Brian Carroll

How to improve lead generation with prospecting 2.0

Cold calling. Feel a shiver move up your spine?

Too bad. It’s a shame that you, like many others, choose to dismiss cold calling as a lead generation tool (there’s that shiver again). I’m not saying that its reputation hasn’t been earned.  I just think everybody is going about it all wrong.

I love this analogy from Mike Schultz, Publisher of RainToday.com:

Fail at something enough, and it’s easy to dismiss the whole tactic. (No matter how many times I try, I just can’t hit a Jonathan Papelbon fastball. Swinging a bat at a baseball must not work!)

Cold calling works…you’ve probably just never been shown the right way to do it.

If youBook-cover’re interested in exploring how you can improve your teleprospecting, or if you just aren’t convinced it can work for you, check out B2B Lead Gen Roundtable’s next complimentary webinar featuring Josiane Feignon. She’s author of Smart Selling on the Phone and Online as well as the founder and CEO of TeleSmart Communications.  Josiane provides consulting and coaching for Fortune 1000 companies, and she knows what it takes to find the power buyers.

Join us for this live webinar on “How to Improve Lead Generation with Prospecting 2.0.” Josiane is going to show you her latest ideas on prospecting 2.0 including email and voice mail trends and how to outline a winning qualification criteria and more. As a bonus, Josiane will be giving away copies of Smart Selling on the Phone Online to three attendees. I hope you can join us!

View recorded webinar now and download the slides here

You may just warm up to the idea of cold calling when you understand how to use it properly.

The right way to teleprospect…

I’ve proven that cold calling works as a major part of a lead generation approach in case after case with many clients. Sure, you can argue that there are too many other powerful ways to build client bases to bother with the phone. It is true that what worked yesterday doesn’t work today. You can’t pick up the phone anymore and say, “Hi. Interested in something new?” Your prospect will just roll his eyes and then forget about you as soon as he’s hung up. But, just think of the possibilities if you could just hit home with that client on the first call. What if you gave them something to think about after you hung up? What if you came off as warm and engaging to help offset the discomfort of that first call?  As an example, I’m going to quote Mike again:

Of course, not everyone is going to respond the way you want them to. But, if your list has been carefully planned and targets specific people that need your service – people that are already exploring versions of what you have to offer – a good number of people will give you a foot in the door.

If your problem is that you’re just too busy to do it, hire someone to do it for you.  And, then once you get someone’s attention, don’t fail to stay in touch regularly and meaningfully. We can’t expect that first conversation to make the sell; Cold calling done correctly will achieve exactly what it’s supposed to: it will give your company an introduction that could turn into a fruitful relationship.

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Cold Calling, Human Touch, Lead Generation, Webcasts/Webinars



  1. December 4th, 2009 at 15:36 | #1

    Brian, yes I did feel the shiver just thinking about cold-calling. I agree that it can be a good tool if used properly but as you suggest, you must be prepared to build the relationship over time and not attempt to hit a home run on the first call. Better yet, is using calling as a follow-up strategy to other communication vehicles as part of a multi-touch approach.

    Christopher Ryan
    http://www.fusionmarketingpartners.com

  2. December 5th, 2009 at 10:26 | #2

    I agree Brian, cold calling when used correctly, is an effective way to build a sales pipeline, and a marketing database. And it does take skill, patience, and consistency to really pay off. Like so many sales and marketing tactics, it can also be easy to get it wrong and hard to get it right.

    Another thing influencing opinions and acceptance of cold calling is the big push to adopt all of the inbound marketing tactics and strategies. The thing is, inbound isn’t always the best or only approach to building a customer base.

    Look forward to attending the webinar.

  3. December 16th, 2009 at 11:09 | #3

    Cold calling is not allowed in some industries such as debt settlement. Therefore, we rely on inbound prospecting, and lead generation companies. Some leads are not as good as others (that’s always the truth), but when you find a good lead gen company, it pays to partner with them. For instance, I’ve been using leads from Twice Verified for the last 6 months, and I’ve been pretty impressed. I won’t name the last company I used, but they were really big in the industry but didn’t deliver the quality I needed.

  4. December 17th, 2009 at 12:45 | #4

    Brian makes a great point that having the realistic expectation of simply introducing yourself in a cold call and making a prospect aware of your company and it’s offerings gives us the “positive” outcome we seek as reward rather than the negative “I didn’t sell anything” failure message

  5. December 17th, 2009 at 18:47 | #5

    “But, if your list has been carefully planned and targets specific people that need your service – people that are already exploring versions of what you have to offer – a good number of people will give you a foot in the door.”

    -The key to a successful marketing campaign is selling your business to the right people. Your marketing efforts will be put to waste if you fail to pattern your list to your customer demographics. Call a person who can relate to what you’re saying and expect to get a favorable response.

  6. March 4th, 2010 at 17:06 | #6

    Girlie has a good point – it’s finding the leads in the first place before placing the call that makes cold calling easier.

  7. March 24th, 2010 at 05:20 | #7

    My first cold-call visit was to a tiny little tractor-parts company in a tiny little business park. I had a sky-blue leisure suit, platform shoes, long hair and a beard. It was 1977. The man at the counter asked if he could help me, and I blurted out my rehearsed pitch so fast he asked me to take a deep breath and give him my card. He then walked me through my own sales presentation. I didn’t die, so I cold-called every day for the next year. Best self-confidence building exercise I’ve ever done!

  8. Danielle Garza
    August 18th, 2010 at 14:49 | #8

    Interesting point about the cold calling you guys!

  9. May 2nd, 2012 at 07:58 | #9

    Hi Brian. I agree with you that when you mention the word ‘cold calling’, there’s a negative impression or connotation which stems from others. And yes, I second that cold calling works. It’s just a matter of showing the right way to do it. In this way, perhaps others can change their minds regrading cold calling.

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