Cold Calling is Dead…Prospecting Isn’t

The sales profession has a problem with words. We use words too loosely – without agreed upon definitions. “Cold calling” is one of the classics. Does it work or not?

Well the first problem is that one man’s “cold calling” in not another man’s. Some people define “cold calling” as any time you pick up a telephone to call someone you don’t already know. Other people define “cold calling” as when you pick up the phone to call someone you don’t know and you don’t anything about them or their company.

Today, the latter version of “cold calling” is dead — or should be. But the former version is decidedly not dead. Our outsourced telesales business calls into prospects daily for our clients and generates $100,000’s of new business that was not generated by other means (aka marketing techniques without using telephone-based selling). Or consider that MarketingSherpa found that 30-50% of buyers said that as a result of a “cold call” they took an action that benefited the caller (such as attending a webinar or adding the vendor to their consideration for a purchase).

The bar for sales people has been raised. Ignorant cold calling — dialing executives with no background on them, their company or their challenges is as good as dead. But informed prospecting where sales people use “Sales 2.0 tools” like InsideView, Jigsaw, Genius.com and LinkedIn, to name a few, to make well-prepared and highly-targeted calls is decidedly not dead. And is not likely to be any time soon since the ROI on that activity is huge!

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