At One of a Kind Sales, we LOVE Cold Calling. And I am a huge fan of Cold Calling Scripts. Here are some tips on how to create an effective Cold Calling script for yourself.
First, any salesperson who says they don’t need a script should reconsider because I am confident that they are leaving money on the table. I stand by that 100%.
The truth is that many people who “wing it” on the phone, sound like they’re winging it. And they are less effective because they don’t have a structured process to follow.
An effective script grounds you, providing you with the words you need to work your way through a conversation and allows you to think ahead while speaking with the prospect.
Here’s an outline of an effective Cold Calling script:
- An Introduction:this should be unique and non-salesy.
- Ask Permission:ask them to give you 30 seconds to explain the purpose of the call.
- Introduce your Company:provide a brief description of what your company does. Focus on value you deliver. According to a study by HubSpot, 96% of buyers say a focus on the value your company can deliver, impacts their purchasing decision.
- Offer three examples of problems you solve:these ‘case studies’ allow people to relate and see how you can help them.
- Ask a Question:something like: “Is any of what I stated compelling and worth a conversation?”
Memorizing this will allow you sound more natural and less ‘salesy’. And it will free you up to address and overcome any objections.
The truth is that you really won’t know what the objections will be until you have this conversation, but you should prepare for those by having scripts for the ones you usually hear. (Check out this post for more on overcoming objections on Cold Calls)
Shut up and Listen!
An effective Cold Calling script will include questions which elicit important information. When they start talking about their pain points, your role is to listen, empathize and allow them to express their issues in detail.
The key is to actively listen and probe to keep them talking about their problems.
Set an Appointment or Move On?
The information you gather will help you determine whether or not you can fix their problem. If you can, great! Go ahead and set an appointment.
If not, no problem. Thank them for their time and ask them if they know of anyone else who might need your services. Ask them to keep you in mind if their situation changes or if they learn of anyone who might be a good fit.
Then pick up the phone and dial your next number!
Consistency Is Key
Developing scripts for everyone on the team ensures consistent messaging and branding.
The Conversational Selling Script™ , like the one outlined here, is for when you speak with a decision-maker. You will also need to develop voicemail scripts and email templates that match the voicemail scripts.
How to Create an Effective Cold Calling Script
Here is the process I recommend for developing scripts.
- Develop five case studies on past clients. Think about what their issue was– that’s the title of the case study. Talk about what their problem was, and how you helped them resolve it.
- Each case study should cover a different problem that your prospects may also have. Those case studies become the ‘meat’ of your script.
- Extract the “pain” from those case studies and put it into your script.
- Adapt the right case study to the prospect you are calling.
You don’t have to know everything about that client. You don’t have to be an expert. You’ve got your script. You’ve got your pain points. Go!
Don’t go into sell mode on a call when your goal is just to have a CONVERSATION and, if they are a good fit, to set an appointment.
That’s it, never sell. You are there to uncover information. And this information then becomes the ‘meat’ of your appointment conversation.
Rinse and Repeat
Once you have an effective Cold Calling script, it should be reviewed and updated periodically but it should serve you well for hundreds of calls.
And yes, there is an art to creating an effective Cold Calling script. It isn’t easy and can take years of practice. If you don’t want to wait years to reap the benefits of an effective Cold Calling script and need one NOW, call us – we can set you and your team up with the scripts YOU need to set appointments that close more deals. Call us today at 908-879-2911 to learn more and to get started setting more, and more qualified, appointments.
This is an excerpt from a chapter of my book, “The Inside Sales Solution“. Click here to buy a copy from Amazon or here to download a FREE digital copy.
I recently read something that suggested “…the ideal sales training program should accompany a new rep through his or her first months on the job, lasting at least 90 days and as long as a year or more.”(1)
Yes, this is a good start but in our extensive experience, we have found that ONGOING sales training is the most effective way to:
- Give your team the competitive edge
- Consistently achieve sales quotas
- Retain valuable employees
- Drive more sales!
According to the American Marketing Association, “organizations spend an average of $2,236 per salesperson on sales training every year. By one account, U.S. companies alone spend $15 billion each year training sales employees.”
