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Have you ever felt the dread of picking up the phone, making a cold call, and being met with a quick rejection? You're not alone. Cold calling can feel like shooting in the dark as it bears a success rate of 2%.
Luckily, a masterfully crafted script can elevate your success rate, transforming sales cold calling from dreaded tasks into promising opportunities. So, if cold calling has been your Achilles heel, this article will help you turn the tables.
With the help of our salespeople with years of experience, we've compiled 15 cold calling scripts to get you started.
A cold call is an unsolicited call made by a salesperson to a potential customer who has not expressed interest in the product or service.
The term 'cold' refers to the fact that the person receiving the call is not expecting the interaction, thus making the conversation 'cold' because there is no prior warm-up. It's a technique used by sales and marketing persons to transform these cold prospects into warm leads.
Although it may seem intimidating and intrusive, cold calling is essential to sales strategy, particularly in B2B sales, to expand the customer base. But because cold calling may be annoying or unwelcome to some, a salesperson may be caught in awkward scenarios. That’s when a pre-written guide of talking points, known as a cold calling script, can significantly help.
A well-crafted sales call script will:
Allow salespeople to adapt quickly and handle different situations with confidence.
Enhance the consistency of your sales process by ensuring there is one unified message.
Reduce time wastage by keeping your conversations straightforward and concise.
Example of a Cold Calling Script
Understanding the structure of an outbound call script is crucial before we delve into the diverse range of cold calling script examples for various situations. Let's walk through a typical sales cold call.
Sales Rep (SR): "Hello, may I speak with [Prospect's Name]?"
Prospect (P): "Yes, speaking. Who is this?"
SR: "Hi [Prospect's Name], this is [Your Name] from [Your Company]. I've been looking into [Prospect's Company Name] and am intrigued by [specific aspect of their business]. At [Your Company], we assist businesses like yours in [value proposition 1, value proposition 2, and value proposition 3]. Would you be interested?
Option 1 - Positive Response:
P: "Yes, tell me more."
SR: "Fantastic! [Elaborate briefly on how your company can help, referring to specific issues they face]. Shall we arrange a more detailed discussion or demonstration at a time that suits you?"
Option 2 - Objection:
P: "I'm not interested right now."
SR: "I understand completely, [Prospect's Name]. How about I email you details of our solutions, which you can peruse at your leisure? We can then reconnect later if that's okay with you."
Sounds familiar to you, right? Conversations like these take place every day. Every salesperson has gone through the ‘torture’ of cold calling. But a well-prepared script can ease your nerve and guide you through the conversation, irrespective of the prospects’ answers.
To craft the perfect sales call script, you must know how to engage the prospect in various scenarios. As such, it helps to understand the different sections that make up a cold-calling script template. The structure is ever-changing depending on your specific situation.
The perfect outbound call script should feature most, if not all, of these parts:
The introduction or opener: This is where you introduce yourself, your company, and why the prospect should listen to you. Keep it short and straight to the point.
Showing value to the prospect: Put the goals and objectives of the prospect first, and show how your business can help them get to where they want.
Getting past the gatekeepers: A gatekeeper can be a receptionist, a personal assistant, or anyone that stands in your way to the decision-maker. If there is one, find a way to convince them to grant you access to the person you need to speak to.
Objection handling: Anticipate objections with the proper responses.
Qualify your prospect: Evaluate your lead's potential to become a customer/client.
Closing: At the end of the calling script, confirm your ability to help and set up a mutually beneficial ending, such as a follow-up call.
The follow-up: Re-engage the prospect by steering the conversation to their need to make them take action.
Let's examine each one of them, giving examples of script templates you can utilize.
The opener to your cold calling script can determine whether a prospect will keep listening to you or hang up immediately. Therefore, if you want your script to work, there are a few things to consider when crafting this section:
Start with a respectful greeting of your prospect while being considerate of their time - it always helps to call out their name rather than a single ‘Hi.’
Immediately explain who you are, what you do, and how you can help the prospect: The average person's attention span is about 8 seconds. Your explanation should be as precise as possible to beat this time and capture the prospect's attention.
Avoid using filler questions like "How are you doing?" and "Have I caught you at a bad timing"; they only consume your time. Be straightforward with your prospects; they are often busy and value their time.
Here are some script templates for an effective introduction:
"Hello [name of the prospect!] This is [your name] with [your company.] We specialize in [give a short but detailed explanation of what you do] and help businesses like yours [mention a specific benefit or result.]"
