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Can Businesses Still Cold Call Under GDPR?.

Posted on: 13 August 2021

When building your B2B telemarketing contacts or funnel, ensuring that your business or your sales team adheres to the latest data handling and usage regulations is vital. This is not only to safeguard the reputation of your business but to abide by critical laws regarding personal and business information.


You want to make sure you can still reach out to those contacts that you need, as well as walking that tightrope of staying legitimate and within those boundaries.


So the question still left hanging after the implementation of these rules is if businesses can still cold-call.


The short answer is technically yes, but some limitations may change how your business operates. Of course, business contact details are slightly different to the personal contact numbers of individuals. Still, it’s best to be aware of the newest legislation that will impact B2C and B2B telemarketing processes.


So, read on for a breakdown of what the new legislation means and how you can still cold-call under these rules. 

What are the new rules?

Newly stated GDPR that was implemented in May 2018 has provided strict guidelines around the use of personal data and more specific limitations on phone numbers. This, understandably, has left many businesses worried about how they will build on their B2C or B2B telemarketing and ensure that they are doing so legitimately. 


The new regulations under article 6 have fundamentally laid out that you can cold-call customers or businesses still as long as it falls under one of these six legitimate reasons.



So businesses do still have flexibility and free rein to contact potential customers. Still, these are new considerations businesses must consider to ensure they are doing so legitimately.


How You Can Still Cold Call Under These Rules

Out of the six new lawful ways of contacting customers, the two considerations sales and cold calling teams should factor in are “consent” and “legitimate interest”. For most sales teams, these will be the only factors that will enable cold calling to continue.


Regarding customers giving consent, there are a few ways in which someone can give consent, and only under these can a customer be contacted.

Clear and explicit consent

A customer must explicitly have agreed and laid out that their data can be used for telephone contact. If they have not expressly confirmed they can be contacted in that form or have agreed to only other forms of communication, they cannot contact a customer or client.

Specific organisation or company

Under the new GDPR, businesses cannot exchange lists of potential clients’ data and presume that consent is carried across. If a new company that did not initially obtain the information wants to use this for outreach, they will need consent.



For genuine consent to be legitimate, a company has to give the potential customer or client an easy and efficient way of withdrawing from their information being utilised.


Overall, to ensure that you can still build on B2C or B2B telemarketing connections, you must ensure the information has been obtained legitimately by the customer, and they are aware that you and only you will use that information to contact.


Legitimate Use

When discussing how to continue to cold call for sales and to build connections, the other and more imperative aspect is through legitimate use. This means that a company has a right to cold call if they have a legitimate interest. 


However, the consumer’s rights are at the forefront. So their right to privacy trumps the businesses right to make contact which is why it is beneficial for businesses to have safeguards in place.


Handling data

Having internal policies laid regarding how data is collected and stored is a great way to ensure that data is safeguarded. Naturally, your internal processes must comply with all GDPR.

Customer consent on third party lists


When conducting B2B telemarketing, several businesses buy this info from third parties. When doing so, it is your responsibility to ensure that people have given their consent to be used by third parties when purchasing and using these lists to ensure you are still within the GDPR.

Selective/Infrequent contact


Ensure that you are only contacting customers and potential clients about relevant information. We’ve all experienced cold calls from numbers that seem determined to convert us, and we all know the feeling of being contacted too frequently. 


Ensure that your business contacts clients or customers in a manner befitting promising business relations rather than ‘getting through’ a call list.


Best Practice 

Overall, treat your potential clients or customers like people, individuals with personal preferences regarding communication. Ensure that your sales team is contacting both individual contacts or business contacts in ways that align with these newer legislations. 


If a business ends up “spamming” customers, not only is this against the law, but it leaves customers with a bad experience and ensures that they cease all further communication. 


This is often why many businesses contact an external outreaching company to provide advice, assistance and compliant processes for contacting potential customers. 


Our B2B telemarketing agency is experienced in finding, developing and converting prospects for a wide range of industries – why not get in touch to see how our telemarketing services could benefit your business?

Posted: 13 August 2021 | Uncategorized


A B2B Telemarketing & Market Research agency


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