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A Strong Case Against Cold Call Emailing

Sales Question:

“I watched a webinar on COLD CALL EMAILING – which suggests sales people should stop cold calling and start cold call emailing instead. What’s your opinion on this?”

It’s a great sales pitch with devastatingly harmful results for a lot of inside sales people. Any time an “expert” speaks out against cold calling, it’s going to get attention and traction. But if cold calling doesn’t work, how come it’s been around so long? How does it always survive when other fads fade?
What sales people need to understand is, the only way for them to NEVER have to make cold calls again is to have a continuous flow of WARM LEADS (Hand Raisers), and if you or your marketing team can do that, I am totally on board with that and, in fact, I highly recommend it.
But if you are not able to have that happen right now, in this moment, and your livelihood depends on the numbers you put up as a result of making cold calls, sending emails first could cost you more than just lost commissions.

A Strong Case Against Cold Call Emailing

According to Return Path (A global leader in Email Intelligence) 14% of emails sent in the US never reach their recipient.
What’s that you say? That doesn’t sound so bad?
Well, you may want to consider this…

  1. That “14%” was done on email lists where PROSPECTS actually subscribed / requested (opt-in) to be emailed! Since you are thinking about replacing your “cold calls” with “cold call emails”, that suggests the prospects you are emailing did NOT request / approve of you to send them emails. Therefore, that 14% number is most likely much higher.
  2. Just for fun, even though the list of prospects you are about to email most likely didn’t request to hear from you (that is what makes them fall into the “cold” category), let’s keep the number at 14% and do this:

Grab 100 new prospects (going to use small / round numbers to make the math easy) from your database.
How many of those 100 prospects in your database would possibly be an opportunity for you right now? (Not deals you are already working – you would not cold call a deal you are already working)
And by opportunity, I mean:

Opportunity = they have a problem that you can help solve and they are in the buying mood to solve it now.

I’m assuming it is far less than 100%, yes?
Most sales reps would answer maybe 2 or 3 out of 100 (so 2%-3%).
Let’s up it to 5% and say 5. Five prospects out of 100 that you would randomly cold call right now could possibly be an “opportunity”.
What happens if 3 out of those 5 fell into the 14% of emails that got caught up in the SPAM FILTER or company server reject filter, and never got your message? How would you hit your sales numbers for the month if half (or all!) of the only existing possible opportunities in your database, never got your cold call email?
Still think 14% isn’t so bad?


I actually love it when I call a new prospect and get voicemail. It gives me the chance to leave a 15 to 30 second compelling reason for a call back, and I get to follow THAT UP with an email (So to be clear, I recommend to call first, and follow that call up – no matter if you got the prospect on the line or you got their voicemail – with an email).
I will be the first person to tell you that if what you are doing is working, don’t change. If you are cold call emailing and you are at or above your sales quota, keep at it. I will also tell you that if what you are doing ISN’T WORKING, you need to change something ASAP. Otherwise, you will continue to get the same failed results. Just consider all sides before making a change. Most sales people can’t afford to try something new, only to get the same results.
Michael Pedone –
Michael Pedone is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com. An online sales training company that shows inside sales teams how to: avoid being rejected by gatekeepers, leave voicemail messages that get callbacks and overcome tough pricing objections. Get pricing here to have Michael teach your sales team his techniques!