What Cold-Calling Method Works Best in 2020? Phone, Email, or Inmail?

  By Tony Sorensen  |    Thursday August 27, 2020

Category: Expert Advice, Productivity


As a CEO with decision and buying power, I’m constantly barraged with emails, inmails, and phone calls from strangers every single day. 


But the truth is, I haven’t responded to an email, inmail, or phone call in the last couple of years from someone I didn’t know.

But yet, you still need to hit sales numbers. 

To help you achieve a better success rate with your cold outreaches, I thought I’d share a few insights that will greatly increase your odds of getting a CEO or decision maker to respond to your cold calls. 


Before we get into the weeds, let’s first explore one question, 

“Is cold calling dead?” 

The answer is absolutely NO. It’s just different.  

In the digital world, buyers are inundated with information overload. The average buyer will look at 4-5 pieces of content before they will buy from you. What is most surprising is the sheer number of salespeople today that are automating sales sequences without a content or brand strategy. 

The secret is to remove “cold” from the equation by implementing a content and brand strategy BEFORE you reach out. 

Listed below are a few tips/advice to help build your brand and content strategy across all digital channels. I’ve also included a playbook at the end for how to get someone at the c-level to talk to you using email, inmail and the phone. 

Building a Solid Brand

Let’s say I do get a message from you and I’m at least interested enough in your service or product. I’m definitely not going to blindly respond back. I’m going to Google you first. 

Depending on what pops up, I may browse your website, glance at your LinkedIn profile, read a review or two and if I’m impressed, browse the content that you share. Here’s what I’m looking for in each.


Your website is the virtual front of your store. It’s often the first interaction people have with your brand and it should be pleasant to the eye, easy to navigate and most importantly, clearly communicates what you do and why you do it.

What I’m looking for in your website:

If I can’t tell what your business does within the first few sentences on your website, I’m bouncing. Ideally, I’m looking to see if your website calls out the pain points that I’m feeling and how your company can help solve them. 

I strongly recommend reading the book, Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller. This book has basically perfected the art of clarifying your message so that customers will listen. 


It may not come as a surprise that LinkedIn is my preferred social channel. It’s where I go for industry content, networking, and the occasional glance at new products and services. 

What I’m looking for in your LinkedIn profile:

Your LinkedIn should display clear and concise branding across your profile that matches that of your company and co-workers. To me and other business leaders, this shows unity, credibility, and trust. 

3rd Party Reviews

Back in the 90s, if you wanted to go out to eat at a restaurant, you would either judge the eatery by how it looked from the outside or go based on a recommendation from someone. Today, those same things apply but more than ever, it’s the online reviews that pushes us through the restaurant doors. This is the same idea behind if I’ll respond back to your email, inmail or call. 

Research shows that 91 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews and 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as a personal opinion.


What I’m looking for in your reviews:

A 5 star review is wonderful but it’s what your customers and employees say that makes me interested. Reading reviews is one of the best ways to get unbiased information. Unedited, authentic reviews really help me build trust in a brand. 

Even if you do have a few poor reviews (it happens to us all), it’s how you handle it that makes me impressed. Responding back to haters with helpful, compassionate messages is almost more important than a decent review. 

Thought-Leadership Content

If you are going to send an email or inmail, be sure it provides something useful like a thought leadership blog, download, webinar, etc. – at least with the first few outreaches. 

What I’m looking for in content:

Anything that’s either entertaining, relevant to my job or simply interesting is going to get me to download and read your content. If I enjoy it or find it useful, I’m going to keep you in mind. Whether you are sharing an e-book, one-pager or even a blog (like this one), this helps me establish credibility before I pull the trigger on responding back. 

Omnichannel Branding

If you can successfully build a strong, impactful brand across all of the various channels I listed above BEFORE reaching out to me, you’ll have a much better chance of getting me to respond. Once your brand is clear and consistent across all your channels and you’ve developed some relevant thought-leadership content, THEN start reaching out via email, inmail, and phone. 

Tony’s Playbook

Step 1: Brand is solid and has a consistent omnichannel look and feel

Step 2: You have a decent library of thought-leadership content

Step 3: Send me an email or inmail with relevant content that you are producing

Step 4: Repeat step 3 for a month or two (long enough to build a relationship)

Step 5: Give me a call (at this point, you’re established in my mind and I’m at least open to chatting on the phone).


In conclusion, using email, inmail, and cold-calling in unison with a strong brand and content strategy will continue to work for staffing and recruiting firms for years to come.

Parqa Marketing

Need help building a brand? Or producing thought-leadership content? Parqa Digital Marketing can help! Feel free to browse our brand and if you’re interested in learning more, we’d love to hear from you!

Previous Page
Article Search