Well, that is a really big question. And the answer completely depends on your definition of a cold call.
If you mean, calling completely cold and hoping to sell your services there and then, well, yes it is.
If you think of cold calling as a business development tool to introduce yourself and your services to a researched target contact, then no, it is not.
Cold calling is not dead at all, but it is evolving.
In reality there are as many cold calls being made now as there ever have been. And amongst them there is a lot of good business being done. Meetings set up, follow up calls made and people kept in touch with. The difference is that style is changing and improving and so is focus.
Do NOT email – call!
I have given my thoughts many of times before about the misuse of email, but please indulge me again….
Email is a really useful tool, a great method of communicating, but not a way to build a business relationship. There is no feeling, there is no empathy, there is no understanding, persuasion, compassion….. I could go on and on.
For those who are anxious about picking up the phone, it is also the ultimate method of avoidance. Hiding behind a computer screen, tapping out and sending an introduction is of little impact, especially without follow up. Ultimately most don’t get opened or read.
Do NOT tweet – call!
The other modern enemy of business development is the growth of social media. Please don’t get me wrong. I love social media. I use it widely and I believe whole-heartedly in using it in developing a marketing strategy.
But, what is not great about it, is that it has allowed a level of laziness that we haven’t seen before. It has allowed the same consultant who shies away from the phone and emails instead, to believe that they are being proactive in developing a market.
“I’ve been on twitter” is not a valid excuse in my book. Sure this stuff has a place (as a part of a balanced strategy) but it cannot replace the old fashioned ‘introduction call’ done properly.
Quality before quantity
Quality before quantity. You need to research. You need to have a sensible target list. You need to know who you are calling and why.
Cold calling in a professional services environment is not telemarketing. It is introductory, it is well researched. It is beneficial.
And above all, done well, it works!
For more on developing yourself, your staff and improving the profitability of your business, please do get in touch. You can email me at email@example.com, use the contact page on my website www.jamesnathan.com or call me on 07736 831151. Follow me on Twitter at @jamesnathanxp, connect to me on LinkedIn, or follow me on Facebook.
I look forward to being in touch.
Is cold calling dead? It is if no one picks up the phone anymore.
That is the challenge to anyone who makes a living talking on the phone. People are not just afraid of making cold calls, they are afraid of answering the phone. With so many different avenues to communicate, the telephone is no longer the first choice for most, especially the younger generation. They don't talk to strangers-they require transparency-meaning they need to know who you are, and why you want to talk to them before they talk to you.
An effective cold calling strategy today doesn't start with the phone-it starts with building your reputation and visibility. And the most effective way to do that is with social media. You may not like it, but it is the trend.
Cold calling is not dead-what is dead is advising others to just get on the phone and make more phone calls.
Thank you for sharing your article, James. I have to agree with Ken. The recruiting industry has evolved with the technological times, as our means of communication have expanded. When I started out in recruiting, we didn't have the social media that we have today and faxes where utilized more than Emails. Although I prefer the personal touch experience with phone calls, times have certainly changed and I feel it is imperative to adapt to our ever-changing society
I believe that the phone is necessary to keep relationships on a personal level but I tend to find my contacts preference for communication varies from the generation to generation. It seems as though Generations X and Y prefer computer-based connection. So, I think it really depends on the audience you are reaching out to when you talk about cold calling as opposed to a cold Email.
Cold Calling will never die in our business because sales calls and recruiting calls are equally cold!
Everyone used to have an extension tied to them. In most industries, you'd be hard pressed to dial for dollars like we used to
For getting new clients, email has hands down been what has worked best for me. For candidates, a combination of email and phone, but phone is best especially when time is critical (which is usually always0.
I have to agree with Ken on most aspects although I still feel you get the most success from making those initial calls. Mainly because you have more opportunity and time to convince them you are great at what you do and will put their interests first.
As for the younger generations preferring to communicate through other means; this was always going to happen as they are growing up with a computer in their pocket, and yet no one seems to be comfortable enough to chat on the phone but they are comfortable with putting their profile (lives) on display for the internet to view.
- Times they are a-changin - Bob Dylan.
Thank you all for taking the time to comment. I'm really glad that this topic has caused some good debate. I had an email from a different source when I posted this initially telling me that the subject was boring and irrelevant in the current market! how wrong that person has been proved to be.
Was actually using Whatsapp to arrange a meeting yesterday! all felt a bit surreal. Just read that the new iPhone 5 has 3G Facetime maybe we can change the way people communicate again so we can actually see the candidate. Ha!
I guess I am the old fashioned one here. I do use LinkedIn occasionally to find people but I spend a lot of time calling people on the phone. I don't spend time on Facebook or twitter either. I am looking for people who can communicate and if they can not talk to me on the phone and only feel comfortable putting their entire life on public view than I don't want them and neither would my client. Yep I am old fashioned and I LIKE IT!!!!
Old fashioned is great Theresa. All contact methods are valid, and there are increasingly interesting ways of making introductions, but nothing beats the age old conversation. After all, we are all pushing the knowing, liking, trusting process. How can get to stage two without real contact?