Most sales reps either love or hate cold calling scripts. While scripts are easy to use and help you come across as confident and knowledgeable, some believe they make salespeople come across as phony or unnatural.
We don’t agree.
Think about it: every sales rep is using some sort of script, even if they don’t realize it. Unless you change how you introduce yourself or describe your product or service on every single call, you’re using a script – it just might not be on paper.
We sat down with Wendy Weiss from ColdCallingResults.com to find out why cold calling scripts work so well, and how we should go about structuring them for optimal results.
ColdCallingResults.com is a sales training consultancy that works with businesses with a vested interest in increasing their sales. They help their clients grab a 3X boost in qualified leads and increase their sales faster, more easily, and more profitably.
3X more qualified leads doesn’t sound bad does it? Here’s what Wendy had to say.
This is Wendy’s take: “A lot of people will say ‘I can’t use a script, I can’t be myself, it’s phony.’ But if you think before you speak, that is a script.”
Indeed, sales reps tend to have a standard way they introduce themselves, or elevator speeches they all use. We all have questions we get asked repeatedly and have standard answers for, or common objections we have a prepared reply for.
Wendy underlines: “So ‘should I use a script?’ is not actually the right question. The right question is ‘Does my script work?’”
What it comes down to is this: if you’re speaking with a prospect, and you’re not getting the results you want, your script doesn’t work. You need something else.
Before picking up the telephone, you have to have a clearly defined goal. This is the uncontested golden rule of cold calling. And most of the time, in sales, this goal will be to set up an appointment.
Wendy explains that “this appointment might mean that the salesperson gets in their car and goes and drives to meet someone, or maybe that appointment is a Zoom call, or maybe everything is done over the phone. But the definition of the word appointment is that the prospect agrees to have an in-depth conversation.”
She adds that if that agreement is absent, the relationship from then on “is a big struggle.”
Wendy defined what “setting up an appointment” actually means – and what it doesn’t mean.
“One of the things that it doesn’t mean is that you’re getting your prospect’s agreement to dump their vendor and hire you. You’re not asking them to make a buying decision or a hiring decision.”
She explained that one of the big mistakes she sees salespeople making repeatedly is the wrong use of language on such calls.
“They may not mean to use this language or realize how the prospect hears it – but it sounds like they’re asking them to make a buying or hiring decision, and they’re not going to do that. Not over the phone and not in a 2-5 minute phone call.”
In fact, at the start of the relationship, all you should be doing is asking for some time so you can have an in-depth conversation.
Wendy kindly shared her recommended script formula with us.
“There are specific things your prospect wants to know – like who you are and what you want,” she explained. “The formula gives you a way to plug in this information and get to it really quickly”.
Start off by saying hello and introducing yourself. Sounds simple right? Well, according to Wendy, many salespeople want to start by asking a ton of questions. However, your prospect doesn’t want to answer your questions at this point.
Why should they? They just want to know who you are and what you want.
“So you’re better off getting to the point,” explains Wendy. “Introduce yourself, give your value proposition, and put your value proposition in pedestrian language. Don’t use your marketing department’s value proposition because that’s not how you talk. Talk like a human being.”
According to Wendy, the call should go something like: “We have a track record of helping our clients,” and then you plug in how they’re better off after you work with them.
Then it’s time to give a few credentials and a success story, too.
Wendy says: “Remember, you’re the only one with those stories. And those are very powerful and they’re very big differentiators. So tell your story, quickly. This is two or three sentences – it’s not War and Peace.”
Finally, ask for what you want, which is the appointment. So to go back over the basic formula:
Being as concise as the formula demands can be tough. It’s hard to be brief when it’s your story because you’re too involved in it, Wendy explains.
“At ColdCallingResults.com, we run training and coaching programs, and frequently edit our clients’ scripts. Less is more.”
She asks us to consider the outcomes. If you have a client that hires you, why are they hiring you? What is the business problem that you are solving for them?
Wendy warns that salespeople shouldn’t talk about what they do, but instead how the prospect’s business would be better off by engaging them. She recommends making a list of all the things your company does, and after each point on the list, write down how the client will benefit from this item.
“You might have a list of 100 things you do, but you’ll end up with 2 or 3 outcomes – and that’s what you need to talk about,” she says.
“We call one of our coaching programs ‘3X appointments’ because when people do this program, at a minimum their numbers double, but usually they triple. That means they triple the number of qualified appointments they’re able to schedule and then down the line, of course, there’s a corresponding increase in revenue.”
Coldcallingresults.com has launched The Cold Calling Survival Guide: Start Setting Appointments in the Next 24 Hours.
This ebook is great – it outlines a step-by-step process to enable you or your sales team to start setting up more qualified appointments quickly.
Wendy underscores: “It’s much easier when you do what the prospect wants you to do, and not what you want to do.
“Because when you get it right, the prospect will open up their calendar and book the appointment with you. If you have questions you want to ask them – it’s much easier to ask the questions after someone has agreed to meet with you.”