This type of script intro works because it touches on three key aspects: who you are, what you do, and the value you can offer the prospect.
An early introduction to a prospect through a mutual connection increases the chances of the call becoming successful. A mutual connection lays a foundation of trust and makes them want to listen to you further.
Here is a script template you can use for such a scenario:
"Hello [name of the prospect!] This is [provide your name and that of your company.] [Mutual connection A] from [Company of the mutual connection] mentioned that you are experiencing a problem in [the prospect’s challenge]. Having worked with [Name of your mutual connection] in the same areas, I believe we can help you meet your goals...."
This script can help you reach potential contacts as long as you have a mutual connection that can facilitate a basic introduction. It is ideal for use in an industry that prioritizes creating relationships and networking.
In most situations, you may not have the necessary connections to get your foot on your prospect's doorstep. Conducting thorough research on potential clients and their businesses becomes the next best strategy. Use all the information you get to craft a call script template that shows your genuine interest in the prospect's business to gain an advantage.
Here is an example of such a template:
"Hello [name of the prospect!] This is [provide your name and that of your company.] While researching your business, I noticed that [describe the problems the prospect might face] I would like to engage you further on some of the solutions our business can offer. Do you have a few minutes?..."
This script best fits well-recognized prospects with very high positions in their industries. They appreciate individuals who go the extra mile to understand what they do and their industry's problems. It is also the perfect script to establish a deeper connection with the prospect through a longer-term dialogue.
Now that you have the prospect's attention, it's time to captivate them by showing them how much value you can bring to their business. But to do this, you must clearly illustrate your understanding of the prospect's problems and major pain points to bridge the gap between their need and the solutions you can offer.
Unfortunately, this is where most salespeople fail. Instead of offering value, 84% of sellers come off as pushy, a big buyer turn-off. Use the following script templates to articulate your value concisely and compellingly.
Every new client you meet wants to find a solution that will benefit their company. If you can highlight these benefits clearly and visually, you will be steps away from getting a positive response. This type of script no longer focuses on what you do but on the tangible benefits a business can gain with your product or service.
Here is a script template that can act as a guide:
"..... Our solutions have been a success, and we have the data to prove that. Last month, we helped [ Company A] achieve [goals 1, 2, 3,4]....."
As you can tell, the best way to showcase the benefits of working with you is by leveraging the success stories of previous clients. This improves your credibility and makes your claim even more trustable.
The 'problem-solution approach' is the best method hands-on when using a cold calling script. It involves identifying and addressing the problems a prospect is facing. Use the script template to ask the right questions and get what you need from the prospect. The intention is to pinpoint the customer's need, create a sense of urgency and secure a commitment.
"Hello [name of the prospect!] This is [provide your name and that of your company.]
[pause and wait for prospect's response]
Thank you for taking my call. I’ve been looking through your business, and I totally love the direction you are heading. We help businesses like yours [Explain what you do and why the prospect should listen to you].
When looking through your business, I noticed that you may be struggling with [list the problem the client may be facing] Is it alright if I ask you a few questions to understand where you are at with this problem?
[Ask open-ended questions to create dialogue and know more about the prospect.]
Is this something you are keen on solving?
What are your main business priorities?
What would be an ideal solution for you if....?
What will happen if you do not solve the problem?
[For each question you ask, give the prospect enough time to respond and provide a detailed answer. Use layering questions to know more specifics about a topic.]
For example, “Tell me more,” “Are you okay without solving the problem?”
[For executives, stick to business and executive decisions, but for those below the powerline, only ask operational questions they can answer.]
The questions above are not in any order. They are only examples meant to give you an idea of what you can ask the prospect to learn more about their business. Ask only what you need to know while being mindful of the time. Listen keenly and take notes to find out the most pressing pain points of the prospect.
Remember, the goal is not to make any sales. It's to gather facts about the prospect and get them into the sales pipeline.
Who is it suited for?
This script is the best to use in most B2B environments. It works well when you know the prospect encounters a problem and might be looking for a solution.
Once you have enough details about your prospect, show them how unique your product or solution is and why they should even consider it in the first place. One way to do this is by contrasting your offerings with what is available in the market or what the client is getting. You can use an open-ended question to set the stage for this part of the script. Here is an example:
"What solutions have you tried so far...? Are they working for your business?"
[Pause and wait for the prospect's response.]
"What if I told you that our solutions [list the solutions you are offering] you can grow your daily sales by [% increase?] Is that something you would be interested in doing?
[Pause and wait for the prospect's response.]
