- Write a sales script ebook to give our community a trusted guide to cold calling (you can find it below);
- And collect some of the best tips and cold calling script examples from the industry’s stars.
Who is this? Or how to raise curiosityAfter saying hello, you only get a few seconds to raise a prospect’s curiosity and capture their attention. If they are not curious about who you are and why you’re calling, it means your conversation is over before it even started. The prospect might linger on the other end of the line for some time, but only until they come up with a good objection or excuse to hang up. Not the best start. One of the methods to raise curiosity used by salespeople is to offer a commitment-free next step, such as asking for permission to continue talking or ensuring the prospect can talk at the time of your call. Here’s one of the classic, and apparently, also classically effective cold-calling scripts developed by the world’s top expert on cold calling – Keith Rosen: Hi, John. Jim here from Acme Cost Control. Did I catch you at an OK time? John, I’m sure you’re busy and I want to respect your time, so I’ll be brief. The reason for my call is this. We just saved Universal Transport an additional $12 million in shipping costs, so I thought it was important enough to let you know since every company has an obligation to their customers and shareholders to reduce expenses. Now, you may be wondering if we can do this for you, too. Well, depending on what you’re currently doing, I don’t know if you have a need for our services. But with your permission, let’s talk for a few minutes to determine if there is anything we’re doing that you could benefit from. Would you be comfortable spending just a few minutes with me on the phone now, if I stick to this timetable?
Provide contextKnowing who you’re calling is crucial, but so is placing your call in a context. If the only reason for your call is that a prospect happens to be on your to-call list that day, you’re just another intrusive salesman with nothing interesting to say. Instead, leverage social media channels, media coverage, new hire announcements and news updates to find a valid reason for your call and determine which of your prospects are ripe for engaging at that particular moment. Have you stumbled upon some compelling events or game-changing business moves that make your product a must-have in the current climate? Use that information to kick-off a conversation and explain the purpose of your call. To save time and energy, invest in tools, such as LinkedIn or Mention to automate discovery of good context for prospects sitting in your pipeline or wider network.
Ask smart questionsResearch should be a no-excuse kind of pre-call ritual that you adopt from day one. Gathering the most important information about a prospect, digging out juicy details and staying on top of company related news will help you ensure your calls deliver value and maintain prospect’s attention. If you’re reaching out to someone with zero or little knowledge of who they are, what they do and how you can be of service, you’ll hit a dead end after the first three sentences of your elevator pitch. Image Source: Pexels The more research you do, the “smarter” your questions will get. By asking very specific, personalized questions you will demonstrate to your prospects that you took the time to track all this information down and really understand their situation. Smart questions will progress the conversation further; trying to wing it will only create distractions, wasting your prospect’s and your own time. And there’s one thing the modern society is truly obsessed with – using their time efficiently. Don’t give your prospects the reason to hang up on you by failing to get your research game on point. Know who you’re calling, why you’re calling and what the ideal closing scenario looks like. Here is another cold calling script from Keith Rosen: Hi________ (state their name)? (Prospect: Yes.) (Your name)___________ here from _____________(Company name). Do you have a quick minute? Great! ________, I’m sure you are a busy person and want to respect your time, so I’ll be brief. The reason for my call is this. We specialize in (working with small business owners, salespeople, managers, etc.) so that you/they can: state your compelling reason – (the end result of the benefit you offer). Well, Mr./Mrs… Smith, depending on what you are currently doing, I don’t know whether you have a need or an interest in our services. But with your permission, I was hoping to ask you a few questions and see if there is anything we are doing that you could benefit from. Would you be comfortable spending just a few minutes with me if I stick to my timetable? Then ask a few clever questions to establish prospect’s pain points:
- If you could create the ideal solution for (XXX), what about your current product/service would you like to improve or change.
- If you could magically eliminate three of your biggest problems, headaches or stresses what would they be?
- How do these challenges affect you/your business (bottom line)?
- “For my own understanding, what you are truly saying is… (Recap what the prospect shared with you; their problems, challenges, and objectives.) Is that accurate/correct?
- Would it be safe to say that if there was a way for you to… (Restate their biggest obstacle. For example, “to overcome the challenge/obstacle/problem of..”; Restate their most important goal or objective they shared with you.) Would it be worth exploring/discussing in more detail?
Learn about prospect’s needs. Define if they’re a fit.No matter whether it’s a cold call, an email or a face-to-face conversation, the most important box a sales rep needs to tick is qualifying. Is there a need for your product? It could be tempting to start pitching once you feel you’ve hit it off with the prospect, but the most successful people manage to shift their mindset away from ‘making the sale’ towards whether a good fit exists or not. Image Source: Pexels At this stage, a common mistake that sales reps make is asking a very general question like “Do you want to grow your business” that simply neither confirms nor refutes the prospect’s need for or interest in the product. Avoiding the qualifying questions leads to wasted time and energy on both sides. The aim here should always be to check if there’s a fit and not try to persuade or force the prospect into continuing the conversation. In no particular order, some of the most powerful questions used to qualify prospects can include:
- What happens if you do nothing about the problem?
- If you had to point to something not working so well, what current challenge do you have that you’d like to resolve?
- Why isn’t this particular technology/service/product/situation/issue working for you right now?
- Many of our clients are reporting problems with areas A, B, and C. How are these areas affecting you? What do you think about them?
- If you were to make this happen, what would it mean for you personally?