Is cold calling Dead?


Cold calling is not dead. That being said, it seems like cold-calling’s death has become relatively popular chatter in the world of sales. There are a few things that contribute to this phenomenon: call reluctance/fear, belief (or lack thereof) in their abilities, and preference of what they perceive as a “simpler, softer” touch.

Andrew Hendry

Written by Andrew Hendry, Co-Founder at REALQualified Inc.
Published Aug 25, 2020

And look – of course a referral/warm-touch is always preferred. But building your brand and your business exclusively on warm leads or referral-based business is asking for disaster. If you or your team don’t know how to acquire business completely independent of the marketing team, you’re putting your success in the hands of your ad spend. What a mess.

I have built my company exclusively on cold outreach. No matter how you generate “leads” or acquire contact information, at some point, you will have to make a cold-call. You will have to make a touch with that individual, be it on the phone or in person, where they were not expecting your call. So get over it and start growing as a professional and as a person!

call relunctance

I have another article that speaks to the ideological “JUST DO IT” if you want to take a bit of a deeper dive on call reluctance. Simply put, most sales people don’t actually like making sales calls. 

And let’s face it – why would they?! We are in an industry where 95% of your day is spent getting rejected, and that rate of rejection assumes you’re GOOD at what you do! So it makes sense to me why most sales people are reluctant to make the call – rejection sucks.

Belief in their Abilities

According to Forbes, 55% of salespeople lack the basic skills required to do their job effectively. So it’s no surprise that sales people are reluctant to make the necessary calls to achieve their goals – they don’t know HOW!

If you’re a salesperson and you don’t have a script, make one.

If you’re a sales manager and your team doesn’t use a script, make one and enforce it. Today.

With no roadmap, we have no destination. And with a plan, we increase our confidence. That way, when 95 people tell us no, we know that if we continue to run our process, we will achieve the results that are expected of us. And that knowledge in and of itself contributes significantly to the belief in their abilities.

A Simpler, Softer Touch (and the inherent fallacy)

I’ve heard hundreds of sales people tell me “well I just reach out on social media and wait for people to get back to me. That way, my call is warm and I don’t have to bother them.”

Inherent in that sentence are two critical assumptions that are killing productivity and belief.

  1. ) “Wait for people to get back to me.” If you’re sitting back and passively waiting for people to become interested in your pitch/your product, you’re again giving the reins of your business, your income, and your success to chance.

  2. ) “I don’t want to bother people.” This one always alarms me. It tells me something very important about you or your salesperson: there is a lack of believe in the greatness of your product/service. If you had the cure for cancer, wouldn’t you call every single person in the world who had cancer in order to sell it to them? Wouldn’t that be your civic DUTY? There is no difference in your product (if you’re selling something worthwhile. If not, get out and sell something you believe in!). If your product is helpful and your product is effective, then it becomes your DUTY to get it into the hands of those who need it. So pick up the phone and find them.

I’ll leave you with an industry study that said this:

“…companies who said cold calling is dead experienced 42% less growth than those who said it was alive.”

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