Cold calling is dead - the internet tells me this on a weekly basis, via a constant bombardment of ads. If I were to believe such things, I’d likely be thrown into the depths of an existential crisis, seeing as I make my living doing business development. Luckily for my mental health, I’ve not been duped by Linkedin, the company instrumental in spreading this claim.
It’s a smart strategy on their part, albeit a commonly used one – find something that is almost universally despised, then claim that you have the solution to make it go away. “Using Linkedin means I never have to cold call again?! Excellent! Let me just pop a few of these fat burning pills while I rub this anti-aging cream all over my face, and then I’ll be ready to login!” It sounds fantastic but sadly, hitting the gym is thus far the only legitimate solution for my fat burning needs.
I’m not claiming that Linkedin is as reliable as a pyramid scheme. It’s a great innovation that definitely helps like-minded companies and individuals make connections that otherwise might have been hard to come by. It’s not a magic bullet, though. In regards to their cold calling claim, the old adage still applies – if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
Yes, Linkedin can warm up some potential prospects, but it's a supplement to prospecting, not it's comprehensive replacement.
Let’s say you spend a chunk of your week calling 100 prospects. If you wait for Linkedin to warm up all 100, you’ll be finishing those calls in a year instead of a week. Social media is definitely useful in lead generation, but it’s not a cure all – it’s just one of many tools that make B2B cold calling more productive. Geoffrey James article on cold calling lists seven more tools that I find just as important, if not more so.
Have some input? Don't agree with me? Let me know in the comments! I love to argue! (in the good way, not the trainwreck of facebook comments sort of way).