Recently, I received this question from a reader: “I am not having much success with cold calling. Do you think cold calling advertizes the fact that you need business, thereby weakening your position?”

My reply? This reader is absolutely correct in his thinking: Any company, business owner or sales professional looking to grow her sales revenue wants more work. But you don’t really know what a prospect is thinking until you’ve had a conversation with him. Remember that the definition of a cold call is a call to a stranger. Your prospect could be thinking “I really need and want [fill in the blank with whatever you’re selling].”

Cold calling absolutely works today, just not the way it used to. If you are making calls the way you did 10-15 years ago—or even 5—then it’s not surprising that you’re not having much success. It is no longer enough to rely on sheer volume—the strategy employed by most cold callers. If that’s your strategy today, then cold calling won’t work for you.

In order to be successful in 2014, cold calling must be strategic, targeted and skilled. A cold-calling campaign that’s all three of these things will succeed in developing new business. Anything else is just a waste of time.

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Wendy Weiss, aka The Queen of Cold Calling, is president of ColdCallingResults.com. She is also the author of Cold Calling for Women and The Sales Winner’s Handbook.