Cold calling, despite the name, can make anyone sweat. It’s an intimidating activity that can easily discourage anyone, but with the right script, it can put odds in your favor. Hedge your bets with a superior script that covers all the essential elements to a successful call.
Some important things to consider before we begin: The best kind of call is when you’re having a conversation with the prospect. Be careful not to read from the script…this will turn off the prospect right away. Instead, memorize the easier parts of the script so that the words come out freely. Be sure to also listen carefully to the prospect so you can engage them fully throughout the call.
Different industries require different scripts (for instance, fundraising scripts differ significantly from survey scripts) but there are general rules every kind of script should have. First, let’s outline the sections of a successful script:
Now let’s go through a sample sales script:
Hi, Mr. Awesome, this is Jane from Sample Industry in Atlanta, Georgia .
As part of the introduction, let the prospect know who you are and if you can, where you’re calling from so that they can place you. It humanizes you and makes you more approachable, discouraging the caller from hanging up.
Is this a good time to talk?
This question lets the prospect know that you respect their time and realize that your call is an interruption in their day. Don’t worry about giving the caller an automatic out to say “no”, because you will insist in your next statement that your conversation will be brief. However, if they say yes, the next statement still applies.
Mr. Awesome, I know that your time is very valuable, so I’ll be brief.
Even if the prospect said they were busy, this statement reinforces that you respect their time and that this will be a short call. This reduces the chances of the prospect asking you to call back at a better time or hanging up altogether.
I’m calling because we’ve been looking at survey results from companies with 50 employees or less and the overwhelming response is that they’re paying too much for their phone installation and hardware services. Would you like to know how much they’re paying?
You want to keep the prospect interested for as long as possible. Starting with an intriguing question (anything that has to do with saving people money, making their lives easier, or for some, winning a dream vacation) will help to keep them on the line for your first selling ask. This also enables the prospect to know what to expect if he or she stays on the line.
I’m not sure if you will need our service, but if you’re interested to find out more, I can tell you a little about what we do to eliminate cost here at Sample Industry.
This is a friendly and non-invasive way of asking the prospect to let down their guard and listen to you, because, who knows, they can actually benefit from this!
Is it OK if we discuss how we could help you with your company? (First selling ask)
This gives you the opportunity to begin a conversation of how the prospect could benefit from listening to you.
Many people have found this not only profitable but really makes the workplace easier and productivity higher. (Second selling ask)
After talking about your product and establishing that yes, the caller could benefit from it, this will be where you produce your most aggressive sales pitch.
Thank you so much for your time. I can send you more information if you’d like. (Close and last soft ask)
Here’s another sample script, but from a fundraising campaign with changes the script format slightly. The format is as follows:
Demographic information and collection
Hi, Mr. Awesome, this is Jane from Sample School, in California, how are you?
Caller should listen and respond accordingly.
I just wanted to verify a few things if you have a moment.
This lets the caller collect pertinent fundraising information, such as updated alumni records, change of prospect address, and any other information the campaign needs to collect from its callers.
Thank you for that information. When was the last time you participated in this fundraiser/came back onto campus?
Building rapport is an essential part of fundraising cold call strategy.
[end build rapport conversation and transition to donation ask]
I’d like to thank you for your donation last year/I’d like to ask if you’re interested in donating this year.
Have multiple script paths ready for this one if possible. If the prospect has made a donation in a previous year, they should be thanked again and encouraged to stay involved with another donation. If the prospect has not given before, they should be made aware of what their donation would go toward.
Your gift would really make a difference toward this campaign and would especially benefit XYZ this year.
Having a second ask on hand is necessary to nudge those on the fence to donate. Some scripts have an additional third ask as well, but four is the maximum you should have.
Thank you for your gift today/ I understand not everyone can donate, but I really appreciate your time.
Always close with a gracious conclusion.
Regardless of which industry you’re representing, make sure you’re writing the best script you can before you start the first call. You only get one chance to make a sale with each prospect so give it your best shot!
Make calls the right way with Cold Calling: A New Approach.