I like to get in the car and make personal sales cold calls on perspective new listings. Many of my fellow Realtors think I'm crazy for liking this sales tool, but I've been pretty successful with it and highly recommend it for more listings.
Getting face to face with a potential new listing customer offers lots of positive things mailings and phone calls don't. I use personal sales calls mostly for expired listings and FSBO's that I target as especially good ones to have. Showing up at a potential listing's front door armed with my pre-listing booklet is totally unexpected by the homeowner and often results in an invitation to come in and see the house. Fear of rejection is probably the biggest deterrent in making cold calls, but I've found that potential clients are so impressed (or shocked) with a Realtor taking the time to visit personally, that they usually open right up to the call.
You don't need to walk away with an on the spot listing with the initial call. I mostly just talk about my marketing plan and briefly show and leave my pre-listing booklet. The potential client is usually receptive to a follow-up call and the in person approach is really well received. My biggest success story that involved a personal cold call resulted in a $1.5 million listing and an additional one from a neighbor.
Try making a few in person cold calls on potential listings and I think you will be very pleasantly surprised with the reception you get and the results that follow. Target your in person calls based on the best potential, keep personal safety in mind and do a little rehearsing before your call and you can have a lot of fun with great results from this little used sales technique.