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Cold calling defined by LinkedIn in Hangout

Cold caller selling insuranceLast week I wrote this post entitled No, LinkedIn is not a source for your cold calling. This was subsequently re-published on Business2Community, here. This led to communication from one of the two companies I mentioned in my rant. I’m writing this follow-up article to do two things.

First, I want to praise Inside Sales for the way they responded to my article, which I will get to below. Second, I wanted to share the highlights of a great Google Hangout that resulted from that article.

Ken Krogue would like to invite you to a Hangout

I was contacted by Gabriel Villamizar, who looks after social marketing at Inside Sales. He wanted to invite me to a Google Plus Hangout discussion with Ken Krogue, president of Inside Sales, to talk about my article. Sadly, the Hangout was scheduled for 9pm my time on Friday (yesterday) and at that time I was at a family event watching the Red Arrows and the fireworks marking the end of Cowes Week.

In response to my article, Ken Krogue wrote this response, which was published on The Hangout discussion took place between Ken Krogue, Steve Richard of Vorsight and Ralf VonSosen of LinkedIn.

Before I get to the discussion of what counts as cold calling, I want to highlight how the response of Inside Sales is a great example of how to handle criticism. My article prompted them to get in touch with me to invite further conversation, it also prompted them to write an article of their own and it encouraged them to create their first ever Google Hangout. As a big fan of Google Plus, I’m glad to have caused other marketers to use one of its best features.

Cold Calling defined in two ways

In the Google Hangout, which you can watch below, Ralf and Steve defined cold calling two different ways.


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.”

He added, that you need to keep that customer in mind and think, “If I’m not doing something that I know is going to be received as beneficial in terms of ‘I’ve read the updates by this individual’ or ‘I know the groups that he belongs to’ or ‘I have a common individual that can introduce me’…

“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.

Steve Richard of Vorsight said cold calling is wider than that. “I think of cold calling as making a connection with someone that you haven’t previously before and reaching out to someone who doesn’t know who you are up to that point.

“Ralf has a very tight definition of cold calling. I have a very broad definition. For example, we work with a whole bunch of clients that deal with a lot of marketing leads, and if you talk to people who call and follow up on marketing leads, for example from trade shows, it feels a lot like cold calling, even though that person has taken some sort of action.”

Ralf added, “Our rule of thumb is never connect with anyone unless you know that they know you well enough that they will connect you to one of their acquaintances.”

Cold calling is bad unless someone has introduced you

Steve Richards gave this tip for for calling people. “The first thing you need to do is form what we call the hypothesis of need. Not a lot of people do this – it’s kind of a foreign concept.

“What about this person, this company or this hospital 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.”

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