It’s every sales team member’s worst nightmare: cold calling.
You’re all too painfully aware the lead has no knowledge and probably no interest in your company’s products or sales, but you push on anyway.
Your efforts often yield you hang-ups and flat-out dismissals of your sales proposals, especially if you go without a cold call script.
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 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, then this article is for you.
Ahead, 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.
What Is a Cold Call?
Let’s rewind a moment and ensure we’re clear on the definition of a cold call.
Cold calling as a sales business practice dates all the way back to 1873 when NCR Corporation’s founder John Patterson began doing it.
Telephones were new advancements at the time, having only been invented in 1849. Alexander Graham Bell hadn’t even patented the telephone in the United States yet.
Although our society is now rather phone-phobic, cold calling has evolved nonetheless. Today, it means more than picking up the phone.
If your sales team 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 coming 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.
Many leads will not be, and they’ll make that quite clear. They’ll tell you no or hang up the phone, even both. Rejections are a dime a dozen in cold calling, with a success rate lingering at around 2 percent.
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.
The success rate of warm calling is around 30 percent, which is 28 percent greater than cold calling.
What Is Cold Calling Today?
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, email them, visit them in person, and yes, call them.
Why is cold calling still a thing in 2020 then? Well, for one, today’s sales teams use cold calling a little more intelligently than in days past.
Once, a sales rep would dial a random number on a long list of many and hope that person was interested. These days, cold calls might follow only after the lead has at least become aware of your company.
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 email 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.
According to sales stats compiled by Spotio, companies that discard cold calling grow 42 percent less than those that embrace it. Put your company in the latter camp and the sales and success could follow.
How to Create a Cold Call Script
- Learn about Your Leads
- Look at What the Competition Is Doing
- Know What to Do When Issues Arise
A little later, we’ll share a series of cold call script examples you can use, but you can’t rely solely on examples. The time will come for you to write your own sales call transcripts. How do you get started?
Here’s is an video which explains 13 steps to cold calls that work!
Here are some pointers to follow for crafting a winning cold call sales script.
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 on 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. This form of personalization could spark their interest more than you calling and discussing any old product because you have a quota to meet.
Look at What the Competition Is Doing
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.
It’s okay to take a page out of their book sometimes and put your own spin on it, especially in the realm of cold calling.
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.
In the case of an angry or upset lead, such as someone who you cold called in the middle of dinner, create a script on how to deal with them too.
You also want to have prepared responses on how to turn rejections into approvals.
How to Draft the Best Cold Calling Scripts
- Keep Your Greetings Cordial Yet To-the-Point
- Take a Tailored Approach
- Position Yourself to Solve Pain Points
- Get the Meeting
When calling pitch for sales, you want to make sure your sales reps are as ready as possible. The Spotio statistics article from earlier found that a huge portion of sales reps–42 percent–feel unprepared ahead of making a cold call.
Most cite a lack of information as a stumbling block.
You also have to be prepared to keep at it. Whereas about 10 years ago, you could typically get in touch with a lead after 4 cold calls, today, it’s more like 8 calls. Persistence is truly key.
Make sure you have your lead’s information in front of you, including their pain points, then follow these tips.
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 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. This tactic is also a great way to get hung up on.
Instead, when you do greet the sales lead, make it sort 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. Using their pain points as the basis, ask them a question or two about their current needs and what they’d like changed.
Make sure you 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. You want to take on a sympathetic tone in your response to the lead’s pain points. You can even say something like “I empathize with you.”
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/service, ask the lead if they’re using something like it.
Yes, this is a closed-ended question, but if you’ve done everything right to this point, you’ll get an open-ended answer.
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.
Schedule appointments faster by publishing your calendar online. Get more appointments and stay productive.
B2B Cold Calling Script Examples
- When the Lead Says No
- When the Lead Asks to Call You Back Later
- The Voicemail
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/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/services only to discover when speaking to them on the phone that they don’t.
In such a situation, you don’t necessarily have to take the L. You can always ask for a quick referral and then start the sales process with that company or individual. Here’s the cold call script to follow.
You: Hello, 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
You can take some pretty significant verbal abuse from certain leads who get mouthy when they receive a phone call. Others are a little more polite.
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]. My company does [briefly explain services]. I’m calling today to see if we can help your company 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.
#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 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, [name.] My name is [name]. I’m a part of [company], 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.
No sales team member truly enjoys cold calling, but it doesn’t have to be such a dreadful experience.
By researching the lead ahead of the call and using a 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!