Is The Day Of The Cold Call Dead?

Written by: Laura Chetcuti
Published on: 30 Jul 2015

Cold Calling

The COLD CALL. It was something that I detested during my time in recruitment. It didn’t appear to be something that many of my colleagues particularly enjoyed either. Of course, I’ve no doubt that there are people out there who find the widely-feared, cold calling activity, thoroughly exhilarating. I am fairly sure they do exist. They possibly, probably, may, perhaps potentially exist.

 Despite my intense aversion to the cold call, it wasn’t all bad. Once, we ran an internal competition during our designated business development hours. The aim was to slip in as many Michael Jackson lyrics as humanely possible during a two hour cold calling session (the worst).

I won.

Although there were moments of grave awkwardness, for example, describing Mary to her PA, as a “smooth criminal” because I could never track her down was not ideal to say the least. We won’t even discuss how I managed to tick off “Billie Jean”!

I wonder how many people who have stumbled across this article, have already received at least one cold call today?

 I would regularly get knocked back. In fact, I would go weeks without anyone even entertaining a conversation with me (I’m not that bad!). When the rare, unthinkable moment materialised that I actually got through to a decision maker, the shock was almost traumatising. I actually had to speak this time. More words than “hello, my name is” and “bye”. I would question what it was that encouraged them to listen this time, as opposed to the 20million (exaggeration) times I had tried to batter down their gatekeepers previously. Were they just bored? Did they have more patience on that particular day, than they did 2 weeks prior to?

92% of buyers no longer respond to cold call voicemails and emails.  

With the prevalence of social media in today’s modern, technologically advanced society, is the cold call dying out? 

LinkedIn has led a transformation in the evolution of the sales pitch. It empowers businesses by recommendations and referrals. Admittedly, a lot of cold call emails are sent via the platform, but overall, LinkedIn serves as a shop window for businesses to promote themselves without ramming it down the throats of their prospective buyers.

Social selling is transporting us back in time (plus a heck of a lot of technology but we can ignore that bit for a second!). In the centuries before us, business was virtually only done through recommendation. Word of mouth. No internet, no phones and limited resources for advertising. Businesses historically generated new customers, almost solely, through referrals. LinkedIn is helping companies worldwide, to win this organic customer growth all over again.

Is social selling the way forward for new business success? Research conducted recently by advertising agency OgilvyOne found that in the UK alone, 71% of salespeople believe that being a salesperson will be radically different in 5 years’ time. 

Is the day of the cold call dead?

What other methods of business development do you find effective? 

Is social-selling the sole future of business development or are there any other advances that you can predict for the next 5-10 years?