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Phone script for cold calling

Cold Calling PhoneScript


Mr Prospect…my name is Martha Prince and I am with WDSI Fox61. Depending on what you are currently doing and if you have an interest in television advertising… I would like to meet with you; ask a few questions so you could determine if anything we are doing would benefit you. Would you be comfortable spending a few minutes with me if I promise to stick to a time table? How does next Wednesday at 10am sound? - by MPrince
Not interested.... click.

Where is the value? What problem do I have that you solve? How does your solution solve it better than other methods. I get none of that from your script; thus, would have no interest in meeting with you.

Maybe something like.... Mr Prospect, how valuable would being able to quickly and easily get the word out about your products to a large group of folks that look like your best customers at a fraction of the cost you pay for traditional advertising?

If interested, go for the face to face appointment. - by jdedwa11
That sounds okay except that TV "is"traditional advertising and it has nothing to do with cost it has to do with value.

I don't know if I can help the prospect until I get to his office and ask the questions. That is the reason for the meeting. - by MPrince
Okay....I'll give it a try....

Mr. Prospect.

My station has developed programs for businesses like yours that will help increase your sales in the short term and give benefits that last for the long term. I would like to give you a quick look at these programs so you can determine if they fit your business.

What does your schedule look like on Monday? - by Sell4alivn
As an EXEC, I am not worried about my time, I would throw you out if you wasted it, this is an irrational fear!

WHAT IS IN IT FOR ME?

That is all that matters to the prospect; "Why are you calling?"

I am not on the phone to build a relationship, I do that when I meet them. I am not on the phone to ask a bunch of qualifying questions (your researched should have shown that this company, in their industry is likely to spend $X on advertising and therefore is a likely candidate), I am there to sell an appointment only.

"Mr. _______________, I called you today because I knew you would be interested in how we are generating a greater percentage of new business than any other source for advertising, even if you are already using TV Commercials. This has to do with a combination of factors, including our amazing creative staff, when we get together I will be able to show you how you can dramatically improve the profit oof your business, is there one day next week that is best on your caledar or would you prfer the week after?" - by Gold Calling
Here's an approach that will get you what you are looking for.... AN APPOINTMENT ...

"Oh hello, my name is mike, i was just calling real quick just to give you a little bit of free information about a special advertising program sponsored by local magazine publishers, it's designed to help you increase your incoming call volume of people looking for XYZ product."

"Now keep in mind, this program is not for everyone, its really only a good fit for licensed contractors, now you are a licensed contractor right? (only ask this if you know it, you want them to say yes)..."

"OK, well in that case, once again my name is mike and my job is just to let you know i have a field rep who's scheduled to see of other companies on your street tommorrow morning and then again this weekend and I was just gonna say as a free service, while hes in your area, ill just have him pop by real quick and just give you a little free info on the program and just see if youre even a good candidate for it....slight pause....so would it be easier for him to catch you while he's in the area tomorrow or is it better to try on the weekend?"

"Ok great and once again my name is mike, may I ask your name? Ok well nice to meet you ________, what ill do is mark your info down so we dont forget about you and just so we dont have trouble finding you, could you please verify your address...?"

"Great, well then like i say he'll be in the area tommorow and i cant give you an exact time cuz theres several businesses in your area hes giving info to, but it will probably be sometime between 10 and 11.... "

Customer says "ok"

now that you have this subdtle commitment to drop some free info, then you can lay on any hard news such as saying

"now just so you know what to expect in order to be albe to tell you how much this program can save you, he will just ask you a couple of basic questions about your company such as your approximate marketing budget and the like and that way he can tell you roughly by what percentage we can help you increase your sales!" Great we'll see you then.... - by planrecruiter
Okay....I'll give it a try....

Mr. Prospect.

My station has developed programs for businesses like yours that will help increase your sales in the short term and give benefits that last for the long term. I would like to give you a quick look at these programs so you can determine if they fit your business.

