Is Cold Calling Obsolete?

With technology evolving and advancing more than ever in the past year, we must ask ourselves whether cold calling is a thing of the past? We are now connecting with people in all different ways through a range of platforms and channels – so there doesn’t seem to be as much of a need for cold calling, or is there?

According to a study by Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business, fewer than 0.3% of cold calls by experienced sales executives resulted in a meeting. That’s 19 out of 6,264 calls presenting even the chance of a sale (Taylor Robinson). So why waste your time cold calling when you can instead invest your time in online marketing, email campaigns and social media? People in this day and age are obsessed with technology, so why not use it to its advantage?

Cold calling first began in the 1800s, long before the invention of the internet (Lisa McLeod). So it’s no surprise that technology has become the main obstacle getting in the way of cold calling today. The invention of caller ID means people are less likely to pick up their phones to an unknown number. There is nothing more unappealing than someone you don’t know demanding your time and sometimes even your money. Simply put, consumers find cold calls annoying (Taylor Robinson). It goes without saying that buyers today have a very different set of tools at their disposal, versus just 10 or 20 years ago. Just a simple Google search or browsing on social media networks can give you the information you need in order to make a purchase decision (David Dulany). But is this to say cold calling is dead, or is there still a place for it in today’s society?

Despite the numerous digital communications and lead generation channels available today, many sales teams still find the good old-fashioned cold call to be effective (Tim Conn). So much so that according to Marketing Charts, phone calls are the second most effective way to reach prospects, second to referrals.

You can do everything possible for your company to gain market share – continuous enhancement of database, email automation, trade shows, SEO and social media ads, but in the end, you’ll have to pick up the phone and call the people who aren’t calling you (Michael Edwards).

In an era of technology, it may seem outdated and unnecessary but that isn’t the case entirely. There is certainly still a place for cold calling in today’s society – with the right strategies in place, you can generate business and make picking up the phone worth your while.

If you focus solely on landing a sale, the prospect is less likely to engage with you. Think about having an interesting conversation to create a relationship with the prospect. This will encourage them to listen and take in what you have to say rather than ending the call.

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