Cold calling is a lot of work. It’s time consuming, inefficient, and often ineffective. But it’s still something that many people do, even if they don’t want to.

But what if…

  • There was a better way to get qualified sales leads without cold calling?
  • You could get leads chasing to work with you? (rather than you chasing them)
  • You could automate most of the work?

In this article, I’ll show you exactly how you can do all of this and more.

The best cold calling alternative

Many clients prior to working with me generated most of their leads through cold calling, referrals, word of mouth, seminars or networking events.

For example, one business owner I recently spoke to won 90% of their new business by having a sales rep cold call prospects from LinkedIn or other business databases (they were in a b2b lead generation niche).

It worked (sort-of).

But it was extremely time-intensive, expensive and inefficient.

And the results were getting worse each year…

They started working with me because they wanted a NEW and better (more automated & profitable) way to generate new clients.

And what’s exactly what they did!

How?

By creating an automated appointment funnel.

In just a few months of implementing this new sales funnel, they won more new clients than they did through traditional cold calling.

And it was easier, more profitable and less time consuming!

This is just one of many examples of clients who have stopped cold calling and replaced it with an automated appointment funnel.

What is an automated appointment funnel?

This is a specific marketing & sales funnel which takes someone from a stranger to a paying client (step by step).

How does it work?

It involves 5 simple landing pages:

  • Opt-in landing page
  • Video page
  • Schedule call page
  • Application page
  • Call confirmation page

The idea is that you have an educational business video presentation that you use to both generate leads and convert leads into clients.

Funnel Example On Macbook

This allows you to:

One: Get MORE leads without cold calling. People are more inclined to say ‘Yes’ to watch a short video on the first-touch point. Then they can schedule a call if they like what they hear on the video.

Two: Get higher quality leads without cold calling. People who schedule a call after watching a video presentation will be more likely to schedule a call because they WANT to work with you.

An automated appointment funnel is a much more effective marketing campaign compared to cold calling or other traditional marketing strategies.

How can you create an automated appointment funnel?

I show you exactly what you need to do step-by-step in this video here.

This video will explain the sales process to:

  • Create an educational business video presentation
  • Create an automated appointment funnel for your presentation
  • Get warm leads to go into the sales funnel
  • Automate the whole lead generation process
  • And more!

Once again click here to watch the video to see how it all works in more detail.

Generate leads online

You can replace a cold calling strategy, with an automated online lead generation strategy to generate inbound leads in your business.

How?

Once you’ve created an automated appointment funnel (as seen above), you can use a variety of lead generation strategies to get leads into the funnel.

Generate leads without cold calling

Remember: The more leads that go into the funnel, the more appointments and clients you’ll get each month. So it’s in your best interest to get as many leads as possible in the funnel.

You can do this through online lead generation services.

Here are 11 ways to generate leads without cold calling:

  1. LinkedIn outreach
  2. Write content on your blog
  3. Create YouTube videos
  4. Run retargeting ads
  5. Email marketing
  6. Paid advertising
  7. Buy leads
  8. Use inbound & content marketing
  9. Reactivate old leads
  10. Networking events (e.g. BNI)
  11. Social media platforms

Here’s more information on how you can implement each of these strategies in more detail:

1. LinkedIn outreach

On LinkedIn you can find people who are your ideal clients.

When you reach out to them do not message them a sales pitch!

A lot of people pitch to prospects on LinkedIn straight away and it rarely ever gets good results.

LinkedIn Lead Generation

So what do you do instead?

Ask LinkedIn prospects if they want to watch a video you’ve recorded that solves a problem they likely have.

Potential clients will be much more likely to say “Yes” to watch a video.

Then if they like what they hear on the video, they can schedule a call to learn more.

See also: How to automate your LinkedIn lead generation

2. Write content on your blog

Content marketing is a great alternative to cold calling. To do content marketing the right way, it’s best if you focus on answering questions that your potential clients are asking.

One way you can do this is by answering questions people ask on your website blog.

Write High Converting Content

The more questions you answer, the more likely you will be to rank higher on Google for different questions.

This is because the more content you create, the better you establish yourself as an authority (in Google’s eyes) on that topic.

3. Create YouTube videos

Answering questions your potential customers ask with a YouTube video is an excellent alternative to cold calling.

Yes, creating videos does require hard work.

But the good thing about creating videos is that you only do the work ONCE.

Free YouTube leads

Once you’ve created a video on a question that your potential customers ask, you can get new leads and clients from that content for many years into the future.

Another advantage of video is that it’s much easier to build trust. People who watch a video about how you can help them are more likely to trust you compared to reading written content on its own.

4. Run retargeting ads

Retargeting ads is a very cost effective lead generation strategy. Chances are you already have potential clients visiting your website, but most don’t convert. You can retarget these website visitors on Facebook, Google YouTube and Adroll.

Retargeting ads only typically cost $5-15/day (depending on how much traffic your website gets).

It’s a great way to get leads instead of cold calling.

5. Email marketing

When it comes to email marketing I do NOT recommend cold emailing. Yes, the results for cold emails are slightly better than cold calling… But it’s still not the best way to generate leads.

Laptop SEO writing

Instead I recommend generating leads by using a lead magnet (such as a video presentation, video sales letter, webinar, etc). Then you need to follow up with these leads automatically with email marketing software.

