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25 & 26 MARCH 2020


Daniel Disney: Cold Calling is Just Like Blockbuster

Cold Calling is JUST like Blockbuster....

This isn't a cold calling bashing blog, don't worry! However I'm trying to find ways to explain how the sales landscape is changing and why failing to adapt can have consequences.

So why Blockbuster? It is because it went bust? Am I just saying cold calling is dead? NO!


Actually in my opinion Blockbuster should still be alive and thriving today in the same way that a lot of cold callers are thriving today.

What Blockbuster highlights is change, and how refusing to change or adapt is a risky way to approach business. Blockbuster ended as a business because they didn't apapt quick enough to evolve with the rest of the industry. Whilst new businesses were coming up with streaming services, which were growing really fast, Blockbuster refused to adapt and kept pushing the "film rental" market.

Technology advanced and people were now able to watch films on demand, when they want with no late fees!

Now if Blockbuster had adapted and launched a streaming service they could still be going (and growing) today. Blockbuster had a huge brand known all over the world for films and they could have easily built and grown a streaming brand in the same way Netflix have. They could have kept the stores going as people still like to shop and would still rent newly released movies that aren't available on Netflix or streaming sites.

This is EXACTLY the situation that cold calling is in right now!

Cold calling is a prospecting activity that thrived when the phone was our main source of communication. Just like Blockbuster thriving when the only way we could watch films was to buy or rent them via video or DVD. Just like the world of streaming and downloading interupted the film industry, other forms of communication such as social media, instant messaging, email and video are now interupting the prospecting and sales industry.

If you refuse to adapt and evolve, if you think the phone will always be the main form of communication and that nothing will change, you stand a high chance of ending up like Blockbuster, out of business.

I'm not saying that the phone will die, like I said at the start people still buy and watch DVD's in the same way people still use the phone now and will continue to do so for years to come. However people are now communicating more via social media, instant messaging, email and video. Now is the time adapt these new methods, learn them properly and master them.

Blockbuster, Toys R Us, it's the same story......

In the UK a few weeks ago it was announced that Toys R Us, a popular toy shop, was closing down. Most people jump on this to blame websites such as Amazon which certainly contribute to this. However in the same way Blockbuster could still be thriving today so could Toys R Us! If they had adapted with the changing way people buy and embraced the online world of purchasing they could again still be thriving.

The sales people and sales teams that have embraced social selling, email, messaging and video are thriving today. They've grown their pipelines, increased their sales and grown their business. Suddenly they're able to reach more people and have more conversations.

What should you do?

If you are ONLY cold calling now is the time to really wake up to the fact that this is not a strong sales strategy. You're missing out on loads of opportunities to generate sales opportunities via social media, email, video and instant message. It's not about replacement but utilising it ALONGSIDE cold calling.

The phone will continue to be a strong source of prospecting, but there are A LOT of people using or more responsive to other platforms. Be smart, be proactive and use them all!


As with anything though it's not as simple as just using LinkedIn or just recording a video. Learn to do it properly!