Meeting someone on the phone (cold calling them - even from a referral) is not the best way to start any relationship. It can work, but it's not the best way. When you meet someone face to face you can see them and hear them at the same time. This is 100 times more insightful.
Networking is the best way to create initial face to face meetings. It doesn't just have to be a business after hours type of thing. It can also be a three way lunch, a trade association meeting, even an annual convention.
The reason face to face is so powerful is that your prospect can get to like you faster. The more they like you the more they will buy from you. Networking builds rapport that leads to appointments and sales. Lots of sales.
BETWEEN NOW AND NEXT WEEK: Attend three networking functions and compare the contacts, relationships and sales you make to what you would have made cold calling. The results will be astonishing!