Connie Terwilliger – ISDN Voice Talent

October 27, 2010

Is Cold-Calling Dead?

Filed under: Business, Marketing — connieterwilliger @ 12:17 pm

Interesting discussion on Facebook right now about the benefits (or not) of cold-calling. Smiling and Dialing is a term I have used.

Conflicting opinions have emerged. Could advances in technology be killing the Cold-Call?

The original post espoused the positive results of cold-calling using the example of  more work for a repeat client who had initially been the result of a cold-call. This is, of course, cold-calling people who you KNOW are interested in the kind of work you do. Marketing 101 – pre-qualify your leads.

An immediate opposing viewpoint was posted – with face-to-face networking indicated as the key to conversion.

I think that as with so many other things in our business life these days, the times they are a changing.

Do the networking thing first if your potential client is in your physical area. If you are touching someone remotely, then you have three practical choices – email, social networking, and the phone.

My phone results have slowed down lately and my social networking results have gone up. The emailing results have stayed about the same. These are not scientific results, your results may vary.

Where a few years ago, I would leave messages on a cold-call, today, if I can’t reach someone in person on the phone, I choose not to leave a message – if it is a company voice mail. If it is a cell phone that tells them that someone has called, well, that is a different story, then I feel compelled to leave a message – usually saying that I will follow up with an email so no return call is expected. 

So my marketing efforts are shifting – away from cold-calls and relying more and more on networking, referrals, and social media. However, I still use use the phone to RECONNECT with someone IF I have something very specific to say.

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1 Comment »

  1. Connie,

    It’s not so much that cold calling is necessarily dead, as much as it should just be considered as a generally highly time consuming method of marketing that generally offers a very low yield in results.

    Referral marketing or basically using existing contacts to market oneself should and could be a far better way, but recently I have discovered that many individuals tend to squander precious contacts and information.

    Simply put,some people just suck at marketing, no matter what.

    I recall that several years ago I had done some work for Walgreens Pharmacy for a producer and later discovered that he was the brother-in-law of one of my competitors. Eventually, this actor that I knew got around to calling his brother-in-law and managed to get himself installed doing much of the work that I had previously done. Was he better than me? No!!!!!!! But he was the damn producers brother-in-law, and as long as he was good enough, that’s all that matters. After all, they’d probably wind up looking each other in the eye at some Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner eventually and who needs that awkward moment.

    The problem is that for almost 2 years, I was doing that work and where was the brother-in-law actor? He was busy making cold calls. That’s in essence, 2 years of work I shouldn’t have had.

    This can be the power of referral marketing. A friend of a friend of a friend of someone I had done some work for about 10 or 12 years ago, opened the door for me to get called in for an audition for Taco Bell Spokesperson, which I almost got, but ultimately didn’t. What I did get though was the opportunity for several creative directors to have me on their radar in a very positive way and this led to some other opportunities down the road that did pan out.

    There’s a certain “power” that will often get your emails answered, when you can put in the subject line that “So and So referred me.”

    The only problem with marketing these days was summed up the other day by a producer I was marketing myself to. When I explained the nature of my call, he simply said “When my cell phone rang and I saw a number I didn’t recognize, I was hoping it might be someone calling to hire me.”

    Luckily, I was in a position to offer a very positive and supportive response to his statement. To that I will simply say that this is all a two way street.

    Good marketers will research the people they are contacting and have a good approach to marketing, whether it’s cold, hot or lukewarm calling.

    Comment by J.S. Gilbert — October 27, 2010 @ 12:48 pm


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