Is cold mailing/calling dead?

I understand that sales is a dedicated process and involves a lot of patience and cold campaign is definitely a part of it. But I noticed the traction is becoming low. I want to know if there is way which can attract your prospects into a possible dialogue when you are involved in hard core cold mailing/calling campaign, perhaps the mail template or a call pitch. What are the things should one keep in mind?


I don't think they're dead - but changing communication trends have created new challenges. Calling someone on their cell phone is considered rude and people are increasingly ignoring their office phones. As for email, we are inundated with an ever increasing load in email - making cold emailing less and less effective.

But the deeper question is "Is Cold Prospecting Dead". To that, I give an emphatic 'no'. Seasoned sales professionals like to prattle on about how its relationships, referrals, and the art of the pitch/close... but only because they've forgotten how hard it is to get the machine running.

Aaron Ross' predictable revenue is a modified version of traditional prospecting. People have to become specialized, disciplined, and rely on tools to help you be more efficient.

But the underlying concept holds true: In absence of higher yielding lead sources, cold prospecting is superior to doing nothing.

If you believe that principal, then you do *everything* you can to grow sales that is *NOT* cold prospecting... but the key is to 'grow sales'. In absence of any more effective method/technique, get back on the phones and email and become a student of prospecting.

Maybe the better answer is "Cold Prospecting is Dead for those that don't learn how to do it in today's changing environment"

Pro Tip: Communicating through LinkedIn, Twitter, and other online channels is still cold prospecting. Setting up tools like Cadence to handle your prospecting emails is still cold emailing... just more evolved versions of them :)

Answered 9 years ago

Obviously prospecting by phone or email is not dead when huge companies are engaging in it.

But it is badly done.

My impression from the language of your question ("hard core" selling) is that you are familiar with traditional features and benefits-based selling. This the Herb Tarlek style from WKRP in Cincinnati that many of us grew up on. It creates an antagonistic relationship between salesperson and prospect. Unfortunately, it is the only sales approach most people have heard of.

Instead of trying to bowl over prospects with how awesome you are, or your product is, or what features it has, or its price, instead FILTER. Sort. Have a beginning to your process, whatever prospecting method you use, that separates people you should be talking to from people you shouldn't. Have a look at my corporate page at -- the entire point is to Make Newbies Go Away. And it does. I only want to talk to experienced people who are able to competently fulfill a product or service.

You haven't shared your product or service, so I can't give specific recommendations.

Answered 9 years ago

In my experience the sorts of "hard core" cold calling campaigns you are talking about are indeed ineffective. I prefer to cold call/mail only select individuals that I want to work with. When there is a genuine interest in talking to that person it is much easier to build up rapport with that person and develop a relationship. Often times for me these conversations don't lead to a sale but they are still valuable to me both personally and professionally.

Answered 9 years ago

I find that for effort in vs output, it's better to spend time on cultivating referrals and if that's not an option, doing seminars or webinars on a topic. Contacting someone to say "I'm going to give you some information for free" and then following up with them is a softer pitch, but often gets past the voicemail loop.You can also look to offer these through local business organizations. Regardless of the offering, don't make it an infomercial. You're providing value for their time to see you as a subject matter expert. At the end, feel free to provide them with contact info and reach out to the attendees.

I don't know your industry, but I can speak for mine (web user experience). There's lots of things I can teach someone that they can take home and implement on their own. But as they get further in, there comes a point where they'd need expert knowledge. I want to be the first person they think of when they say "we need help."

Somewhat of a twist on the traditional sales cycle, but you're still establishing and identifying a problem that they have, and providing them with a solution that is part what you give away and part your services/product.

Answered 9 years ago

I think it has evolved instead of died. Cold mailing and calling has now been replaced by cold connection building via LinkedIn, or messaging via Twitter or the like. I cannot say enough how valuable social media and online networking/connecting platforms are now. Perhaps one way to look at the new version of cold calling is akin to strategic partnering as opposed to sales. Finding a way to uncover the mutual benefit of the relationship.

Answered 9 years ago

No cold emailing/calling is not dead. If these are the strategies you are going to take, it takes consistency and patience. When you are cold calling there is a technique that helps to get the prospect into a dialogue. Works like a charm. Hint is never say how are you, introduce yourself and what you do at the beginning of the call. You ask a question first. As far as cold emailing, its the same thing. You and get the conversation started with a problem that they are having.

Keep in mind, you should always be asking a lot of questions when it comes to their problem. Its not about you and your product. Its about them and the problem they have. The more questions you ask about their problems the more they will talk. Works like a charm. When you sell your knowledge and show them how you can solve their problem and whats in it for them you find yourself on the phone with people for a while. People love talking about themselves and their problems.

Of course there is way to do this and there is a way NOT to do this. I have a meeting with a potential client tomorrow off of a cold email. This stuff is not dead. :)

Answered 9 years ago

There are a great number of templates to engage the right person. There are 2 things that really impact performance:
1. The right list - whom you're contacting
2. Consistency - use some BASIC email automation tool to do consistent calling/emailing/mailing

Linkedin is a very effective tool to build a list.
Too few people consistently contact the right people enough to get results.

Answered 9 years ago

Cold calling is not dead, but "hard selling" on a cold call should be.

I still spend a lot of time cold calling on the phone, and it works extremely well. Without knowing anything about your business, it is hard for me to provide a meaningful script or template to follow.

But here is a mindset tip: Call with the intention to discover with the prospect what their pain points are and if you have a solution for them. If your product/service does not solve their problem then you will save time and money by letting them go instead of pressuring them into the purchase.

And if you are a good fit for them, then you and the prospect will arrive at that conclusion together. Don't be afraid to engage with the prospect multiple times before the sale is made. Make the sale on the first call if it makes sense, but wait till the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th call if the prospect needs the extra attention to establish trust with you.

I would love to talk more about your specific situation on a call if you would like to create a custom plan for your company.

Answered 9 years ago

If by cold mailing, you mean cold emailing, then no it's not dead. Matter of fact, the most successful companies rely on cold emailing as their main sales channel.

Cold emailing receives a bad rep, but it is still the most effective way for outbound sales. There's nothing more better than engaging and warming up the conversation with your prospect through cold e-mail. The problem is that most people cold email incorrectly which results in a spammy email.

The goal is to be direct and keep it short. Don't send long templates that people don't want to read. Don't send email with misleading subject lines etc.

Answered 8 years ago

That answer is “No.” Cold calling used to be one of the best, and only prospecting strategies salespeople could use. “Cold calling” refers to calling a prospect you have not previously made a connection with before sending them an email or calling them on the phone to talk to them about your product or service. On top of that, prospects can now research company information, reviews, feedback, and all manner of information online. Cold calling is becoming an unnecessary nuisance -- prospects no longer need salespeople in the same ways they used to. So, while prospects are annoyed that their days are still being interrupted by cold calls, sellers are not having a good time either. Assuming a 0.3% appointment-booking rate and a 20%-win rate, it would take 6,264 cold calls to make just four sales.
You can read more here:,ways%20to%20conduct%20this%20outreach.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 3 years ago

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