Does cold calling result in hot leads or frozen phones?

Some sales people and fundraisers swear that cold calling works and is effective. Others swear cold calling is futile and dead in this age of the internet. In sales, I heard both arguments, and I myself was conflicted about its efficiency (I had some good conversations, but I left ten timesĀ  more voicemail messages… that were never returned).

Cold Call

Cold Call (Photo credit: Alan R. Light)

Interestingly enough, most of the links I found to share are from salespeople trying to sell their training programs — and those training programs are centered around either a.) cold calling works, you’re just doing it wrong; or b.) cold calling doesn’t work, do something else. Something I used to stress to my students years ago was to always examine the source of information found on the internet and question the motivation of the author. Of course cold calling does or does not work — you want me to buy your program to get better at, or to go on without, cold calling.

Here are a few thoughts that are a bit more balanced (except the first link is to someone whose business is “Never Cold Call Again”):

Cold Calling: A Business Owner’s Perspective

Make a Cold Call that Works

And perhaps one of the best headings I’ve read: Being Good at B2B Cold Calling is Like Being a Functional Drunk

What are your thoughts? Do you use cold calling yourself, or your company/org use cold calling with a call center? Do you respond to cold calls?