What does your schedule look like on Monday?

Actually, it would sound good except that the programs that are developed are for the viewer and the business and/or advertiser would want to tap into that viewership. Now, what I have to find out is this; what does your customer look like, what is the age, sex, income of your average customer base, are you trying to increase your customer base or are you looking to reach a totally different demographic. Do you like sports, news, weather, what geographic areas are you trying to reach, how many locations do you have, what other types of advertising are you currently doing and this is just a few of the questions that have to be answered; otherwise it would be like calling a doctor and the doctor saying I'll just write you a prescription without first making a diagnosis or whether you even have a problem or illness.

MP - by MPrince
Cold Calling PhoneScript


Mr Prospect…my name is Martha Prince and I am with WDSI Fox61. Depending on what you are currently doing and if you have an interest in television advertising… I would like to meet with you; ask a few questions so you could determine if anything we are doing would benefit you. Would you be comfortable spending a few minutes with me if I promise to stick to a time table? How does next Wednesday at 10am sound?
Of all the examples here and the attempts at refinement, I believe that the original, quoted above, is superior. I have bought tons of media advertising and still get approached daily by salespeople representing print and broadcast. I would respond favorably to this approach.

If I put another hat on--one that represents the fact that I have been creating sales scripts for years, I still like it.

I agree with Gold Calling's assertion about bringing up the time issue. It always seemed sheepish to me. However, "promising to stick to a timetable.." comes of as respectful, businesslike, and professional. I think it would fly. - by Ace Coldiron
Ace - I must strongly disagree.

The prospect tells us if they have no interest, we assume on all sales calls that it exists until proven otherwise.

There are two questions at the end, one is all that is required ... restated the two ideas come together with one closing question as follows " ... it would take us under 30 minutes to show you how we can dramatically increase traffic to your business and therefore sales, would next Wednesday at 10am work for you or would you prefer a day the following week?"

Notice the alternative of choice, this is critical in sales ... get them think which day rather than YES or NO. It improves appointment closing ratios by approximately 35% ... the qualification like "Before I let you go, just so I a better prepared, have you you thought of advertising on TV?" ... this is AFTER you book the time!

Yesterday I was hired by a company that just confirmed several hundred million of credit line (well financed) to line up big time appointments ... we also do it for a company that has over 150 Billion in sales (one of the top three companies by captitylization in the world) ... in other words, this is what the biggest and most profitable businesses worldwide use. It works and has been proven now for 5 decades!

Intro + General Benefit Statement + Minor Alternative Close for appointment (Socratic Choice) ... deal with and close on objections. After you get the appointment, then ask a maximum of two qualifying questions, if indeed you need to ask any!

Using this system one top notch prospector can book up to 15 qualified appointments a week (full time effort, clearly if you are keeping meetings too you will not be able to do that much prospecting), expect 2 out of 3 to be quality and make a lot more sales.

We - all of us - need to be more positive and assumptive. Let them tell us that we are barking up the wrong tree in terms of whether thay are a real prospect, rather than asking them, as you end up loosing one out of three by asking questions rather than closing for the meeting.

If they are locked in a contract, they will tell you. If you are worried about it, ask AFTER they have booked the appointment. Sometimes they will tell you "No thanks, we have a contract that runs another 13 months, call back in a year!" Other times you will get an appointment and disqualify them with a "By the way" question but this is rare if you did your homework up front. - by Gold Calling
Of all the examples here and the attempts at refinement, I believe that the original, quoted above, is superior. I have bought tons of media advertising and still get approached daily by salespeople representing print and broadcast. I would respond favorably to this approach.

If I put another hat on--one that represents the fact that I have been creating sales scripts for years, I still like it.

I agree with Gold Calling's assertion about bringing up the time issue. It always seemed sheepish to me. However, "promising to stick to a timetable.." comes of as respectful, businesslike, and professional. I think it would fly.

