Social media doesn’t “warm” your call, you do.

A company tells its salespeople to do their research—to gather every piece of sales intelligence; exploit all of their social media channels; know a little bit about the prospect and the trigger events at his company; and then all their salespeople need to do is call or email with a pithy, targeted message to get the meeting.

Sure, that might work. But…

A Cold Call Is a Cold Call Is a Cold Call

Many salespeople believe that if they reach out to prospects armed with relevant research and data, they’re not cold calling (or cold e-mailing). After all, the cold-calling salesperson says they know who you are and know about your company. They know how you’re connected through social media, where you used to work, and where you went to school. The “connected” logic plays out like this: We’re connected online, so we have a relationship! (Read, “Have You Spoken With Your E-Quaintance Lately?”)

No, you’re not really connected. You just have information, not a connection. That “call,” whether by email or by phone, is ice cold. Your sales prospect doesn’t know you and doesn’t expect your call. That’s the simple, precise definition of a cold call. There’s nothing “warm” about it. Cold calling wastes your time and your company’s money. The sole reliance on social intelligence, and not personal intelligence, is a wasteful use of precious business-development time.

Guarantee Your Results

What if you could reach out to your sales prospects and guarantee results? Yes, guarantee. Get a referral introduction to your decision maker. You’ll get the meeting with exactly the person you want to meet. Research by The TAS Group asked executives why they would meet with a salesperson. The #1 reason (you guessed it): a referral from a trusted source.

Why would you waste your time doing anything else? Think about how you spend your time and the type of payoff you want. Get that introduction and clinch your referral sale!

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What’s your current business-development process? Are you a 100% referral-based business? If not, why not?

Think about how terrific it would be if your current clients all referred you! What’s holding you back? How can we help? Stop cold calling—there’s a better way. I promise. Comment here and join the conversation.