What do you say in the email follow ups?

Don’t spam or sell to them all the time! Instead, provide value to them. You can provide value in emails to leads by answering questions that potential clients ask. Answer questions that talk about a prospects pain points.

Explain how you are the best solution to solve these problems.

In each email it’s a good idea to include a call to action where potential clients can schedule a call with you to learn more.

6. Paid Advertising

Another way to generate leads without cold calling is by using paid advertising channels such as Facebook ads. This method does require some monetary investment, but it is a great way to start generating leads quickly and on-demand.

With paid advertising you pay per lead and you decide how many leads you want to get each month.

Facebook Ads

After spending about $1,000 to $2,000 on paid ads, you’ll know what your average cost per lead is for your audience & ads combination.

With split testing you can also reduce the cost per lead over time.

7. Buy leads without cold calling

There are lead generation companies that will sell you leads on-demand and deliver them straight to your email inbox.

The advantage to this strategy is that you don’t have to do any marketing to generate leads.

The disadvantage is that often the lead quality from many of these lead gen companies is low.

Also buying leads can be expensive.

Keep in mind that buying leads from a 3rd party means that they are selling leads to you with a mark-up on top.

Buying leads can be a good temporary marketing strategy. But for best results in the long-term, it’s often better and cheaper to get your own leads.

8. Use inbound marketing or content marketing

This is where you create content on your website and explain how you can help potential clients. When a potential customer finds this content, they reach out to you to learn more about how you can help them. This is inbound & content marketing.

The best kind of leads are those that already want to work with you. Content marketing allows you to find those kinds of leads.

Tip: Don’t create content for nothing! It’s super important that all the content you create sends people to your marketing and sales funnel. Watch this video to learn how to do this effectively.

9. Reactive old leads

If you’ve already got a database of leads, rather than cold call all of them, you can reactivate them by sending them helpful educational content.

The key benefits of this strategy are:

  • Quick results
  • Quick wins
  • It’s very cost effective

All you or someone on your sales team needs to do is send everyone on that list an email (or multiple emails) with helpful educational content.

10. Go to networking events

Networking events are not the most efficient ways to bring in new leads. Generating leads online is a lot better. But if it’s the right kind of event, it does work and it is still better than cold calling.

Networking event BNI

I don’t recommend relying on networking events as a long term sales strategy for your sales team.

11. Social media platforms

Wherever your potential clients are hanging out you can use social media networks to find them.

One way to do this is by using “Social Selling”.

With social selling you can find people who are posting about problems that they have. If your solution solves this problem then you can reach out to these potential buyers.

Quick case study: we worked with a business that needed to fund hundreds of thousands of dollars on Indiegogo for a new extra strong iPhone charger they developed. Using social listening tools, we helped them find customers on various social media channels that had broken iPhone chargers. The client was able to reach out to them and show them how their new iPhone solution was better. This resulted in over $200K in investment funding on Indiegogo!

To think about: Where is your target audience hanging out on social media?

Focus your time on using the social media channels your buyer persona is most likely using.

Is warm calling better than cold calling?

A lot of people say that instead of cold calling, you can do “warm calling”. Warm calling is when you call someone who has expressed an interest in what you do and has provided you with their phone number.

Warm vs cold calling

However, the problem with warm calling is that this person is still not expecting your phone call.

It’s still a lot more effective to get appointments directly in your calendar. Getting booked appointments in your calendar through an automated appointment funnel is better than cold calling or warm calling.

FAQs

What’s the difference between a sales lead and a prospect?  

A sales lead is someone who has expressed interest in buying your product or service. A prospect is someone who has not yet expressed interest in buying your product or service.  

What’s the best way to generate sales leads?  

The best way to generate sales leads is through digital marketing. You should be looking for people who are already interested in your product or service.  With a powerful digital marketing strategy, sales funnel and lead generation strategy, you can get leads without cold emailing a list of prospects.

What can I do instead of cold calling?

Instead of cold calling you can generate leads online with an automated appointment funnel. This is a more profitable and effective way to win new business without cold calling.

How do you get seller leads without cold calling?

To get seller leads without cold calling, generate leads online with LinkedIn, Google SEO, YouTube SEO or Facebook ads instead. It’s a good idea to automate your lead generation for even better results.

Does cold calling generate leads?

Cold calling can generate leads, but it is very time consuming. There are much better ways to generate leads without making any cold calls.

How do I get insurance clients without cold calling?

If you looking to get financial advisor or insurance leads without making any cold calls, it’s a good idea to first set up an automated appointment funnel with a video sales letter. Then send people into the funnel various digital marketing channels where financial advisor clients are likely to hang out. Google SEO tends to work very well for financial advisors because you can target people who are actively searching for your services.

Does cold calling still work in 2022?

Cold calling can work in 2022, but each year the results are getting worse. There are much more effective strategies (both free and paid) to generate leads in 2022. An effective strategy that works very well in 2022 would be by using online lead generation tools combined with a high converting marketing and sales funnel.

Cold calls vs Online Lead Generation

Cold calling is typically more expensive, time consuming and less effective compared to online lead generation. To generate leads online successfully, it’s important you have the right digital marketing strategy. Click here to watch a video that explains what strategy works well.

If you need help with lead generation, check out our lead generation packages.