Ace...I have been in media sales for 20+ years and 25% of my business has come from cold calling either by phone or in person and this phone script has worked for me. I certainly respect your opinion. Thank you for that!

MP - by MPrince
Well, I have to be honest. In 25 years of teaching Gold Calling® I have never found anyone that can make it rain with anything that showed lack of confidence through asking frivolous questions of the prospect. While I would prefer not to show disrespect to any that post here, including Ace, refinement of the script posted is definitely in order. - by Gold Calling
I think this is exactly the approach i would take..... of course MPrice probably has more experience than any of us in her particular field....lol 20 years....and i do agree that the approach is fairly short, simply straight shooting .... surely that will always get you some descent results to speak of......

however that being said, i believe there are several key ingredients that can get you the demo and the sale quite effectively....

the first main ingredient i see missing from the original is the alternate choice assumption on the meeting time...such as

"now are you available more often on the weekdays or on the weekends?"

"ok so would it be better to catch you early in the day or would you prefer to touch base in the afternoon?"

"Great now i cant give you an exact time just cuz i have several people and its important that I make sure their taken care of... so like i said, ill touch base with you at your office right there between 4:30 and 5....and as long as pigs arent flying yet...ill just give you more detailed info on the programs that are available..."

ALWAYS GO FROM VAGUE GENERAL TO MEANINGFUL SPECIFIC......

at first your just making the whole convo about what would be the better choice of times to catch him/her ...say IF you were to meet..... if you sense you need to.....use hypotheticals to present your favored scene....

"well if we did meet to give you alittle more info, when would be the best time to do that....more likely in the morning or are you and your partner more likely to be around in the evening...?"

heck first thing id say when opening the call is "may i speak to the person who handles that advertising please?" in a short curt matter of fact tone of authority...that demands attention....tell them its important....tell them its confidential and immediate... i mean whats the worst that can happen.....anyways thats just about getting to the gatekeeper in that situation...

Oh and another thing....dont ask them any iffy qualifying YES questions until you have the appointment..... dont talk about going over statements or looking at advertising or anything that involves the actual selling.... until you got the commitment on the appointment time and location and all that.... then once theyve said yes to the general appointment process to just get a little free info, since you just happen to be in that area at that time anyways.... like its a fluke.... they just happen to lucky enough to get a quick call about this before you moved on to other territory, but since were still in your area one more day, ill just pop by real quick to give you a media kit and some free info....or whatever.... get the ok.... then tighten it up with the real qualifying questions such as "When your company does advertising and marketing, who are the primary decision makers?" or "now i dont suppose you keep a copy of all your company statement on xyz do you? OK just so you know what to expect when we pop by tomorrow we'll just take a quick look at your current statements and that way we can see if the program would even save you an amount thats worth any more of your time, fair enough?"

So after you get an ok to just pop by drop off some info with a time and location set, not its much easier to get detailed info about the company and its overall profile....

its like you just got married and now you got to tell your real life story if that makes sense...

remember....the more you probe, the less commitment you get, the more commitment you get, the more you can probe lol....

remember....the more information you give before the appointment...the less reason for the appointment to be made....!

remember...people who work for companies or own companies with say alot at stack like employees for instance.... their number observation about you is gonna probably be confidence... which automatically means trust, reliability, ability to get results, credibility and overall rapport. If you are confident about your results it will show.

80% of the sale always boils down to viuce inflections and body language...these are the things that give one person charisma while another person may seem irrelevant...

that being said...alot of time the things that irrelevant in one era are totally relevant in another....lol - by planrecruiter
Well, I have to be honest. In 25 years of teaching Gold Calling® I have never found anyone that can make it rain with anything that showed lack of confidence through asking frivolous questions of the prospect. While I would prefer not to show disrespect to any that post here, including Ace, refinement of the script posted is definitely in order.
As you know, Steven, I have the utmost respect for your mind on these matters. I truly understand the principles you mentionn and I do understand the reasons behind them. My favorable response to MPrince's script was born subjectively. I am chased by media salespeople daily because a business I own is strong in Direct Response Marketing. I read her script through THOSE eyes.

