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Why Cold Calling is Still an Effective Way to Generate Leads
Blog / For Sales Pros / Jan 22, 2014 / Posted by Richard Young / 6150

Why Cold Calling is Still an Effective Way to Generate Leads

Cold Calling 3.0 – The Art of Selling Smarter Not Harder by Wyn N. Davies – explains what tactics should be incorporated alongside cold calling to ensure it becomes a worthwhile course of action.

This short synopsis of the book picks out the key messages.

10 Second Summary

Traditional cold calling as a sales technique treats selling as a numbers game which no longer works. To succeed in the new paradigm sales environment, it’s necessary to build connections FIRST by taking advantage of networking, social media and other relationship-building strategies – then use these openings as platforms to pitch to the right people.

Key Reason You Should Read this Book

If your business is still reliant on cold calling to generate leads and sales, this book will explain why your approach needs reconsidering. In addition, this book describes a new approach to sales that encompasses new tools, as well as explaining how to get the best from your sales teams. And because it’s short, you can glean a stack of information and ideas – FAST.

Rapid Fire Overview of Key Sales Lessons Discussed

If cold calling is your default selling technique, this book argues it’s time to take stock and adopt a new approach. That’s because cold calling, in its traditional form – is dead.

Expecting customers to buy following a “pushy”, interruptive call that they’re NOT expecting, no longer works. And from the salespersons point of view, facing a continual barrage of rejections does nothing for confidence in an already highly challenging role.

Wyn N. Davies argues that the single most important reason for the death of cold calling is its inability to build a connection with a prospect.

As a result, it’s futile to clock up call volumes and expect sales tarets to be met. In fact, turning sales into a “numbers” game totally undermines what sales teams set out to achieve. Simply pitching at more and more people in the hope that enough will say “yes”, is a waste of time and effort.

Instead, better results will be achieved if you instead focus on creating that initial connection and then getting prospects’ permission to interact and engage.

“In the new paradigm cold calling evolves from interruption to a process of engagement where a cloud of compelling messages and permission-based marketing allow the prospect to participate.”

So what DOES work?

Davies argues that in today’s climate, successful salespeople understand the importance of using strategies and methods of engagement that “warm the path” first – it’s why sales techniques such as social selling and the act of stimulating two-way conversations, become so powerful and influential. Davies says that:

 “Companies need someone to go into the marketplace and tell their story and sell their solutions. Once the solution is sold, someone needs to build and deepen the relationship with the customer so that the company can be assured of a future with a predictable base of business.”

In short, if you’re not inspiring your buyer with a compelling message that pushes the right emotional buttons – you’re going to lose out.

As a result, the definition of what a salesperson does needs to change – interruption selling as one of sales techniques has to be replaced, because customers don’t want to be “pushed” into making a decision. Instead, they prefer to set the agenda – and given the amount of information that’s now available to inform customers BEFORE they make any buying decisions, it’s more important than ever, that the conversations salespeople stimulate have the right focus.

In short, you need to think connection – NOT selling.

And underpinning everything is the need to have a clear understanding of what’s in it for the customer. And with that basis, you can create a compelling message.

Don’t hang up the phone altogether!

Davies acknowledges the role that sales calls continue to make in the sales mix. He suggests that you can make sales by phone – the key is not to pitch it cold – instead adopt Cold Calling 3.0.

“Cold Calling 3.0 is pitching to prospects that are qualified leads. Cold Calling 3.0 is pitching with a compelling message that connects directly to the needs of the prospect. You know this because you understand the market, the needs of the buyer and have done the research to support every single statement made.
All business people are looking for opportunities and if your pitch is presented as an intelligent opportunity that addresses the needs of the business then your calls will be welcomed. If you call with authority and make intelligent statements to gatekeepers your calls will be put through.”

So you see, cold calling CAN work, but only if used in tandem with other relationship-building strategies such as networking, social media or by seeking connections and referrals through the likes of LinkedIn to ensure there’s some pre-existing connection first.

And when you do call, the pitch is all-important.

Smart sales people will do their research first, to ensure that what they do say is specifically tailored to the prospect.

“You know that your messages are powerful because the prospect writes the pitch!”

Suggestions as to How You Can Apply These Insights to Your Sales Techniques

Use this book to understand why traditional cold calling and “selling by numbers” no longer works. And whilst the mantra “cold calling is dead” is true, it doesn’t mean you can hang up your phone for good. Instead, lay the groundwork, invest time building connections via social media, networking and seeking introductions and referrals – then make calls – BUT only to prospects who you know you can help.

What sales techniques work for you? Are you using Cold Calling 3.0 in your business? Are you getting results from building connections FIRST before you start to sell? Please share your experiences in the comments below.

About Author

Richard helped introduce CRM to the UK back in the '90s. With this wealth of knowledge, Richard helps organizations with their CRM and sales management processes in a practical and efficient manner.

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