What sets us apart is [Go into details about your unique SP but be straightforward]. I would love to set up a meeting and discuss further/give you a test run/ present the data from the various businesses using our solution, what do you think?
The purpose of this script is to make your product/solution more appealing in the eyes of the prospect. It's a psychological tactic where you can influence a client to decide by showing two options without necessarily being sale-sy. The candidate can assess and tell where the benefit lies for their business and what decision to take next.
Who is it suited for?
This script best suits businesses in a market highly saturated with competitors. While it bares some similarities to the benefit-driven approach, where you showcase the benefits you can offer a potential client, the differentiating factor lies in the side-by-side assessment you offer with a competitor or their current business partner.
How many times have you made calls to the key decision-makers only to get diverted to their receptionists? This is a common occurrence in all industries. After all, decision-makers are very busy and challenging to reach.
One big dilemma most salespeople face is successfully getting past this gatekeeper. Their job is to screen all calls and ensure the decision maker does not waste time on unnecessary and time-wasting engagement.
You will need skills, tact, and a persuasive cold calling script to overcome this challenge. Here are three approaches that work.
Use this script only when you have all the details about the person you are contacting. You need to know the person's name, department, or role. It also helps if you know the name of the gatekeeper (if you don’t know, make sure to ask that first).
Here is a script example you can use:
Hello, [Gatekeeper's name.] My name is [Your Name] and work at ]Company.] I would like to speak to Mr/Mrs/Miss [Name of the Decision-maker] regarding [Give the reason why you are calling.]
If the gatekeeper doesn’t transfer the call, try asking to leave a voicemail.
Best suited for:
The "To the Point" script will always work in any business. It's even more effective in industries where time is expensive, such as banking, tech, and healthcare.
When you don't have much information about who to contact regarding a specific topic in a company, this is a suitable script to use. You are requesting the gatekeeper to guide you on the direction to take regarding a call. Here is how it goes:
"Hello, my name is [your name]. I am calling you from [your company.] Could you please share your name with me?
[pause and wait for the gatekeeper to respond.]
Thank you, [Gate Keeper's Name.] I am reaching out because of [Mention the purpose of the call]. Would you be the right person to speak to regarding the same? If not, please guide me to the right [department/team/person in charge?] "
This script provides the best way to utilize the gatekeeper's resources and knowledge of the internal company structure.
Best suited for:
This script works well in spaces with little to know about the decision-makers. You can use it when exploring a new market or looking for collaborations.
Sometimes the best way to get your foot into the door is to mention the name of a significant and mutual connection. It's the easiest way to establish credibility with the gatekeeper and get access to the decision-maker.
However, you have to use it correctly for it to work. What do I mean?
Your relationship with the mutual connection should be genuine. They should also have a heads-up about you using their name. It helps if they do an initial introduction earlier [it's optional.]
Do not make random name drops. The mutual connection you mention should be related to the topic you are raising. It's not about knowing just anyone; get to know the right person.
Highlight why the mutual connection initiated contact and how everyone benefits.
Respect should be a predominant factor throughout the conversation. Do not use the namedrop to pressure the gatekeeper for access.
Here is a template you can use:
"Hello, my name is [your name]. I am calling you from [your company.] Could you please share your name with me?
[pause and wait for the gatekeeper to respond.]
Thank you, [Gatekeeper's Name.] My colleague and good friend, [Name and company of the mutual contact], referred me to speak to Mr/Mrs/Miss [Prospect's Name] regarding [Give the reason for the call.]
Could you connect me? I believe [Mutual Contact's Name] has given them a heads-up regarding the call."
"No!" is one of the common responses salespeople receive when making a cold call. To a new salesperson, it can feel like a dead-end. To an experienced one, it is an opportunity to understand why the refusal and find better ways to reposition your solution.
A client can express their objection in numerous ways, but most fall under select categories:
Price is a massive roadblock that stops business owners from making decisions. You have probably heard them say, "There is no allocated budget currently, and there are cheaper products in the market." They often mean, " I am unsure if the solution you provide is worth the ROI." Therefore, you need to make them see how much value you are providing and get them excited to use your solution. While we cannot give scripts for all the objections you can get, here is an example of a common occurrence;
An outbound call script example for someone who responds to, "There are cheaper options in the market" can sound like this:
"That's very true! There are numerous products out there offering a lower price. Several times we have had a client, or two opt to try out their services instead of ours. But in a few weeks, they always reach out to us because [give the negative reason that drove the clients back to us despite the low price]...."
