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Lead generation - Is cold calling defunct in 2023?

Cold Calling, Telemarketing or Lead Generation, call it what you will, it's seen (by some) as outdated, not dynamic, stilted and with an image of someone reading from a script, not listening to you and calling from a far flung place about your stationery needs. An outmoded way to initially engage in our digital age.

Surely it’s much better to send an email or use digital marketing to entice sign ups or opt ins, it's a much cleaner process that can be clearly demonstrated in data that's been collected and there’s a clear trail in a murky world of regulation.

Perfect, until you factor in people.

You are trying to engage human beings, not AI, not tick boxes, actual people with thoughts and feelings who whilst not random, are governed by emotions and this is where cold calling can come to the fore.

Before anyone 'whatabouts' me, I am not saying there is only one way to approach engagement. I am saying that, dependent on what you're trying to achieve, don't disregard cold calling.

Tone is 80% of communication. If you let that sink in for a moment and think back to when you’re asking someone in the next room what they want for dinner or, they’re telling you about their day but you’re distracted, it’s not always the words that hit first, but the tone.

There are good and bad ways to make a call and lots of people are not very good at it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be. Everything needs practice and this is where the oft avoided ‘script’ can come into its own, but we’ll cover that off at a different time as it is definitely a skill in its own right.

If you think about what you want from your call, it’s a quicker way to achieve your end goal. It has to be part of a marketing plan with back up and thought as to what you want to achieve.

Mrs Apples is an accountant and needs to upgrade her IT security. You don’t know this though, you don’t know Mrs Apples exists yet.

You are the owner/manager/director of a cyber security company. You have a marketing department and a sales team. The sales team are not keen on calls until they can ‘sell’ and close. This is the grey area.

Marketing can’t reach Mrs Apples right now as her thoughts about her IT security haven’t yet made it to her prefrontal cortex, past the myriad of Business As Usual. So short of a cataclysmic security breach, this will sit mulling around until she reaches the need to define what’s required for her business, carry out the due diligence to then build a shortlist which she knows will take a sizeable amount of time. So it sits where it is for the time being.

Unless you made a call?

Yes, I’ve over simplified hugely and deliberately. However a well thought out call to Mrs Apples outlining who you are, why you’re conveniently best placed to assist her and absolutely yes you can send her an email overview/come and see her/call again next week/6m (build a pipeline of legitimate interest) which could be the trigger she needs to finally getting her background thought off her to do list and into action.

My point is, cold calling has a place within the overall marketing and sales strategy. It’s direct, quick, clean and conversations are what communication is built around.

If you’re interested in exploring lead generation, drop me an email at


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