But not all sales training is created equal. Nor is it all effective!
Effective Sales Training
At One of a Kind Sales, we train salespeople in our proprietary ‘Conversational Selling’ technique. Our comprehensive, ongoing training program:
- Introduces, explains and models effective selling tactics and techniques
- Provides a peer group experience which helps and supports individuals as needed while raising the skill and success level of the entire team
- Establishes metrics and creates a system which allows you to monitor progress, identify set-backs and track results
We are not all natural-born salespeople. Learning new skills and techniques benefits everyone.
When I first got into sales, I was horrified of failing. I had some training but really hungered for more. I invested in myself, taking classes and attending programs. I guess you can say that I’ve become a lifelong student of the sales process.
This has built my confidence and driven successful outcomes.
Create a Culture of ‘Stickiness’
Employers who invest in their people see lower rates of employee turnover – a huge concern in this era of the ‘great resignation’.
Employees not only stay, but they produce more. And when they do hit obstacles and challenges, we provide the support and guidance needed to navigate them and move forward, rather than burn out and leave.
Ongoing sales training for your existing employees is much more cost effective than having to constantly on-board new people, only to have them repeat the ‘burn out and leave’ cycle.
Our One of a Kind Sales System is a time proven process that WORKS. We teach you the steps to follow, the words to say, when and how to say them and how to follow-up. Then we work with you to perfect your implementation and delivery.
The results include:
- Establishing and reinforcing a positive brand image for your company
- Setting you and your team up as industry leaders
- More closed sales and less money left on the table
I Practice what I Preach
As I said, I am a lifelong learner. I am in skills training once a week and my team is trained weekly. I am also committed to Cold Calling, making it a recurring task on my weekly schedule despite my seniority and the fact that I have a team that does this. Doing this regularly keeps me sharp, aware of the current issues and allows me to truly empathize with the challenges my teams face.
A Bonus Win
Sales, at its most essential level, is about COMMUNICATION. Sales training is about teaching people how to communicate more effectively.
As an added bonus, these skills carry over into all aspects of your life. Your significant other, family and friends will thank you!
A study from 2019 determined that “…69 percent of sales organizations cited salesperson training as the top service offering provided by companies to enable their sales organization’s success.” (2)
Invest in yourself and your team. Give us a call today at 908-879-2911 to learn more about our Ongoing Sales Training programs and how they can help YOU!
At One of a Kind Sales, we call our proprietary approach to Cold Calling ‘Conversational Selling’.
We approach each call as a conversation and an opportunity to discover two things:
1. Are we speaking with a decision maker?
2. Are they experiencing problems now, or in the future, that we can solve?
We do that, in conversation, by asking a lot of important and pointed questions.
Take for example, the classic sales exercise where you are asked ‘sell me a pen’.
Most people launch into ‘sell’ mode, listing all the features and benefits of owning this particular pen.
With Conversational Selling, we deliberately take a different path. We need to know what is motivating the person’s need for a pen before we know if this is the best pen for them.
Rather than going directly for a sale, we pause and spend time asking important questions to determine if this pen is the best fit for them, or if another might be better.
This approach does a couple of things. First, it earns you the trust of the prospect. They can see that you are genuinely curious to learn about THEM and THEIR needs, as opposed to just selling YOUR product.
Qualify the Prospect
It also provides you with the opportunity to decide if this buyer is a good fit for you!
This approach also forces you to SLOW DOWN.
Many salespeople are guilty of approaching each prospect with an attitude of ‘ let’s close this deal and move onto the next’.
When you do that, you often miss important details and information which is key to determining how to best sell this prospect.
You need to learn how THIS prospect wants to buy. Listening and drawing information out through questioning provides you with this info.
When you approach a sales call as a conversation you create equal stature that allows you to determine if this prospect is a good fit. And to determine whether you can solve their problem.
This takes the pressure off of the salesperson AND the prospect.
A Proven Track Record
We have been practicing this method for over 29 years, refining our approach, and messaging as needed. Not only has it been successful for us and our clients, but it has also worked well for the salespeople that we have trained.