Or this one:
"I understand that you can find other businesses charging a small fee. However, the services may differ slightly. A company offering a low fee caters to a sub-standard clientele, requiring simple offerings hence the price. In your case, you are a big business demanding complex needs. To get an equally beneficial service that meets your ROI, you need [extra features or services] to set you apart."
This is another common objection where a prospect explicitly claims they don't understand how your product or service works. They may also claim to have worked with a similar product/service and found it hard to use. Such a situation may arise due to a misunderstanding or a misconception. Your role is to correct any fallacy regarding your product/service and provide all the necessary information they need to understand what you offer fully.
A cold-calling script example to someone who replies, "I don't understand how the product will help me," can go like this:
"Which particular feature do you find troubling to understand?"
[Pause and wait for the respondent to reply]
So, our product/service [Get into the details of the value it offers the client. Avoid technical terms and use simple language.]
Some use cases for our product include [If a product, delve into some ways the prospect can best use it to increase understanding]
Is there an area you would like further clarification on?..."
Nobody likes calls from strangers looking to sell you something. A common objection you may face when initiating a conversation with a new prospect is, "I do not have time to speak." Irrespective of whether the lead is buying, you need to establish a scenario that grants you another chance at getting them to listen to you again.
Some ways you can counter such an objection include:
Making a time commitment:
"....I understand that you may be busy. Please grant me 5 minutes of your time. I promise not to exceed that.
[If the prospect agrees, get straight to the point with your reason for calling]
Once five minutes are over, but there is still plenty to say, ask for permission before you continue.
Asking If you can call another time:
"....I understand you are busy right now, can I call you back when you are available? I will not take much of your time to discuss [a probable solution I can help you solve]...."
Depending on the best timing they choose, keep time when calling back. Be realistic with the timings you suggest to the prospect if you want a positive response. Better yet, ensure that your reason is credible enough for them to schedule their time for your call willingly.
The qualifying stage is the most important when making a cold-calling script. It lets you narrow your focus to prospects who are probably to close a deal and improve your overall sales performance. Here is how you can do this:
When you clearly understand the prospect's pain points and know the best solutions you can offer, the next step is ensuring they are ready to commit to the process. Leading questions are the best tool to determine if a potential deal is imminent. The questions revolve around:
The prospect needs: What happens if the prospect does nothing? Are they comfortable not acting on the problem they have? What outcome do they envision if they can solve all their problems?
The funding: Does the prospect have a reasonable budget for the project? Do they need a financing plan?
The time: Does the prospect have a deadline for when they should finalize the deal?
The Authority: What is the prospect's decision-making process, and how many people are involved?
A clear answer to all these questions will help you establish whether to continue pursuing a prospect or move on to another. Remember, depending on the conversation, the cold call script adapts its questions accordingly.
The "close" is the end of every sales process. This is where you exert a call to action, determining the next steps. A successful cold calling script can lead you in one of two ways; you secure the deal immediately or advance the conversation to the next stage. Numerous factors have a part to play in the direction the whole conversation steers to, such as the timeline, budget, and the need and desire to solve the problem.
"Can I set up a meeting tomorrow? I'd love to take you through our product/solution and how it can benefit your business. Is 9:00 am okay?"
Anytime you set a meeting, always suggest a date and time. Doing so lowers the chances of a prospect rejecting the offer.
“How about this, I will give you a free one-week trial of our product for you to try it out. Once it meets your needs, we can talk about a subscription plan. Does that sound ideal?”
Cold calling is not about making one call. It involves numerous repeated calls to the same person. The latest data reveals that it takes approximately eight calls to reach a decision-maker and six calls to close a sale. This only shows that follow-up is an essential matter for cold calling.
The follow-up you make will depend on the answer you receive back. It can either be positive or negative. Here are script templates to use in both cases.
"Hello [prospect's name], This is [ your name and the company you are from]. Thank you for agreeing to talk to me again."
[Pause and wait for the prospect to respond]
In our last conversation, I got a deeper understanding of what your company does and the challenges you are currently facing. After relating that with our services, I am confident that we can [write some realistic goals that you can help the prospect attain] with a period of [include a timeline to increase the credibility.]
Is attaining such goals a part of what you envision for your business?..."
This follow-up script capitalizes on the positive response to the initial conversation. It builds up in that and eventually triggers a call to action.
