Is Cold Calling Dead?

This question pops up every now and again so I thought I would give my take on it here at my blog. I have answered a question on this recently over at Quora and the question and views around it pops up on forums and blogs quite often.

Its not really a free country...
Photo Credit: Chad McDonald via Compfight

It’s almost as if people were wishing it were dead!

I suppose if we relate cold calling to our own personal experiences of really bad calls as consumers (usually when you are about to sit down for dinner) then I can relate to people who wish that kind of cold calling dead.  I share that sentiment entirely!

But for b2b cold calling and by this I mean Businesses who want to call other Business to introduce their services or products and generate new leads, enquires, new business, and pipeline then it’s a different story…

B2B Cold Calling is Very Much Alive And Kicking!

It’s such an exciting time for cold calling and business telemarketing in general right now with such a boom and range of activity with social media. People are sharing more and more business information in more and more places. They are also connecting with people on a social level and that’s just Gold to Cold Callers or at least it should be!

The old fashioned and traditional telemarketing companies or inhouse telemarketing teams will really struggle to make up lost ground if they don’t get to grips soon with these platforms for sharing and gaining information and potential prospects and relationship building as part of the cold calling and telemarketing processes.

Here is a quick list of real life scenarios and benefits of social telemarketing:

  • Call people who have an immediate need and they are talking about it openly and requesting recommendations
  • Calls whizz past the gatekeeper where there is already an online relationship
  • Calls can be targeted by geographical locations (thanks to tools such as sproutsocial)
  • Potential needs can be qualified before calling to make efficient use of time
  • Pipeline can be nurtured both online and offline by phone
  • Data is bang up to date as it is real time information and so much more effective than an old and inaccurate data list
  • There is an opportunity to contact people who are on CTPS by seeking permission via social networks, email or messaging systems
  • Influencers and Decision Makers are more easily identifiable.
  • Information on current suppliers or current situation can sometimes be known beforehand giving excellent call preparation

One of the biggest attractions of b2b cold calling is that it enables businesses to go out and win business with their most profitable types of customer.

This has got nothing to do with social media. Even with the growth in social, cold calling as an independent marketing and sales tool delivers on it’s own. If we consider how social media has changed the landscape for cold calling and telemarketing then a few things have happened over recent time:

  • Less companies are cold calling due to the boom in social media and this means that good quality cold calls get listened to more than before
  • Prospects can check someone’s web presence out online whilst on or just after a cold call

These two things help with reassurance of credibility which used to be one of the biggest barriers of cold calling with businesses being sceptical of being approached by phone. I cannot see the attraction diminishing any time soon of being able to pick up the phone and immediately win work for the best type of customer.  Even with such a broad range of marketing strategies available telemarketing and cold calling still remains one of the most cost effective methods to acquire high quality business with an excellent level of return on investment.

It can also be used to compliment other internet marketing activity such as prioritising people to call from click throughs on web pages or email marketing.

However like any other marketing activity there is still the potential for it to be handled poorly.

Here is my list of poorly handled social telemarketing cold calls:

  • Cold calls that ignore CTPS
  • Cold calls that target specific lists such as Linkedin Groups or online directories. People are not stupid and know where the caller has got their details from. They will get irritated with online information and connections being abused.
  • Cold calls that are poorly targeted and are just telephone spam

As social media grows it will get abused for cold calling. That’s just an unfortunate fact of business life. I hope that companies will continue to report breaches of CTPS even though it takes a bit of time or call them out on social networks to discourage an upsurge in rule breaking and keep a basic level of etiquette in place for telemarketing.

Those that do abuse the opportunities presented to them will quickly see online reputations being damaged. Admittedly there will be some people that don’t care about that too much but I predict that less people will be so flippant about this in future.  I have already seen a few cases at UKBF with a company abusing the business forum for cold calling only to be called out by other forum members. This has left a trail of negative comments about their company right up there at the top of google searches.

Cold Calling isn’t suitable for every type of business but then there are other marketing activities that are not right for everyone either. Telemarketing and Cold Calling in particular should be considered as part of a marketing mix and the modern uses can enhance other marketing activities.









  • Taniabrown23

    Its really a great article related to B2B cold calling.I will use the given tactics.They looks effective.Thanks for sharing this information with us.

  • Brandonvenuefula

    information, many thanks to the author! It is good and correct. The
    usefulness and significance is overwhelming. Thanks again for this very
    informative post and good luck! 

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