Ad Agency New Business: Is Cold Calling for Losers?

I was doing some research for a future post, inbound and outbound marketing for ad agency new business, and came upon this humorous video from HubSpot, “Dude, Cold Calling is for Losers,” I thought you might enjoy viewing.

Hubspot is a thought leader and practitioner of inbound marketing. Check out their Inbound Internet Marketing Blog

Additional posts that may be of interest:


About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.


  1. Though this video is humorous I don’t think it tells the true story. What I see are two types of people here, one is reactive and the other proactive. I would hire someone willing to go out and get the business than someone waiting for the business to come to them all day long.

    Finding good sales people is a big problem in the Advertising industry today. There are a lot of people that would rather be order takers than there are people putting forth the effort to make a sale.

  2. I fully agree in being proactive. But I would contend that cold calling is not among the best proactive tactics to generate new business. This is coming from someone who has been a successful cold caller in the past.

  3. At my business, I get an average of 10 cold calls a day. It is disruptive and they are often rude, even though I try to pleasantly tell them that we do not deal with calls from solicitors, because if we did, we would not get anything done! Then they rudely hang up on you. I would NEVER purchase anything from a cold caller, EVEN IF I WAS IN NEED OF THEIR PRODUCT OR SERVICE, because that would just encourage the practice.. I live for the day when business phones can be on a DO NOT CALL list.

  4. Thanks for your thoughts Mary. Very much appreciated.

  5. I’m at a point where I critique the cold call person, when they call. I’ll start pointing out ways in which they could better their OTP presentation. Outbound needs to refocus. Warm market, and lukewarm market; that’s where energy should be spent. Calling your customer from a month ago, and asking if they are still happy, and if they know of anyone who could also benefit, is not a cold call. Calling their referrals is not a cold call. Outbound calls can be make without being “Cold”

  6. Thanks for sharing your insights Chris.

  7. Mary–Does your business have a sales team? Do you, or your team ever call a client or potential client? However you identify it, this is cold calling and all businesses do it!

  8. Erick Pennington says:

    Hi Michael, I look forward to your future post. I’ve made a career out of cold calling during the past 11 years, the last 8 of which have been in the agency realm. I believe it still has its place, if done strategically, but I also believe it must be balanced more than ever with an integrated approach that allows marketers to buy and not be sold. Your blog is a must read for me, and I appreciate what you do and the content you provide. (Trey and I had this conversation many, many times, to much agreement.)

  9. Thanks for your insight Eric. I’m also a cold caller from way back and always could walk a fine line of being persistent without being a pest. I do think there are more efficient methods to generate new business. That’s what attracted me to focus on Social Media to begin building my consultancy over 4 years ago. I’ve yet to have to make a single cold call for any new business. When I started my business I had 0 awareness outside of a two state area but have been able to build a national awareness among my target audience from my home base here in Alabaster, AL. Social media also provides so many additional benefits that it makes it worth the time investment. That’s why I’ve been such an advocate. Hopefully in the near future, when I’m in Atlanta, we’ll have a chance to discuss over a beer or two and trade war stories.

  10. Erick Pennington says:

    I completely agree that social media, providing value by “giving away” content and insight, and addressing marketers’ needs and challenges on their terms is a central and vital component to effective agency business development. You’re proof positive of that, and there are many other shining examples. Admittedly, I don’t utilize it as consistently and effectively as I should or would prefer, for several reasons. It would be my privilege to meet you the next time you are in Atlanta, share a couple of drinks and continue the conversation. Please let me know when you’re planning your next trip.

%d bloggers like this: