Many marketers and salespeople think that cold calling is dead, but a lot of businesses still rely on discovery and cold calls to generate interest in their brand.
What makes cold calling ineffective is the overuse of sales tactics that aren’t relevant in today’s day and age.
Admittedly, cold calling does get a bad rap, which isn’t undeserved.
If you can learn a bit about your leads before picking up the phone, such as their buyer behavior, then you can find customer success in cold calling when others have failed.
Perhaps you need a sample cold call script or two to get you started or some information on crafting your own sales call template. If so, this article is for you.
In this blog post, we’ll share our best cold calling scripts to get more appointments, purchases, and perhaps even customer loyalty out of your leads.
Besides those great examples, we’ll also tell you how to write a cold call script.
Table of Contents
What is Cold Calling?
Cold calling, as a sales business practice, dates all the way back to 1873 when NCR Corporation’s founder John Patterson began doing it.
Although our society is now rather phone-phobic, cold calling has evolved well. Today, it means more than picking up the phone and calling people randomly.
If your sales team or salesperson goes out door-to-door to try to solicit sales, that’s also cold calling, in a sense.
When you’re on a cold call with a sales lead, you’re speaking to them for the first time. Rather than the lead coming to you — which is how all salespeople and marketers would prefer it — you’re going to the lead.
Your reaching out has nothing to do with the lead’s behavior, as they haven’t expressed any interest in your products or services. They might not have even heard of your company before now. You’re truly calling them out of the blue to see if they’re interested in what your company sells — and improving the chances of closing a sale.
By the way, cold calling is not the same as warm calling. When a sales team member makes a warm call, the lead already knows a bit about your company. They have some interest in your products or services as well.
Are Cold Calls Still Relevant?
We live in a world where you have more options than ever for getting in touch with a person. You can send them a text message, video chat, post to them on social media, shoot them a direct/private message on social media, cold email them, visit them in person, and yes, call them.
Why is cold calling still a thing in 2023 then? Well, for one, today’s sales teams use cold calling a little more intelligently than in days past.
For instance, let’s say a lead sees an ad for your business on social media or through a website advertisement. They click the ad, get redirected to your site, and decide to opt-in.
This is all inbound marketing, as is the initial welcome email the lead receives from you. Although such an email is often very well-received, with an open rate of around 90 percent, what happens after that?
Without taking advantage of the moment, you could lose a lead’s enthusiasm fast. Some sales teams will rely on outbound methods such as cold calling to keep the ball rolling.
A lead might not be expecting a phone call at this stage, but since they already opted in, they’ll be more receptive.
Once you speak to the lead, you can accomplish in one phone call what could take four or five cold emailing exchanges to do the same.
Now, some could argue that at this point what you’re doing isn’t cold calling. In a matter of semantics, technically it isn’t, as this tactic leans more towards warm calling.
Still, if it works for your company and generates conversions and sales, it doesn’t matter so much what you call it.
Should You Use A Cold Calling Script?
There are many sales professionals who aren’t fans of using a cold calling script.
One can argue that cold call scripts make the task of selling tedious and robotic, and many sales reps would prefer to have some flexibility when they’re conversing with a potential customer or lead.
However, cold call scripts can help a lot, especially if you have a niche product or service.
There are quite a few benefits to using an effective cold calling script:
- You get to structure your methodology and clarify your sales process. Putting a script together will help you refine your thought process, as well. You get a better understanding of the product you’re selling and fine-tune the unique value proposition (and improve the chances of making a sale).
- Contrary to popular belief, a sales cold call script will help any sales rep be a better listener. Since they have a pre-written document in front of them, they aren’t spending their brainpower trying to think of what they can say next. This empowers your sales teams and sales managers to listen better and sell better.
- Using a cold call script also helps you train your new recruits better. It develops a streamlined process for evaluating training and sales results.
How to Get Started With a Cold Calling Script
There are no shortcuts when it comes to being an ace cold caller. Your cold calling techniques should be flexible and mindful.
There are three main points of research you must conduct before you draft a sales script.
- Learn About Your Leads
- Analyze Your Competitors
- Know What to Do When Issues Arise
We’ll get into the details now, but this video does a good job of summarizing the top cold calling techniques used by sales teams.
Learn About Your Leads
Without leads, you’d have no one to convert into customers. Although not every lead will convert, it’s still worth spending at least some time learning about the pain points of your various leads entering the sales funnel.
Having this information will let you create a solution that feels tailored to the needs of your lead.
Analyze Your Competitors
To stand out as a unique company, you don’t want to closely mirror your competitors, but you can’t pretend they don’t exist either.
Review your competition objectively, including the areas where they’re stronger than your company and the areas in which they’re weaker.
Which selling points of theirs work well and why? After this review, you might have a few more good ideas to incorporate into your cold call scripts.
Know What to Do When Issues Arise
Given that it’s cold calling we’re talking about here, few calls will be free of roadblocks and bumps.
Have a sales team meeting where your best reps share their experiences with difficult leads and customers. Pay attention especially to the methods these sales reps used to diffuse the situation or bounce back after getting rejected.
Then incorporate all this into your cold call script. You should have answers prepared for an array of customer questions.
Sometimes all it takes for a customer to feel more at ease is to have information, which you can readily provide them.
7 B2B Cold Calling Scripts That Work
As promised, we have some B2B cold call scripts your sales reps can use the next time they cold call a prospect.
Feel free to tweak and otherwise change these scripts so they suit your industry or the products or services you sell.
#1. When the Lead Says No
Sometimes a lack of research on the lead can cause you to have bad information. For instance, you might think the lead has a need for your products or services only to discover when speaking to them on the phone that they don’t.
In such a case, you can always ask for a quick referral and then start the B2B sales process with that company or individual. Here’s the cold call script to follow:
You: Hello [prospect name], my name is [name] at [company]. My company does [briefly explain services]. I’m calling you to discuss [pain point]. What is your biggest challenge with [pain point]?
Them: Our company is actually already using a solution to deal with [pain point].
You: I see. Can I ask you to recommend someone who might use [product/service] instead?
Them: Sure. I have a former colleague at [referral company] who could use help with [pain point]. I’ll give you their contact information.
You: Thank you kindly, [lead name]. I appreciate the suggestion.
#2. When the Lead Asks to Call You Back Later
Some leads just aren’t very open to cold callers. To dodge the conversation, they might ask to call you back with no intention of doing so.
Try the following script to handle this situation with aplomb.
You: Hello, my name is [name] at [company name]. My company does [briefly explain services]. I’m calling today to see if we can help your company, [prospect’s company name]with [pain point].
Them: Can I call you back later?
You: I understand your apprehension, but I believe you’ve had issues with [pain point], and our company’s [product/service] could really help with that. Are you sure you can’t spare two minutes?
Them: Okay, please tell me more.
A sales tip to remember: It’s important that you don’t be pushy.
If they say no the second time (sales objection by potential customer), take the refusal at face value and thank them for their time. A cold call must allow for a mutual connection, instead of a demanding and interrogative one.
#3. The Voicemail
What do you do when the sales lead doesn’t answer the phone? You’ll want to leave a voicemail.
Not having the other party to talk to does change the sales script a bit, as you can’t get answers to your questions and keep the conversation moving that way.
Try following this script as you leave a voicemail.
You: Hello, [prospect name.]
My name is [name]. I’m a part of [company name], which specializes in [products/services].
I believe you’re having [pain point] issues and our [recommended product/service] could help. I would love to talk to you about this further.
Please call me back at [phone number]. Have a nice day!
Don’t just leave it at that, though. If you don’t hear back by the next day, call the lead again and mention how you left a voicemail the day prior.
You can refer to the sales scripts above for more ideas on how you can tweak your responses if your lead isn’t receptive.
#4. The Voicemail Follow-Up Script
If you’ve already left a previous voicemail but haven’t heard back, then use this cold calling script template to follow up.
You: Hi, this is [your name] from [name of company].
I left a voicemail last week and was wondering if you have the time for a quick chat.
We specialize in [products/services] and can help you with [value proposition] in your business.
I would be very happy to schedule a longer call with you.
#5. The Gatekeeper Script
If you’re approaching a large business or firm, chances are your call will be handled by a junior employee, or a gatekeeper.
Gatekeepers are usually assistants to the decision-maker, so you don’t want to antagonize them.
Build an amicable relationship with them and you have a greater chance of converting the cold call to a warm lead.
You: Hello, I’m [your name].
I’m calling from [name of company], which specializes in [products/services]. I was hoping that you might be able to help me out here. I’m looking to speak to [name of boss/lead/prospect].
Would you be able to point me in the right direction?
If yes, You: Appreciate your help, thank you!
If no, then you can refer to the first sales script above and tailor your response.
#6. The Decisionmaker Script
You should also be prepared to speak with the decision-maker. Your sales script should now focus mostly on the unique value proposition of your product or service.
You: Hello, may I speak to Mr. Smith?
Them: Hello, this is Eric. I’m the HR manager at XYZ. May I know what’s your business with Mr. Smith?
You: I’m calling from [name of company] which specializes in [products/services]. Mr. Smith made an inquiry last week to set up a demo.
Them: Yes, he mentioned that. I’ll transfer your call over to him.
You: Appreciate your help, thank you.
#7. The Referral Script
Sometimes, all your efforts at networking events pay off. You may make a lot of connections and get tons of new leads that way.
The best way to ensure a guaranteed sale is to lead with a referral.
You: Hi, I’m [your name] from [name of company]. We haven’t had a chance to connect but [name of mutual connection] sent me your way, because they thought we could help you with [lead’s pain point]. Would now be a good time to talk?
Them: Sure, yes.
You: I won’t take up too much of your time. Our company specializes in [product/service] and we believe that we can help you achieve your goals [expand on value proposition]. I’ll be happy to set up a longer demo call. I’m available next week on [Tuesday & Thursday]. Which day works best for you?
You can tailor the script as the conversation evolves, but this works as a good starting point.
How to Draft the Best Cold Calling Script
We showed you a few examples of successful cold calling scripts that you can use — you may have noticed that they follow a certain structure.
Different industries have different requirements, so the above scripts may not always help you.
You can use the cold calling tips and best practices in this section to draft a cold call script that works for your team.
Keep Your Greetings Cordial Yet To-the-Point
When a strange phone number calls you, you’re already going to be wary. The attention span of your lead might be about eight (8) seconds, which doesn’t give you long at all to grab them.
You don’t want to jump right into the sales spiel, as that would be inconsiderate. Instead, when you greet the sales lead, make it short and sweet. Say hello, introduce yourself, explain that you’re a part of a company, and then talk about the reason for your call.
You don’t want to say things like “is now a bad time?” or even “how are you?” as both questions waste too much time.
Plus, with the first question, you’re giving the lead an excuse to end the call.
Take a Tailored Approach
You did your homework on the lead, and now it’s time to show that off. Now that you have a decision-maker on the phone, ask them a qualifying question or two about their current needs and what they’d like changed.
Make sure your cold call scripts avoid closed-ended questions or those that the lead can respond to by saying no or yes. For example, “are you satisfied with your current home security system?” is a closed-ended question.
Ask open-ended questions whenever you can, as these get your lead talking. You can rephrase the question in the paragraph above to make it open-ended like so: “What about your current home security system do you dislike?”
A question like this requires the lead to bring up several areas they’d like to change. Then, as you gather more information through your open-ended questions, you can use that as a springboard for further questioning.
If you’d rather stick closer to the cold call script, that’s an option too, but we recommend deviating from the script according to the tone of the conversation.
Position Yourself to Solve Pain Points
Once you have a clear understanding of the lead’s pain points, introduce your company’s products or solutions, but only the relevant ones that can solve the problems the lead has.
The way you bring your products into the picture is important.
Make sure you’re genuine though or you could offend the lead and erase all the progress you’ve made thus far.
Then, use the same verbiage as your lead did to describe their pain point and describe it back to them.
Only then can you begin discussing your products or services. After you describe your product or service, ask the lead if they’re using something like it.
You may wish to pepper in a few more questions as the call continues, especially if the lead has stopped talking.
For instance, you could ask them why they haven’t been able to solve their current problem.
You can also ask how their issue affects their personal life or areas of their business.
Get the Meeting
Don’t dance around why you made the cold call in the first place: to schedule a meeting with the lead so you can talk more about your products or services.
Once the lead has told you all about their pain points and problems, ask them if you can book a meeting.
Be direct here, even blunt. Suggest a date and time you know will work for you.
By putting it in the lead’s hands to decide when they’re available, they could waffle and things could stall out.
If the lead isn’t available on the date and time you suggested, then they’ll offer another time when they’re free.
Perhaps it’s the same day but earlier or later or another day entirely. Make sure you have room in your schedule to accommodate them.
Once the lead agrees to a date and time, calendar the meeting and get ready for the next part of the sales process, closing the deal.
By researching the lead ahead of the call and using an effective cold call script to extract pain points during the conversation, you can have cold calls that feel more like warm calls-and hopefully with the same rate of success too!
No sales team member truly enjoys cold calling, but it doesn’t have to be such a dreadful experience, especially in today’s tech-driven world.
You can simplify your cold calling process and improve your cold call scripts by using the right technology.
Implement a CRM system (like EngageBay) that helps you manage the sales process and prospect clients. EngageBay also offers automated dialer options and a centralized database that can help you keep track of potential clients, previous calls, and new information.
If you’d like to know more, just sign up for free!