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Why Phone Calls Trump Zoom Meetings for Initial Cold Call Engagements

In the world of prospecting, the approach you take to schedule initial meetings can significantly impact your success rate. Through extensive experience and testing, we at Big Fish Advisor Services have found that scheduling phone calls, rather than Zoom meetings, yields better results. Here’s why:

  • Control the Ask: Cold call prospects are generally more willing to agree to a phone call than to go through the extra steps of scheduling a Zoom meeting. This lower barrier to entry makes them more likely to commit to the initial conversation.

  • Initial Hesitation: Due to the nature of our industry, prospects often expect a sales pitch and are not yet ready to appreciate the value you offer. A phone call is a less intimidating step, allowing them to engage without feeling pressured.

  • Higher Show-Up Rate: Phone calls are a smaller ask, leading to a higher likelihood that the prospect will attend. This allows you to deliver your message and demonstrate your value effectively.

  • Avoid Missed Opportunities: Busy, high-potential prospects might not take the extra step required for a Zoom meeting, resulting in missed opportunities and fewer overall results.

It’s Not About Interest or Call Quality

It’s crucial to understand that the low attendance rates for Zoom meetings on the initial engagement are not a reflection of the prospects’ interest level or the quality of the initial phone call. In the financial advisory industry, prospects often expect a sales pitch. They need to understand the true value of your approach and how it differentiates from others before they commit to a meeting.

Our goal for that initial appointment should be to maximize the likelihood of getting in front of the prospect to showcase your value. By doing this, you’ll yield the best overall results. Scheduling a phone call helps you achieve this by reducing the friction for the prospect and increasing the chances they’ll engage with your message.

Case in Point: A Client's Experience

One of our clients had scheduled 98 appointments in his first few months but only had 14 show up. This client insisted on scheduling Zoom meetings, believing that the visual connection would make him more effective. He felt that seeing his face would help prospects see him as a real person, fostering a deeper connection.

Despite our recommendations, he believed that reminders and follow-up calls would filter out less committed prospects, leaving only the serious ones. However, this approach did not yield the desired results.

What we explained to him was based on tests done within our own practice, J&S Private Wealth Management. We found that phone call appointments with fewer reminders actually led to higher attendance rates. Responsible prospects, even if they forgot the meeting, would still keep it once they picked up the phone. This allowed us to convey our value effectively, leading to better overall engagement.

On the other hand, when we ran Zoom meetings with more reminders, fewer people showed up, and we missed the opportunity to explain our value. This resulted in fewer conversions and overall engagement.


Scheduling phone calls rather than Zoom meetings for initial cold call engagements is a more effective strategy. It lowers the barrier for prospects, increases show-up rates, and ensures you have the opportunity to convey your value. Our client’s experience and our own testing reinforce this approach, demonstrating that sometimes, less is more when it comes to reminders and meeting scheduling.

Remember, it’s not about the interest or the quality of the initial call—it’s about ensuring you have the best opportunity to demonstrate your unique value proposition to the prospect.

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