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Is traditional cold calling dead?

Is traditional cold calling dead?

03 Feb 11:00 by Alan Jarque

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For years recruiters have used cold calling methods to generate leads, map their target market and gain market intelligence. But is this changing?

In short, Yes. Maybe.

Johnny Walker, Director of CMC Resourcing, spoke at the recent Recruitment Leaders Connect conference about how his business is now focussing on a marketing driven method of winning new business, with digital marketing being at the forefront of this. He compared traditional cold calling methods to dinosaurs; archaic and extinct. Johnny Walker may be right. Cold calling in its purest, traditional form: calling a business with no prior information, referral or qualification, may be considered as outdated as flared trousers, the mullet and the fax machine.

What we do have now though, is LinkedIn. Ken Krogue (founder ofInsideSales.com) says – ‘LinkedIn was intended to warm up the sales process through referrals, relationships, recommendations, groups, discussions, sales intelligence and rapport. Not cold calling… warm calling; ideally through existing relationships. But people still call it cold calling… don’t they?’

Some believe that picking up the phone to speak to a person who you have no prior encounters with is a cold call, regardless, and LinkedIn doesn’t change a thing in the way of definition. However some believe that if you are making contact with a company as part of a larger strategy armed with some information on the business and the relevant contact then the call is not strictly classed as ‘cold’. This warmer call facilitated by the internet and other methods of research allows for a much more targeted approach towards clients, with greater end results. Instead of hammering at the phone for hours on end calling a list of numbers, we can now make calls more tailored to each specific person we need to get in touch with.

If you Google ‘is cold calling dead?’ you will generate millions of results; a sea of articles either for, against or extreme in their opinion of cold calling (One article was named ‘Cold Calling is BEYOND Dead’!) What is apparent in every article, though, is that cold calling has admittedly worked at one point or another for each of the authors. It is understandable for companies to try different methods of gaining new clients/customers, but cold calling is likely to always play a part in sales.

Whilst the sceptics will say that cold calling is in fact dead, the optimists will continue to believe that this method of generating business will live on for a very long time.

What do you think?