A flat-out rejection from the initial cold call does not mean that's the end of it all. An excellent follow-up script can help you salvage the situation. Here is a cold-calling follow-up script that might work for you:
You: Hello [Prospect's Name], This is [Your name and that of your company] again. We spoke yesterday. Please give me five minutes of your time. I will make it worthwhile.
[pause for prospect's response] A likely response may be, "Look, I am not interested in what you are selling."
You: I appreciate your honesty and trust me, I will not sell you anything you do not need. However, I understand your business is in [stages 1, 2, 3]. According to my research, when you get to this level, you face the following problems [list the possible problems the business may be battling.]
[Now use open-ended questions to maintain the conversation]
Do you currently have a solutions provider helping you navigate these problems?
[Pause and wait for the prospect's response]
How would you rate their services from 1-10?..."
You can continue the conversation further depending on the response you get back. This script works best when you think you're lost your first cold-calling attempt. It's a good attempt at recovering a lost opportunity/client.
Three things work against you when making a cold call:
The fact that you are a stranger
The fear of rejection by a prospect
The fear of sounding mechanical and robotic due to numerous repetition
A sales script should overcome all these challenges and increase the success rate of securing new clients. But how do you create an effective cold-calling script? Here is a step-by-step guide to get started.
1. Build a prospect list
Although the words and language you use in a cold-calling script matter, it's not the only thing that will guarantee your success. Everything begins with the quality of leads that make up your prospect list.
A sales prospect list is a collection of companies and contacts likely to purchase from your business. You can either buy this data from a reliable vendor or get it from your in-house marketing department.
Once you have the data, conduct more profound research on what their business entails, the problems they face, and the likely solutions you can provide. Narrow down your list and focus only on the companies you can provide the most value.
2. Identify their pain points
The whole idea of a cold calling script is to clearly illustrate how your solution can solve the prospect's pain points. But to do that, you need to know these pain points. There are several ways to do this:
Research by visiting the prospect’s website and social media platforms. There are also tools in the market to find a company’s information.
Ask for more concise information from a reference or a mutual contact.
Alternatively, prepare a list of leading questions in the cold-calling script.
A clear understanding of the prospect's pain points allows you to tailor the sales script for cold calling to their specific needs and preferences.
3. Craft a strong opening (and mention if it's a referral)
The first 20 seconds of your call script can make or break the deal. Your cold call introduction should be engaging, direct, clear, and respectful. Let the prospect know who you are, where you are from, and why they should listen to you.
It helps to mention that they are a referral by a genuine and mutual reference the prospect holds in high regard. This breaks the ice and establishes more trust.
4. Ask qualifying questions and listen
Open-ended questions are the bridge to the heart of the prospect's business. They allow the potential client to open up about their business, the problems they face, and the goals they intend to achieve.
Prepare a list of questions depending on what you want to learn about the business. Listen carefully to the responses the prospect gives to these questions, take notes, and use that as a guide to crafting the perfect solution for the business.
5. Keep it short and simple
You must also hang up promotional calls immediately when you feel bored. So, be straightforward and concise when dealing with a prospect. Use simple language with clear intentions for every word you choose. Remember to highlight the benefits of your services/ products and clearly outline the next steps.
Like any skill, improve your script daily by practicing, soliciting feedback, and refining it. There is no perfect cold-calling script. A good one should be fluid and ready to adapt.
Yes, cold calling can still be effective when done right. Although the baseline success rate of a cold call is 2%, 49% of buyers appreciate sellers who contact them through a cold call. To get the most out of cold calling, you need to refine the quality of your prospects, provide a solution that meets your prospect's needs, and use the best cold calling script as a guide.
To initiate a conversation, first, introduce yourself and the company you work for. Next, get into detail about the purpose of your call. Depending on how the conversation goes, use open-ended questions to learn more about the prospect and the problems they are trying to solve. Then, relate your services/products to the solution the potential client seeks.
You can work around an objection by anticipating the common complaints and crafting responses that counter and create an opportunity to present your solution. An objection is not entirely a rejection. If you listen keenly, you will deduce what the client is trying to say.
Cold calling has been a long-standing technique in sales for generations. Despite technological advancements and the passage of time, salespeople still rely on this approach to start conversations with potential customers. According to Cruchbase, 57% of C-level buyers prefer engaging sellers through the phone, with 82% agreeing to a meeting arising from a cold call.
Unfortunately, only a few sales reps are successful in this craft. A well-crafted cold call script template can alleviate much of the stress and guide you through the highs and lows of cold calling. But remember, there is no one-size-fits-all script. Always be ready to tailor and adapt a script to meet the client's needs.