Cold calling is the marketing term used to describe the process of approaching prospective customers or clients (usually by telephone, email or via a social network such as Facebook or linkedin) who weren’t expecting your call.

The word "cold" is used because the person receiving the call was not expecting a call or did not specifically ask to be contacted by a sales person. A cold call is usually the first part of the sales process generally known as telemarketing.

The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 makes it unlawful to contact individuals for direct marketing purposes without their prior consent.

TPS screening helps reduce sales and marketing calls

How to avoid cold calls

Register with the Telephone Preference Service
Register your number with the Telephone Preference Service.

Avoid Comparison Websites
Don’t provide your details on comparison websites. They are notorious for selling information in an almost unprecedented fashion. See an interesting article on the This Is Money website.

Avoid making your contact information public on social networking websites
It’s a proven fact that many spammers search social networking websites for data to build up their spam lists. Emails, phone numbers, names and addresses are all used by spammers. We've created fake social network website accounts to see just how bad it can be and it was unbelievable the amount of spam we received by email, text and cold calls.

Go Ex Directory
You’d be surprised (or not) that many cold calling companies still utilise phone directories for a source of calling data. An article on the BBC website highlighted a company by the name of Central Claims Group doing just that:

Distance selling regulations – your rights

If you buy something as the result of a cold call, under distance selling regulations you usually have seven working days from the day after you receive the item to change your mind and return it.

What is the Telephone Preference Service?