Cold Calling Works?

19 Jan

I found a new blog called SalesPractice today because there’s a big debate going on there about the effectiveness of Cold Calling. The author’s argument is essentially

If you have nothing else to do, why not get on the phone? What are you scared of?

The author is trying to counter the argument of the sales reps who’d rather do anything but cold call. He argues that if there’s not enough warm leads for them, instead of waiting for the phone to ring, they should pick it up and start dialing!

He then relates the story of a sales rep who cold-called Toyota and got a million dollar sale from it. I can relate my own cold calling success story when I cold-called a man who’s name I read in a magazine. He agreed to meet and within 5 months of V1 product release, I had my own million dollar deal from a F500 account. So does cold calling work? Of course it can. But I made hundreds (no, it was thousands) of cold calls to land that deal.

With success in hand, I was able to leverage that “halo account” sale into new customers, new referrals and new partnerships. Did I stop cold calling? Not right away but as my other sources of leads became stronger and stronger, I was then able to reduce my reliance on cold calling.

I agree with the author’s argument that you have to start somewhere. And you can’t use the excuse of “…cold calling does not work…” if you are not leveraging other lead sources correctly.

rotary phone


But does this mean cold calling works like the author claims? Sure, like walking from Boston to San Francisco is a fast method of getting there!


7 Responses to “Cold Calling Works?”

  1. SalesPro January 21, 2008 at 6:57 pm #

    I was going along with you right up to the point where you wrote, “But does this mean cold calling works like the author claims? Sure, like walking from Boston to San Francisco is a fast method of getting there!”

  2. Michael Kreppein January 21, 2008 at 7:58 pm #

    The SalesPractice author said he made a sale with cold calling. I made a sale from cold calling, too. So it works. How can you get from Boston to San Francisco? You can walk, it works. But flying is better so why walk? Referrals are better so why cold call?

  3. Joanne Black January 21, 2008 at 8:57 pm #

    The other day a salesperson told me he had time on his hands, so he went through his Business Journal and cold called companies–with no results. I told him that if he had time on his hands it was because he hadn’t reached out to his network and really worked referrals. He agreed. Find out how to make only HOT calls at

    How can a salesperson “have nothing else to do?” There’s always something important to do–and it doesn’t involve cold calling.

  4. Trish Bertuzzi January 23, 2008 at 11:09 am #

    Here is the point we have to keep in mind. When people talk about cold calling they make it sound like the exclusive form of getting business. It is not and should never be. Referrals are always better.

    But, having said that, all sales people should make cold calling a part of their daily routine. You can’t get to every prospect that fits your Ideal Customer Profile through a referral but you may be able to get at them through targeted outbound activity – a segment of which should be cold calling.

    Net/net (and staying within the above analogy) – You can take a plane to get to your destination but you still have to walk to get yourself into the prospect’s office so incorporate all kinds of prospecting techniques to achieve your prospecting goals!

  5. Michael Kreppein January 23, 2008 at 2:57 pm #


    Absolutely agree with you – you do whatever it takes to fill your sales funnel. If you don’t have referrals or well-qualified inbound leads then you better be cold calling.


  1. Inquisix - Selling by Referrals » Blog Archive » 1+4 Cold Calling Tips - April 1, 2008

    […] available and cold calling is required. This discussion came up in a previous blog posting, “Cold Calling Works?” where some sales experts chimed in with their thoughts in the […]

  2. Inquisix - Selling by Referrals » Blog Archive » Good Cold Calling Leads to Referrals - January 23, 2009

    […] disqualifying prospects, much like panning thru dirt to find diamonds.  I’ve posted on the value of cold calling in a previous Inquisix […]

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