In this article, I talk about cold calling scripts and discuss what they are, why they are essential, and how to use them.
If you’re new to sales or starting at a new company, you need a cold calling script.
What is a Cold Calling Script?
A cold calling script is a written version of what you plan on saying during a cold call.
Like an actor, as a salesperson, you use a script to ensure you remember what to say when it’s showtime.
There’s nothing more soul-destroying than winging your first cold calls without a script and sounding like a fool.
Many salespeople dislike cold-calling scripts, but they are essential to the learning process.
To be honest, I was also always resistant to them as a salesperson and trainer earlier in my career.
I always considered them rigid and didn’t like the idea of robotically reading from a script.
Only after I studied training for some years did I realise how much cold calling scripts helped to execute on repetition.
And repetition leads to mastery.
Regardless of how you feel about using a cold call script, you won’t need to use one for long.
The Elements of a Cold Calling Script
For context, I typically work with software companies that sell in the business-to-business (B2B) sector.
The objective of a cold call for most companies I work with is to book a follow-up meeting with the prospect.
In this scenario, your cold calling script should include the following five elements:
- Your Call Opening
- Your Pattern Interrupt
- Your Value Statement
- Your Qualifying Questions
- Your Closing Question
You may think I have forgotten to include the famous elevator pitch.
But pitching is banned unless you’re working with sales cycles that are less than seven days.
Your objective should be to qualify if your prospect has a need for your solution and get a commitment to talk more.
Your Call Opening
Your call opening is the words that leave your mouth when your prospect answers the phone.
Typically this is a short introduction of your name and company name.
“Hello John, this is David White from DCW Coaching”.
Your call opening should take two to three seconds.
Your Pattern Interrupt
A pattern interrupt is a distraction technique to divert your prospects’ attention from trying to end the call.
A well-executed pattern interrupt will free up your prospect’s brain to digest your opening statement.
I created an article recently with some examples of pattern interrupts, and there are plenty on the internet.
But don’t be afraid of creating your own pattern interrupts because the more unique it is, the more effective it will be in the long run.
When I cold call, I tend to use a couple to mix it up:
“John, I know you’re busy, so I’ll just get to it”.
“Did I catch you at a bad time?”
You must deliver your call opening in a professional, direct and authoritative sounding way.
Tonality is critical when cold calling.
Delivering your pattern interrupt should take no more than five seconds.
Your Value Statement
Your value statement is a short line or two that communicates the core benefit and value your prospect can get from your solution.
I typically work with a value statement such as:
“I help sales leaders unlock the potential of the individuals in their sales team and improve performance.”
Or another reverse alternative:
“I work with sales leaders who don’t have the time or resources to get the best out of their sales teams”.
Value statements should ideally be no longer than ten seconds.
However, you will find some examples of value statements that are much longer and still effective.
Your Qualifying Questions
I always recommend having three to four open-ended qualifying questions prepared for your cold calls.
These questions should extract the qualification criteria you need to decide if a prospect has a need for your solution.
My most commonly used first question is:
“Apart from yourself, who else is helping you coach all of the people in your team?”
Or another alternative:
“What resources do you currently have to help manage your time so you can coach your team?”
I also have another two to three questions designed to continue the dialogue if I get an answer to my first question.
Here are some examples;
“How often do you manage to run training or coaching sessions?”
“What are the most common challenges the team struggles with?”
“What have you tried so far to help them with that?”
Asking practical qualifying questions will help you discover if your prospect has a need for your product or service.
That need will usually come in the form of a pain they need to fix or a goal they need to achieve.
Your Closing Question
Your closing question is a question you ask to get commitment from your prospect to take action.
If you have uncovered a pain or goal you can help with, you specifically include that in your question.
And it sounds a little something like this;
“John, If I could help you coach the team more frequently and improve their performance, would you be open to the idea?”
Or another example;
“John, If I can help your team improve their qualifying skills so they book better meetings, is that something you’d be open to?
In a perfect scenario, you’ll get a positive response, to which you respond by asking;
“Do you have your calendar in front of you?”
Or even better;
“Great – do you have time again this week to discuss this further, or will next week be better?”
So, as you may have gathered by now, cold calling scripts contain a lot of information.
With practice and repetition, the elements of your script will become second nature, and you can ditch the script.
But until then, keep it with you as a guide and tweak it until it feels natural.