Cold Calling is Dead Long Live Cold Calling

The notion that cold-calling is dead is a very popular one these days. You can’t go more than a few days without seeing a new digital marketer (with good intentions) writing about it.

The cold hard truth: If you think cold-calling is dead, you are probably terrible at it. It is a learned skill, after all.

Here are three reasons why cold-calling is alive, immortal, and possibly the best way to grow your business depending on a multitude of factors (price point of your product or service, titles of the prospects you’re going after, industry, etc).

[clickToTweet tweet=”If you think cold-calling is dead, you’re probably terrible at it” quote=”If you think cold-calling is dead, you’re probably terrible at it” theme=”style3″]

If you’re a B2C company selling lemonade directly to your end customers via cold calls, this article probably isn’t for you. And you should probably rethink your business model. On the other hand, if you’re a B2B company selling complex enterprise software and the tip of your spear is a sales development team, this article may be beneficial.

  1. You buy from people you like. It’s human nature and this will never change. No highly-personalized email or perfectly-timed social media post can ever build as much rapport as well as a conversation between you and a prospect where things click. The best way to develop relationships is in-person. The second is via FaceTime. The third is a phone call. The fourth is texting and so on and so on. Unfortunately, FaceTiming a prospect is frowned upon. At least in April of 2017.
  2. You cut through the noise. “This is a very complicated world, a very noisy world and we’re not going to get the chance to get people to remember us. No company is. So we have to be very clear about what we want people to know about us.” – Steve Jobs
    How many emails do you get a day? 100’s? 1000’s? How many cold-calls do you get a day? Maybe one? Do you even get cold-called? It’s not even close. Great script + account research + cold-calling = opportunity to bypass the crowd and go direct to differentiate yourself and make them remember you.
  3. You are guaranteed to get a reaction. Emails can go unanswered. Social media posts can be ignored. When a prospect answers your call, you have their attention and you will get a reaction. How you handle their attention to get the reaction you want, is up to you.

Handling a prospect’s attention…

If you or your team is experiencing low conversion rates (cold-call > conversation > meeting booked), below are three simple, but important truths to keep in mind when you have a prospect on the other line.

  • Tone is everything.
  • The “elevator pitch” needs to be about their problem/pain point, not your solution/functionality.
  • You are selling the intro call/meeting, you are not selling your product or service.

Becoming an excellent cold-caller is the single best way to fast-track your sales career and improve your overall skill set in business. Why?

Because there is no other business activity that exposes you to as much constant rejection.

cold-calling = rejection
cold-calling = rejection
cold-calling = rejection

Those that persevere through this build up unwavering confidence and conviction, which can be applied in all aspects of business and life. I have yet to meet someone who excelled (top 5%) at cold-calling and isn’t doing great things right now in their respective careers, regardless if they pursued sales or not.


To conclude, there is definitely usefulness in digital marketing, and no doubt, it can be a valuable tool, but to say cold-calling is dead couldn’t be further from the truth.

The “cold-calling is dead” crowd usually comprises of those who are unable to sell themselves and are looking for an easier path – one with less rejection.

And if you are a digital marketer reading this that truly believes cold-calling is a relic of the past, feel free to comment with the biggest pain point you face in business today. We’ll give you a call tomorrow ?.

This post is adapted from the original that appeared on LinkedIn in April 2017.

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