Cold calling is dead, thanks to LinkedIn

As with you perhaps, this title certainly grabbed my attention when I read it on Forbes a few weeks ago.  Largely to do with the fact that sales and LinkedIn are the tools of the trade for most recruiters and with a changing landscape ahead of us, how does this impact on us?

This article actually sparked a debate across the Globe from the US with the Head of Marketing for Sales Solutions from LinkedIn and 2 heads of business, to the UK with a digital marketing journalist – who slammed this statement and its content!

This debate started when the two heads of businesses InsideSales and Vorsight sent out an email campaign advertising a webinar session about how to use LinkedIn for Cold calling.  UK journalist and digital marketing blogger – Steve Master, took great exception to this and was “appalled’’ by the “ridiculous” claims – he retaliated with a Blog No, LinkedIn is not a source for your cold calling.  He was so incensed that he wrote to the Head of Marketing for Sales Solutions from LinkedIn Ralf VonSosen and stated that the webinar should be banned.

This was feedback to webinar organisers, who responded with Cold Calling is dead, thanks to LinkedIn and invited Steve Master to a Google hangout to discuss the definition of cold calling and when it is appropriate – digitally, over the phone or in person!

Here’s what they had to say…..

So you may be wondering why this story should be of interest?  Or perhaps that you don’t have 32 minutes to spare to watch this video?

So let me give you some key points to take away:

 1.       The use of LinkedIn

Ralf VonSosen heads up the sales and marketing for LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator product. He said, “Poor email techniques, poor calling techniques… those kinds of thing are amplified by tools like LinkedIn. So if you suck, you are gonna suck tremendously using LinkedIn.”

“I think I can draw another hard line and say anything that is not you being introduced to someone else by a common acquaintance, that’s cold.”

Ralf said you always want to be getting someone who knows both of you to make that introduction and bring you in with some credibility.

2.       Cold Calling is ok – if done properly

Steve Richard of Vorsight said “Cold calling at its purest level is insanity.”

“When you hear take the cold out of cold calling, that’s exactly what has to happen.”

“The first thing you need to do is form what we call the hypothesis of need.”

Steve said “What about this person, this company makes you believe they might have a need for what you’re selling? If you don’t have an answer to the question, why are you calling them? Don’t do it. That’s spam.”

 He also added that “There is research to support that conversion ratios jump from 32% to 50% if there is a second degree connection.”

My questions to all Recruiters are:

  • Do you have a clearly defined process or techniques in place when approaching candidates and clients on LinkedIn?
  • Do you know how to engage passively until you build trust and rapport?
  • Are you proactively networking and building on referrals and introductions?
  • What is your new business acquisition plan?
  • How are you going to evolve your sales approach to a changing market place?


If you don’t know the answers yet, watch out for our upcoming blogs, webinars and training events…..

I hope you enjoy this edition and if there is someone within your organisation or network that you think may benefit from this information, please feel free to share this blog on so that they can subscribe if they wish.

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