In addition to making you a better salesperson, our Conversational Selling training will benefit you across all areas of your professional and even your personal life by helping you become a better LISTENER.
Be Deliberately Different
At the end of the day, Conversational Selling will set you apart – people remember people who are different.
As you know, I love this quote from Coco Chanel who famously said, “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”
Being deliberately different, by design, will improve your sales, fill your pipeline and relive you and the prospect of the pressure of a hard sell.
Invest in Yourself
Sales training benefits individual salespeople and companies as a whole, by sharpening their skills, increasing the knowledge base, keeping the company competitive and growing revenue.
Ongoing sales training should be a part of every employee’s weekly schedule, at every level. Yes, even management! This keeps people involved, up to date on the industry best practices and engaged with their team and their prospects.
If you need help shifting YOUR mindset from selling features and benefits to Conversational Selling, give us a call. Our ‘Call Center in a Box‘ and ‘Close the Deal‘ programs provide the ongoing sales training you and your team needs to succeed!
I have noticed that many salespeople are quick to spend an exorbitant amount of time and money on live events, claiming that they offer networking opportunities that they cannot afford to miss. That time and money would be better spent on Cold Calling. Cold Calling IS networking!
When done correctly, Cold Calling provides all the benefits of networking at a much lower cost and in a shorter time frame.
Cold Calling vs Networking
Here are some of the most important reasons to network professionally:
- To build and nurture your professional network
- To stay visible and top of mind with your community
- To stay on top of industry news and advancements
- To help others and build good will
Cold Calling provides the opportunity to do all of these, and more!
- Cold Calling helps build and nurture your professional network. When making Cold Calls, you are introduced to new people and have the opportunity to touch base with older contacts. And since you are speaking with them, one on one over the phone, instead of across a table with numerous others – some of whom may be competitors – I would argue that the conversations you have during a Cold Call are more advantageous.
But the key word there is ‘CONVERSATIONS’ – when done correctly, a Cold Call is a conversation!
- Cold Calling helps you stay visible and top of mind with your community. Again, when Cold Calling, you are ‘touching’ the prospect – even if it is only to leave a voicemail. These ‘touches’ help establish a sense of trust and by maintaining a regular delivery cadence, you will stay top of mind.
- Cold Calling helps you stay on top of industry news and advancements. While you may not be gaining information from your prospects, a good salesperson will be sure to stay on top of industry news in order to be able to provide that on calls if needed. Cold Calling incentivizes salespeople to be in the know!
- Cold Calls provide opportunities to help others and build good will. A good salesperson will be listening, on a Cold Call, for problems they can solve. If they cannot provide an appropriate solution, they will offer a referral. This not only helps the prospect but serves to build good will.
How much time should you spend networking?
According to Dr. Ivan Misner, the founder of BNI (Business Network International, which claims to be the largest business networking organization in the world) people should spend 8 – 10 hours per week networking. To achieve this by attending networking events, you need to then add the commute time, factor in the costs of the event and the lousy coffee and hope that your target audience will be there.
Yes, attending some live networking events can be helpful but I say, cut to the chase! Pick up the phone and make a call. And start thinking of your Cold Calling time as ‘networking’ – making and building new connections. I bet this shift in mindset will you’re your calls become more conversational and productive. Let me know how it goes!
Do you need help shifting your mindset out of ‘selling’ mode and into ‘conversation’ mode? Check out our Call Center in a Box program where we train you and your team in our time-proven Conversational Selling technique. OUR SALES TRAINING gets YOUR people delivering real results!
You have probably heard the popular statistic that 70% of the buyer’s journey is complete before a buyer even reaches out to a company or sales rep.
And have read that 95% of B2B buyers research companies online before making purchases (that was in 2014 – my guess is that has only gone up!) And 53% of B2B buyers are using social media to make buying decisions. I think that 53% sounds low, too.
These statistics underscore just how much technology has empowered buyers to drive the buying process.
But there are still a number of ways that we, as salespeople, can stay out front and in charge of the buying process. Here is how to stay in the driver’s seat when it comes to sales.
