In all due respect, I must heartily disagree with those who seem to think it is always best to set an appointment prior to making a presentation.
I owned and operated a highly successful (and profitable) sales and marketing organization for just short of 30 years. My specific target market was the Independent Retail Drugstore. In literally every instance, I and the sales reps who I trained in each given geographical area, by intent called on the manager, pharmacist owner, or whoever the person was who had buying authority.
Our experience proved this to be the overwhelmingly most successful approach. Admittedly, there were many occasions where I, or the sales rep had to wait for a period of time before we could make our "pitch".
Historical records from my company indicate that we were successful a staggering 64.3% of the time in "closing" or getting the store to participate in our program (putting our merchandise on their shelves).
Nearly 2 out of 3 isn`t bad for an average!
To the crux of the matter........ In reality, it is so very, very easy for a prospect to deny you the opportunity to make a presentation, particularly when you are trying to set an appointment. Invariably, even if you secure an appointment, there are always instances in which you will show up for your previously scheduled apppointment only to be told your prospect is "too busy now" or is suddenly unavailable etc.
Without doubt, a pure "cold call" will always prove to be more productive. There are of course exceptions to that "blanket statement". If you are in a highly specialized, and critically detailed business....... then of course you will by necessity need to make appointments.