Is cold calling still the best way to introduce yourself to a potential client? I know a lot of companies and traditional sales people swear by it but surely in todays age with the advances in technology, the internet and social media companies would prefer to carryout business with organisations around them that they have built up relationships with over a period of time, than with a company that before they pick up the phone they would have never heard of.


But at the same time a lot of organisations do still make their largest income through cold calling than any other techniques. So what is the most effective method?

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Very interesting thread– I have some opinions..

Personally I HATE cold calling.. I hate doing it and I hate receiving them. Now that is just a personal statement, I know some people have been very successful at making cold calls so let me say right at the beginning this is obviously an issue of “personal preference" (and probably highly relative to the business/product or service that you're selling)–but here's my solution:

Cold calls = NO Warm calls = YES.  So how'd you get to make a “warm" call–answer is you get the client to find you in some way or another, Google, Advertisement, response to e-mail, event, networking or whatever .. but then your warm call starts like “Hi, you expressed an interest in our product on/at ..  wherever" -  it's a completely different conversation and far more likely to result in a successful outcome of one form or another.

The 80/20 rule also applies here–you're immediately working in the 20% of your contacts that will generate 80% of your business -  you're not wasting your time trawling through the mass of contacts that will never buy from you!

Am I wrong?–Answers on a postcard–sorry on a forum...

I am giving serious thought to knocking on doors. It's a scary idea, but I have been told by people in similar industries that it is very effective.

I provide a house-cleaning service. Thus far, I've used leaflets and Google Adwords to promote my business, and it does work. However, leafleting is time-consuming. I do it myself whenever I am not doing any actual cleaning, so it's time I would otherwise waste. Delivering my own leaflets has the benefit of ensuring they are actually delivered, to the appropriate sorts of homes, and that they're not just scrunched through the door with a wad of other leaflets. However, I get maybe one call per 500 leaflets, so the return on the time invested is not that great.

I have heard that knocking and introducing oneself and handing the leaflet to the home owner in a non-pushy way has generated a lot of work for several carpet cleaners I know. I am considering doing it, myself. I think I have nothing to lose, although it is a frightening prospect. As it is, I speak to people when I see them in their driveways and gardens and I'm getting bolder about giving my pitch. I don't think it's much more of a step to actually knock on the door.

Oops. Double post. Sorry!

Hi Katy, 

Door knocking can be very effective. I've done it and it works. Although thick skin and courage is needed for the rejection. 
For your services it is far more effective than just leafleting. 

Give it a go, it isn't much different to what you are currently doing. Make sure you do other forms of marketing too though. 

A suggestion is to have a strategy. i.e. choose 5-10 doors either side of you happy existing customer.
Take a leaflet, knock on and say something like "Hiya, I'm Katy I do the cleaning for xxxx at number xxxx. Just thought I'd introduce myself so you know I'm not a burglar...." Can I give you one of my leaflets so you know more about what I do and if you like I could do a one off clean as a trial for you or a family member for only £xxxx" 

It's my opinion that people buy people first and your leaflet can't do that. I assume you leaflet has "Call to Action" offers etc. 

Hope that helps. 

That is an excellent idea. I know about leafleting the 5/5/10 houses around the client with a leaflet that says you're cleaning at numberXX, etc. But this could be a great way to try door knocking.

Thanks Katy,
Let us know how it goes. 
When will you start doing this? 

I totally agree Andy.. My local accent works a treat!! Rachel

Andy Hall (Moderator) said:

I often “Cold Call” it's a necessary evil. Must admit I don't enjoy it but do have success.
I feel it does work depending on a number of factors;
Local accent. And prove I'm local.
Tell them I'm not selling anything over the phone.
Mentioning other local businesses who use my service.
My attitude before I make the call.
Belief in the product.
Create a “want”

It can be very cost-effective. But needs to be done in the right way by the right people.


I used to work for a Direct Marketing company who worked as brand ambassadors for TalkTalk and the numbers game would be called 'the law of averages'.

Different camaigns or products would have varying numbers but some could be as high as 12 sales for every 100 doors knocked and some as low as 1 for every 100 doors knocked.

But with the point Andy has made, if you have to attitude that every NO is 1 step closer to a YES or that a no has a cash value to it!

If 1 sale is worth £100 and your law of average is 1 sale for every 10 calls then each NO is worth £10 until you get that YES.

Thats how I conduct my cold calls.


Andy Hall (Moderator) said:

Good Call.

Suppose it depends on a number of factors as you say.

"Each rejection is 1 step closer to success."


As my business grows in the new year I may be looking for an assistant who can also do Telemarketing.

If anyone knows a great candidate, I may be interested in a few months.



Paul Lee said:



Good question I've never analysed it, I'm new to so it's to early to call.  It is however a 'numbers game' and I'm always prepared to 'kiss a few frogs' shall we say.  The percentage will be low but its not always about getting the sale it's finding the right customer for your business.

Verticalization is a good place to start, build on your sucesses as then its relervant to your prospect.



Andy Hall said:

Great comment Paul.


I agree that Cold Calling is still effective. I am learning new ways of introducing my product to customers. Many major companies realise that their potential customers may not be aware of how they can benefit. Emails look like spam, mailshots look like junk. A friendly voice helps build a connection.


The approach needs to be one of "this isn't for everyone but I Know I can benefit many customers". Belief in what you are "selling" is essential otherwise it simply cannot work.


Paul, out of interest, how effective is it for you? What percentage of calls become leads?



Paul Lee said:



I've many years experience in cold calling for different size organisations.  Organisations such as Royal Mail and SAP despite there size and reputation still need to rely on cold calling.  Why? There's so much they do that people don't realize.  I think cold calling is effective if you understand no one like to be sold to.  Inform them, make them understand how the products can help them and leave them to make a informed decision.


I'm currently cold calling for and although I speak to a lot of people who don't appreciate the approach I still believe its one of the best ways to get the message out there.



Web Vitality

Hi all

Just a quick jump in on this subject. 

I have been cold calling for the last 10 years of my professional working life and i have made a great living from it. I have been self employed doing it for the last few years and the business has never been better. People are always trying to sell their products or services and with so much competition and people not wanting to or liking picking up the phone.we have saved people time and money and got them in front of their clients and made them money. 

Yes cold calling is hard work and a pain, but if its done right by people who enjoy it then its not that much of a problem.

Ken- Smart appointments

Hi Phil. It all depends on what you are trying to sell. I sell door to door house hold products. With the Demise of Kleeneze and Berterware there is a massive customer base out there. I have been doing this for 12 years and have found that 80% of my customers do not know or not interested in the internet. Most of these people do not even have a smart phone. The only way to find and connect with customers is to knock on the door and present the goods. Hope this answers your question.

Being in the digital marketing industry I would still say cold calling is very effective depending on how you portray your business, yourself and your product.

I can argue that PPC is effective in a way that your ad/website is there right Infront of people that are looking for your services but that is only as effective as the information and display of the content that is displayed to them.

Same goes for a cold call, if you explain your product effectively and powers of persuasion tied in with objection handling it's as effective as any form of advertising.

Another plus with cold calling often does a business owner not have there phone on them?

Social media and emails rely on you waiting for a response. You can get a lot more done by a phone call and even more face to face.

Crazy to see this conversation still rocking, 8 years after it was started! I personally only cold call if I have something interest/of value to provide, eg I have found out there is a serious issue with their website that they would want to know about.

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