospects but also amongst ourselves.

You have my permission to use my trademark in future sales meetings. - by Gold Calling
Thank you for all your input on this one!

The other day I asked a hot shot sales guy "what is your definition of prospecting?" and he said getting "face time" with prospects.

From my viewpoint prospecting is the proactive steps salespeople take to identify, qualify and get in front of their ideal prospects. - by Connie Kadansky
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