A survey conducted by Andrea Nierenberg, president of The Nierenberg Group, which specializes in motivational techniques, networking tactics and presentation skills, revealed that salespeople still give low ratings to cold calls but rank referrals from existing contacts ranked as the most effective way to snag new clients. The survey, conducted in conjunction with New York University’s Management Institute, also rated one-to-one marketing high, and gave good marks to direct mail.Salespeople ranked the importance of various methods of attracting new customers on a scale of one to five. One meant “not important,” five “very important.”Do cold calls pay off? The survey revealed that sales professionals give them a cold shoulder, rating cold calls at 1.5. But referrals drew a 4.8 rating and reported that salespeople rely on satisfied clients to act as a partner. One-to-one marketing received a 4.5 rating, direct mail 3.8 and trade shows 3.2.In answer to the question “How do you value various places to network and find new customers?” sales professionals revealed they rate the traditional sites as highly valuable places to connect with new clients. When queried about the worth of business-related functions, civic or public service events and social events at trade shows, most participants of the survey insisted they still get results at the usual spots.So, although customer-contact computer programs and other tools enjoy growing popularity, salespeople see a lot of value in getting out of the office and meeting clients face-to-face.Participants rated the value of different sites to connecting with new contacts by selected “valuable,” “unpredictable” or “waste of time.” While business-related functions ranked valuable among 78 percent of the participants, civic or public service events rated valuable with 68 percent, social events at trade shows 67 percent.Contact The Nierenberg Group, www.selfmarketing.com, and Andrea Nierenberg at 888-605-5911 or firstname.lastname@example.org.