Is Cold Calling Dead?

According to experts, cold calling is not dead. It is still very much alive and kicking. Although it is an old-fashioned tactic, it is definitely still a thing. The art has evolved and adapted over the years to the different ways that people consume products. The only thing that has really changed is the cold calling strategy.

Cold calling first began in 1873, long before the invention of the Internet. Back then, “cold calling” was simply visiting people door to door and selling products directly to someone’s face. When telephones were invented, cold calling transitioned into calling homes and selling products to people over the phone. When you think about it, this technique has been around for so long because it has proven to be successful. Although the strategies for cold calling have changed, the sales approach hasn’t changed. Although we have many new tools and sales tactics, but the process of meeting strangers, introducing them to a product or a change in business, and convincing them that purchasing from you will benefit them in more ways than one is the same.  

As previously mentioned, cold calling has evolved over time along with the different ways that people consume products. It has caused a snowball effect of contacting people in other ways, such as cold emailing and cold messaging. The most difficult aspect about cold calling is its entire essence: that fact that there is no relationship between you and the person you are contacting. The lack of a relationship makes it much easier for the person you called to not answer, never call you back, or hang up on you mid-conversation. Those are obvious negative realities of this tactic, but despite those downfalls, cold calling still works with about a 2% conversion rate. 

If you turn to Google, you will likely see hundreds of articles about the “death” of cold calling. With an abundance of these articles floating around the Internet, it would be naïve to deny the facts. It really comes down to perception. It still has the potential to work as long as you have the will power to strike up a conversation and the thick skin to take a rejection. Although it does have potential, you will most likely face challenges while in the process.

Consumers today have an extremely negative perception of cold callers, which is why it is so believable that cold calling is indeed dead. Currently, there are nearly 240 million phone numbers on the national do not call registry. Those numbers have even been increasing by the year. It is clear that people do not want to receive unsolicited calls. 

Cold calling used to be one of the only prospecting strategies out there. While it isn’t dead, it would be wise to recognize that it shouldn’t be your only go-to sales option. The Harvard Business Review released information that shows cold calling is ineffective 90% of the time. Less than 2% of cold calls result in a meeting. With these facts, it would be hard to believe that it ever works. Believe it or not, it isn’t dead; It’s just evolved. 

Nowadays, modern businesses are using alternative solutions to continue to make sales without fully relying on making an unsolicited call. Some of these alternative sales solutions are engaging with customers on social media, answering questions on Quora, asking for referrals, keeping in touch with prospects after the sales process, and writing for a blog. 

To answer the question: no, cold-calling is not dead…yet. It is still very much alive. It is simply a tactic that has evolved into several other sales strategies. Although modern businesses have seen success with cold calling, it should not be your go-to sales solution. Consider other alternatives for connecting with customers and you may find that you have a better success rate when it comes to selling products.