This posts is specifically addressing the value of cold calls for ad agency new business.
My background in advertising, for the majority of my career, has been spent in the area of new business. I never had difficulty making cold calls. As a matter of fact I have a gift for it. A natural ability to be persistent without being a pest. Some of my best new business acquisitions came as a result of cold calling. That being said, as it was then and even more so today, cold calling for ad agency new business is not an efficient method.
A definition from Wikepedia:
Cold calling is the process of approaching prospective customers or clients, typically via telephone, who were not expecting such an interaction. The word “cold” is used because the person receiving the call is not expecting a call or has not specifically asked to be contacted by a sales person.
Many of those charged with the responsibility of new business are forced into a dependency upon cold calling as a new business tactic. Cold calling is only necessary if your agency principal(s) refuse to differentiate the agency from its competitors and create an appealing position for a specific target audience. Cold calling is often necessary if your agency doesn’t have a consistent new business program.
“Ask any agency principal what he or she dislikes and avoids the most and the answer will almost always be the same: cold calling new business prospects. Not only is this the most dreaded activity among C-level agency executives, it’s also among the least effective.
Cold calling has always produced only modest results and today’s avoidance-enabling technology only makes it easier for prospects to hide from your phone calls and ignore your e-mails. I routinely hear from agency principals how traditional new business prospecting methods are becoming less and less effective.”
We are in an amazing paradigm shift in advertising and also in the way agencies acquire new business. Cold Calling has never been the best way to acquire new business. It generally only produces modest results from lots of effort and is even less effective today with the growth of social media. In my opinion, social media is the death nail to cold calling for new business.