But I want to add something. Ninety percent of the approaches I endure from advertising people are rank amatuerish. My daily experience was the default model. Subjectly, her script, delivered appropriately, would probably get her a meeeting with me. - by Ace Coldiron
Ace and everyone who is interested in increasing the number of prospects they see;

As always, it is not what works with us. Like you, Ace, I am an easy touch for meetings though I will not take one unless there is at least a chance to do business, as I would not waste a seller's time. And I am sure you feel the same.

My points are always about averages. On average the buyer wants to know WHY and will say NO if there is no interest (we don't have to ask if there is). And, like all human beings, they can get HUNG UP on something that is misunderstood, therefore, in a very real way, this rule applies; the less said the better (in other words, don’t sell on the phone but you can loose the sale this way).

Let's face it ... what works in selling or advertising on us, as sales people and/or business owners/entrepreneurs, is not relevant. It is what works best on average that should be practiced - as long term it will increase the number of meetings you actually get to keep, thus your income.


That is the danger with COMMON SENSE, they are based on personal values (the core values are not even of our own choosing, which is a fascinating discussion in and of its self), not on research.


There are some serious reasons why you ought not to do certain things when prospecting, one was alluded to above, there are others but I can’t express them easily without examples and a fairly lengthy post.



Take two of the scripts in this thread, the first has no benefit statement, is not strong enough for the average business owner to FEEL the need for the appointment (which is garnered by them through what is known as "the ring of truth" in the seller's voice), as you will see from repeating it and analyzing it;

Cold Calling Phone Script

Mr Prospect…my name is Martha Prince and I am with WDSI Fox61. Depending on what you are currently doing and if you have an interest in television advertising… I would like to meet with you; ask a few questions so you could determine if anything we are doing would benefit you. Would you be comfortable spending a few minutes with me if I promise to stick to a time table? How does next Wednesday at 10am sound?
First, men and women are both buyers, so for the sake of remaining in the right mode of thinking about who could be our prospect, we always start the theory of scripts with both genders … edited slightly it could go;

"Mr./Ms. Prospect … this is Martha Prince calling from Fox61 - I am excited to share with you several unique ways that we are increasing traffic for businesses through advertising with our station that I am convinced will work perfectly for your local business and increase sales significantly, what would be good for you? <don't pause!> Is half an hour next Wednesday afternoon open on your calendar or would you prefer one day of your choosing the following week?"

We don't have to promise not to be there too long, thereby placing a potentially negative thought in the prospect's head - we are professionals, hopefully the buyer is too. Don’t beg for time or make excuses for the behavior of amateurs, get on with it.



After all, I would leave in ten minutes if I was wasting his or her time! Wouldn't you? And that is if they don'[t through us out for upsetting them , which we have no intention of doing.


Also, we know the average prospect isn't stupid, other wise they would not be at the helm of the business. They realize you sell TV Advertising, there is no need to spell it out or even to use the complete station name. And we don't ask questions that could loose control of the purpose of the call, BECAUSE WE CAN'T SELL ON THE PHONE and are only trying to sell an appointment!

Once you meet you can then set the appointment up by saying; "When we spoke I mentioned my excitement, believe me, it has not abated and I want to share with you our offer. However, there is an element of this that we tailor to your requirements. I don't want to waste your time without understanding better how to create a unique and highly effective advertising approach for generating you additional business. I need to know more about your current advertising ... please, share with me, if you will, ... what are already doing and planning?"

Again, telling isn't selling. We may be in a situation where we have to change his/her plans to get business. Or add to them. How can we tell ... by guessing? No, by asking. Can you be sure to get enough time over the phone to learn all of what will affect a decision or is it easier to accomplish this face to face? Duh, that is why we go and see people in the first place. If we could effectively do this on the phone then we would not have road warriors tyo sell TV Advertising!