Be first on the scene
Cold calling is still one of the BEST ways to get your product and services in front of a prospect FIRST.
If they are already doing their own research, you can be the first rep to contact them. If they are not yet ready, they will now be aware of your services, know YOU are the person to reach out to when they are and they will be in your database so you will continue to stay on their radar.
Yes, I know that cold calling is probably your least favorite task. And I need to remind you that if you are NOT making Cold Calls, you ARE leaving money on the table!
Give us a call – we can do your Cold Calling for you. Call me at 908.879.1322 to set up a time to learn more.
And reach out again
Have a plan in place to re-connect with prospects on a regular basis. Whether it is in 4 weeks or 3 months depends on your business cycle, but this allows you to be there, and top of mind, when they ARE ready.
According to a buyer insights study, 91% of prospects don’t mind engaging with a sales rep in the early stages of their buying journey, including 34% of new buyers who are particularly interested in engaging with a sales person early on. Make sure that sales rep is YOU and not your competition!
60% of B2B buyers actually WANT to contact a sales rep. Be sure that your website and social profiles are easily found during searches and that they include all your contact info. Having an established and active social media presence will also help ensure that they find you, or better yet, that they are already familiar with you.
A recent study showed that 65% of salespeople who use social selling, have a full pipeline – be sure that you are one of them!
Listen and engage
During this entire process, really LISTEN to the information they are providing. Confirm if they are, in fact, a good fit. If they are, engage and build a relationship.
If not, ask for a referral and move on.
Not every prospect is going to be the right match. Being able to identify who is and who is not, is a skill that will save you much time, money and aggravation.
Yes, technology has empowered buyers to take control of the purchasing process, but that doesn’t mean that we, as salespeople need to take a back seat. Use these tips to stay in charge and to drive the buying process.
Cold Calling has a terrible reputation!
Salespeople avoid making cold calls because they fear being rejected. This reticence leads to fewer calls being made and in the end, fewer sales being closed.
Prospects too, dislike cold calls. They are turned off by the thought of being ‘sold’ to and don’t want their time wasted. And who can blame them? Years of poor selling techniques and a barrage of robo calls have killed the cold call.
I think that Cold Calling needs a new name.
At One of a Kind Sales, we refer to it as Conversational Selling and I believe that, as an industry, we will have more success if we all made that change!
The difference between Cold Calling and Conversational Selling
What is the difference between Cold Calling and Conversational Selling? Well, to be honest, the only real difference in is the salesperson’s attitude!
Conversational Selling follows the same basic steps as Cold Calling. You pick up the phone and call a potential prospect. You speak with them and set an appointment. You follow up and make a sale. But the biggest difference is in the way you approach this.
It’s all about your mindset
On a typical Cold Call, the salesperson is trying to ‘sell’ from the moment they pick up the phone. This is immediately apparent to most prospects and is frequently a real turn-off. It is as if the salesperson is actually setting themself up for failure.
With Conversational Selling, we approach the call as a CONVERSATION. We want to speak with the person to see if they are a good fit for the product or services we represent. We aren’t trying to ‘sell’ them – we are ‘qualifying’ them. We are asking them the questions we need answered to determine if they are a good fit and we are LISTENING to the answers.
Because of this major shift in attitude, we have better conversations with prospects, gleaning more valuable information that leads to setting more, and more qualified, appointments!
It’s not a ‘COLD’ call, it’s a ‘DISCOVERY’ call
At One of a Kind Sales, we refer of the initial call as a DISCOVERY call. We are curious and ask questions. The goal isn’t to sell, but to determine if they are a good fit, and if they are, to set an appointment. The change may sound subtle, but the shift in mindset can seriously shift the tone of the interaction and drastically improve your results!
Cold Calling has died a tortured death. Let’s retire the term and move on. Long live Conversational Selling!
Do you and your team need help making this important shift? Give us a call – we can get you and your team up to speed and setting qualified appointments with Conversational Selling.
And if you just need results, we can make the calls and set qualified appointments for you. Give us a call at 908.879.2911 to get started TODAY!