Cold Calling Vs Social Selling, Who Wins?


It’s the subject that everyone is talking about, it’s all over social media and a lot of people are saying it’s been “talked to death”.

But then why are people STILL talking about it? Why do people get so PASSIONATE about it? It doesn’t matter how many times I write about it, A LOT of people always get involved.

A recent post I wrote about cold calling has been viewed by over 500,000 people and had nearly 500 comments. The interesting thing is there are as many people arguing that cold calling IS DEAD as there are arguing that is ISN’T DEAD!

We are going through change in the sales industry and change is never easy. Mix that with A LOT of different people saying different things, it’s confusing.

If half the industry think it’s dead and half don’t, who is right?

Perhaps we could settle this arguement……

What do you think would happen if you had one sales rep JUST making cold calls (no social media at all) and one sales rep JUST using social media (no phone)?

Who would win?

Is cold calling actually dead?

Is social selling just a waste of time?

The answer……


If you’re silly enough to just make cold calls without using social or if you’re silly enough to just use social without picking up the phone, you lose!!

It would be like playing 18 holes of golf with just a putter, or like fishing with just one rod instead of several. You don’t need to limit yourself, you don’t need to make a choice. The most successful sales people are HUNGRY for the sale and will use ANY and EVERY tool that will connect them with their prospects.

If I’m trying to reach someone I will try everything I can to reach them. If I limited myself to just one approach I’d stand a far less chance of success. More attempts, more chances. Right now here in 2018 you have LOTS of prospecting tools including:

  • Cold Calling
  • Social Media
  • Email
  • Post
  • Networking Event
  • Content
  • Referral
  • Plus many more!

If you’re just making cold calls and not trying other ways to reach and connect with your prospects, YOU’RE MISSING OUT! You might try cold calling them, and chances are 90%+ won’t answer your call. Why not connect with them on social media? Why not send an email? Why not try to find them at a networking event? Why not send them a letter?

It’s not about who wins between social selling and cold calling, we have enough proof from both activities that they both work REALLY well at the moment. It’s about sales people and sales leaders realising there are now MORE THAN ONE way to prospect effectively, and actually if you’re not utilising ALL methods you are ultimately missing out.

It’s not social selling VERSUS cold calling, it’s social selling WITH cold calling.

It will all boil down to HOW much do you want that sale?

If you really want the sale, you will find ANY opportunity to reach your prospect. Nothing will stand in your way, and if it’s something you don’t know, you’ll learn it, master it and use it.

Here are two very simple realities:

  1. Your prospects and customers will use a lot of different communication tools including phone, instant message, social, email, physical etc.
  2. Your prospects and customers will each prefer different ones to eachother.

There is no single tool that everyone will respond to. Some of your prospects will prefer a phone call whilst others will never want to talk on the phone at all. They’re all potential customers and so it’s your job as a sales professional to master these tools of communication to reach ALL potential customers.

We live in a time where there have never been more methods of communication, which is challenging for sales people. Suddenly you need to know how to confidently cold call AND send engaging emails AND connect on social effectively AND talk confidently face to face AND create great content and so on.

It’s not easy, it’s confusing and it’s scary. This is why people are getting very passionate in the argument. Some people don’t want to accept the change, others think it’s a choice between one or the other.

You can make it nice and simple though….

If you work in sales, you need to sell….

To sell you need prospects….

To find and start conversations with those prospects you have a whole host of methods: phone call, social connection, instant message, email, networking event, referral and more.

10 years ago you didn’t have the option to use social media in sales, now you do.

You don’t HAVE to use it, but you miss out on a lot of opportunities if you don’t. It’s that simple.

But Daniel, some of us already know this…

We are already doing the combo approach….

My question to you though…………………….are you really??

There are 2 types of people I see and meet. Firstly there are the ones who aren’t utilising social, and they know it. The others tell me they’re using social or they’re social selling, but in reality they’re doing perhaps 10-20% of what social selling really is.

I’m working hard now to HELP as many sales people as I can…..

Right now I’ve noticed that there are A LOT of sales people who don’t know how to utilise social selling effectively. Having taught myself how to do it, learned from my mistakes and used it to gain some pretty impressive results, I’ve now built my Social Selling Masterclass to show sales people all over the world how to master social ALONGSIDE other methods.

I don’t want you to stop making calls, attending events or meetings. I want to you to do exactly what you have been doing successfully but to learn how to do social as well. This will help you find MORE opportunities, reach MORE people and build STRONGER realtionships with your customers.

Check out The Daily Sales website for information on my upcoming Masterclasses or to discuss future locations or me coming to your business/sales team for the day just pop me a message on LinkedIn or email

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog! If you enjoyed this post please click LIKE and click SHARE to share it with your network. Please also take time to read some of my other recent posts.

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About the author: 

Daniel Disney is the UK’s leading sales writer and social selling expert and is alsp the Founder and Owner of The Daily Sales. With over 180 sales blogs written over the last couple of years read by millions, Daniel has become a source of knowledge, motivation and inspiration for sales people all across the world.

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