Why Do Cold Calls Still Exist (and Should They)?

Cold calling sucks. Yeah, it’s really not something you never knew before, but it needs to be said time and again. Why? It’s because companies are still falling back on this sales technique. And frankly, it’s bound to drive everyone – from the person making the call to the person taking the call – nuts.

Why are we still dealing with this?

The motivation behind cold calling

These days, cold calling techniques are not only applied to actual phone calls via business telephone; they are also used in emails and, Lord help us, social networking (especially now that there are “Do Not Call Lists” implemented in America). Businesses continue to treat it like a perfectly valid approach to marketing and selling their brand – there’s something downright traditional about this approach. It’s probably one of the reasons why many companies still believe that cold calling is a perfectly acceptable way to start the sales process.

But that’s clearly not the main reason why people are still using cold calling to get clients. It’s far more likely that companies still do cold calls because they involve numbers. It’s much easier to believe that you can get more people paying for your products and services if you reach out to basically everyone you come across. To them, this fairly random (and, for the agents, mostly thankless) process is the most effective approach to getting sales.

Shocking revelation: Cold calling can actually work

Of course, companies wouldn’t continue making cold calls if cold calls completely stopped working. The thing is that they actually haven’t. They may be very annoying, and they can be really stressful to the caller and the called party (respectively), but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some successes here and there. It’s these successes that drive some sales teams to continue using this technique. That’s why cold calls still exist.

What they don’t know, of course, is that successful cold calling involves some techniques that a lot of sales teams aren’t applying to their blind strategies.

Making cold calls work

Among other things, agents are typically put under the pressure of extracting a commitment from the person they’re talking to by the end of the first call. Clearly, this does not work because this causes the agents to desperately get a stranger to buy something. Consumers don’t respond well to this at all.

Successful cold calls are the ones that take the pressure off – the ones that establish a rapport while taking the pressure off the buyer. More often than not, these calls involve extensive research into the person and company they are actually calling with the goal of setting up a personal meeting. In doing this, successful cold callers are actually adding “warmth” to that call, downplaying the sales aspect and highlighting a potentially productive relationship between a company and a potential client. Even if you are virtually strangers at the beginning, it’s possible to make a meaningful connection with this tactic.

Should cold calls still exist?

As troublesome as most cold call cases are, we can’t deny that they are still useful to businesses – and they’ll likely exist for the years to come. While they still serve a purpose, they shouldn’t have to cease being used. It must be pointed out, however, that cold calling (through telephones and other channels) should NOT be the main sales approach employed – and when using it, one needs to apply the best practices.