Now take another example;

Mr. Prospect, my station has developed programs for businesses like yours that will help increase your sales in the short term and give benefits that last for the long term. I would like to give you a quick look at these programs so you can determine if they fit your business.

What does your schedule look like on Monday?
What station company? What is your name? Are you saying you want a chit chat with someone you don’t know, introducing yourself without telling them a STRONG reason for the call? I hope not, not if you are a master prospector.

The script MUST include a powerful reason for the interruption of their day, period. That plus the obvious intro - put in realistic verbiage we can all use, in other words in sales terminology; a BENEFIT and INTRO, always in the other order; INTRO + BENEFIT.

But what kind of benefit? This is the next KEY DECISION in understanding what was developed 60 years ago by my own father as the most effective form of phone prospecting. Here is how the ideology was developed;

Again, as mentioned above, we don’t know if we are stealing business from a newspaper (meaning a competitor) or whether we are going to recommend to the buyer that an increased budget or more advertising is in order. We don’t know what constraints they have budget wise, what PAIN they might be feeling from poor responses or low business or if they have done very well (meaning they can afford to add more advertising; pouring fuel on the fire so to speak) thus the BENEFIT cannot be SPECIFIC in nature … not if you are a pro.

Get to the point, TELL THEM WHY YOU ARE CALLING UP FRONT right after the INTRO, by using this and only this unless you want to run the risk of loosing your chance to get in front of a qualified prospect, a;

GENERAL BENEFIT STATEMENT (GBS)

On average, if you intro yourself and effectively share your GBS you will get far more appointments and thereby sales than the employ of any other method and this is proven since the phone became prevalent on every executive’s desk, now some 60+ years ago.

Now let me try to modify the approach of Sell4alivn;

“Mr./Ms. Prospect, my name is ____________ from __________ and I have an exciting reason for calling you today that will increase the profit of your business by increasing your sales both short term and long term, the latter being the really exciting bit. Now, in order to explain it properly I need to show you how it works. <DO NOT PAUSE> I am nearby on Wednesday afternoon, do you have a half hour free then or, if not, I will work around your schedule for any day the following week, what is best for you?”

Look, we can’t know enough until after we uncover the needs and or pain. We can’t expect someone to give us that over the phone and certainly can’t pick up what we can only see, that is the importance of the meeting, that and building a relationship. But if you are not 110% sure that you can be creative enough once you understand the specific needs of this prospective client that you will be able to tailor an approach that does produce benefits rather than just convincing them to change what they are doing – stealing business from another supplier – well, you ought not to be in the industry at all.

If on the other hand you are, then for God’s sake, don’t blow it for the prospect by being specific on the phone, sell the appointment only, then do what you do best face to face.

SOCRATIC CHOICE

Socrates is the first that we know of that realized the easiest decision to make was a minor alternative of choice, not; “What does your schedule look like on Tuesday?” But, I can drive over from my last appointment Tuesday afternoon or, if it is better for you, one day the following week, which works best with your schedule?”

This choice will only affect results in a small percentage of cases but it does. And any advantage you have is worth using. If it means three more meetings a year, that might convert into one more sale – and it could mean ten more meetings. Always use a minor alternative or Socratic choice to set times for a meeting!

This is not a seminar to teach phone prospecting skills. It is a message forum. There is no way to effectively explain and disclose all of what must be learned to master this specific sales practice … prospecting.

Obviously you get into how to deal with objections and skepticism, how to deal with delegation, how to deal with the dreaded (this is an objection) “Can you send me some information?” But as an introduction as to what we do and why, this post hopefully will help, if you want to understand it all so you can increase the number of meetings you have each year I highly recommend that you come to one of my occasional tele-seminars, which you can get notified about through sending me an email.

Best of luck always. - by Gold Calling
A wonderful and valuable contribution, Steven. I hope I speak for many members here in thanking you for the time you take to share. - by Ace Coldiron
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