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Cold calling, is it still relevant in 2018?

Yes, it is! To stand out!


Companies, in all industries, increase their visibility and their notoriety by being active on social media through referencing their website, sending virtual communication, etc.

How to stand out in mass advertising and with virtual information circulating? Use the basic tool: the telephone! It is always the most effective way to communicate without ambiguity.

When doing cold calls, we aim for an objective: to have the opportunity to create a real contact with our prospect in a meeting, where the conversation will be guided by the prospect’s needs. Thus, the bases of a customer relationship will be established.  



To establish real contact with your prospect, the telephone remains your main tool. Direct prospecting needs to be strategic and well prepared for. This customer acquisition technique appeals to the determined and fighter side of the sales representatives.   

1.    Define targets

For the efforts deployed to be effective, targets must be defined. Are you aiming to:

§  Promote a specific service or product?

§  Approach a precise clientele, for example: meeting planners, vehicle owners, manufacturing industry, etc.?

§  Conquer a new market?

§  Etc.

2.    Choose the right interlocutor

Who do you want to talk with? General manager? Sales Manager? Production Manager? It’s important to know who to approach.

Choosing the General Manager to speak with may be about him making the decisions. But in some contexts, it is more appropriate to target the person to whom the service or product will be more useful. This person will be able to introduce it to the decision maker, thus becoming an ally in the sales process.


3.    Anticipate objections

To avoid being caught off guard, list the main objections you might encounter. The list will improve as your calls progress and your arguments refine.



To be successful in telephone prospecting, in addition to the important preparation phase, the ATTITUDE that can be felt in your voice must be taken into consideration. If you think you are going to have a NO, the odds that it is the result you will get are high. That is why your smile and your energy are a fundamental part of your success.

Your success will not be limited to a quality call, you will have to follow-up with the prospect to turn him into a customer. The key element for an effective follow-up is to agree with your interlocutor about the next step: sending information by email, telephone follow-up on a given date, a meeting! By agreeing on the next step, you remain the one taking the lead.



1.    The CRM

For a cold call process to be effective, the tools needed must be well thought out. To build efficiently the CRM or database, reflection on the relevant information to be collected from prospects is required. It will help to not forget any important details and allow a quick data entry using checkbox or menu drop.

This tool will be relevant and optimal, depending on the quality of the information that will be entered, in order to do a follow up on prospects and to forecast your marketing and commercial actions.


2.    Marketing and sales actions

Investments in marketing (web, social media, mailings), will have more impact if they are made in synergy with commercial actions. For example:

§  Sending an email to inactive customers may be followed by a call from their representative. The marketing team can also help prioritize their calls by providing email statistics.

§  When the marketing team publishes on social network, sales representatives should be encouraged to share them and use them during conversations to improve the database by adding those who have shown interest for the posts.

Posts on social media allow you to display your expertise by publishing original content. Use company members’ insights to write articles on different views of your offer.


3.    Internal or external resources


When it comes to cold calls, sales representatives usually say ‘‘I do not have the time’’ since it’s the first task they avoid doing. The fact is that cold calling is not for everyone, but all must experience it.


After analysing your position at the sales force level and the potential market to develop, you can determine how to integrate this step of the sales process within your company. You can opt for:


§  Allowing one to two days of prospecting for each internal sales representative.


§  Adding a member to the team whose main task will be prospecting to give your sales representative qualified leads.

§  Benefiting from an external service specialized in prospecting (telemarketing) to conduct your front-line canvassing and generate appointments and / or leads for your representatives who will focus on high potential prospects.

What is essential in business development is that prospecting is carried out continuously with more or less intensity, depending on the key moments of the year, to acquire new customers in your market as a result.  

In conclusion

Yes! Making cold calls remain a winning strategy for all companies.


Isabelle Champagne

Senior Project Manager, Sales and Marketing