Cold calling is an essential selling practice, but also one of the most difficult sales tactics to perfect. It can take years to hone your skills and find what works for you. The techniques of cold calling have been around for decades and were first popularized during the telemarketing boom in the 1980s. Cold calling remains an effective way to connect with customers without already having a foot in the door. Below is a compiled list of tips, and a cold calling script template to help you get started.
Top Tips for Cold Calling
Do Your Research
There’s never an excuse for being unprepared when it comes to cold calling. Between LinkedIn, other social media, and company websites, you should be able to find out who’s making the buying decisions, along with potential pain points a business or industry may be experiencing.
Avoid ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ Questions
Dig deeper on the call and ask smart, open-ended questions to encourage a prospect to share a picture of their pain points. ‘Yes’ or ‘no’ questions will stop your client in their tracks and won’t get you the detailed information you need.
Warm Up The Cold Call
Let cold calls be an introduction; to you, your company, and your product. You don’t always need to fixate on closing the deal right away. Establishing and maintaining rapport with prospects might take a little longer, but will pay off long term.
Since your cold call is just an introduction, you need to follow up. According to Marketing Donut, 92 percent of salespeople give up after four “no” responses, but 80 percent of prospects say “no” four times before saying, yes.
Be Prepared to Walk Away
Cold calling is also about disqualifying a lead. It allows you to figure out who is a good fit for your services and use your time to focus on those prospects.
Practice Makes Perfect
Through practice and experience your cold-call technique will quickly improve. Hone your pitch by practicing with trusted advisors, colleagues, or mentors -- even by yourself.
Have References Ready to Go
Testimonials are vitally important, especially when dealing with potential buyers who know more about a product or service than a sales professional. Have the name, contact information and some success proof points at the ready to bolster your credibility.
Cold Call Script Template
Here’s a sample script you can use to structure a cold call with a lead. Be sure to do your background research, have that first ice breaker question ready to go, and know the prospect’s pain points as well as your matching value proposition before making the call.
Hi <customer name>,
My name is < your name>, and I am a <title/role> with <your company name>. <Insert compliment>.
<Mention the customer pain point, how it is a challenge for similar businesses, and explain how it may be challenging the prospect’s business>. What ways are you using right now to try and tackle that?
I’ve worked with other companies to help them deal with exactly what you may be experiencing. <Deliver your value proposition>.
I was just speaking with <customer name> from <company name> on <date of last contact>. Since we started working together we’ve managed to <proof point metric>
Would you be interested in seeing the results of a deeper dive investigation into how your business is performing today? I’d like to share with you recommendations to help solve <the pain point> and support your business success.
May we set up a time on <propose a date> to discuss the results of my investigation?
I look forward to speaking with you on <appointment date>.
The Cold Call Template In Action
Here’s a look at how the script template can be used in a real world example call using background research, industry knowledge, and consideration towards a gatekeeper with whom you may be speaking.
My name is Nicole and I’m from ABC Marketing. I just wanted to tell you that I love the photos you posted on Facebook of your dental hygienists in St. Patrick’s gear. You seem to have such an incredible atmosphere at the office.
With all of the extra Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), I can’t imagine how much time that takes up in a day - how has your business managed it all?
It’s been such a tough year for health care providers. You are doing an amazing job - so thank-you! I’m calling because I understand how long that daily to-do list must be right now - and I think we might actually be able to help. I work with office managers to help them bring all of their digital marketing together into one spot - to quickly manage their social media and online reviews.
I was just speaking with Joanne over at Dr. Hubner’s office, they have a location over on the south side of the city. We’ve been working together for the past six months - and they’ve seen a major boost in positive patient reviews since we started. How are you typically getting patients to submit an online review? Have you encountered any negative reviews lately that have been tough to respond to?
If It’s alright with you I’d like to get some deeper insights into how you’re performing online right now? I’d like to do that investigation and come back to you with actionable ideas on how and where you might make some simple changes that can make a huge difference in the way your business appears on Google search.
May I schedule a call with yourself & Dr. Howe for early next week ? We can go through what I discovered and talk more about how I can help?
Thanks so much for your time! I look forward to speaking with you.
Pro-tip: When speaking with a gatekeeper, who may not be the final decision maker on hiring you, be polite and speak directly to pain points that impact their day-to-day
Here’s another example, demonstrating how the template can be customized for different industries.
My name is Nicole, I’m from ABC Marketing. Congratulations on your new location on the south side - I used to live in that area and always felt there should be more local restaurants to choose from. How’s everything going there so far?
When I heard you were opening, I wanted to order a pizza for our family game night and noticed you don’t have your business listing up yet on Google?
I completely understand, It’s really tough to get staff up and trained in a new spot on top of worrying about the backend work online as well. Did you bring staff over from your other location to help out?
It’s not easy, that’s for sure. I work with Fran’s Fish Shack on the north side. They opened a little over a year ago now, and are having great traction on Google search since we started with them. They were previously appearing on the second page of Google search results for restaurants in their area, but now they’re ranking on the first page.
I’m wondering if I can help your business - would you like me to work on getting your listing up on Google?
It will only take a few minutes on my end, once it’s done I can also follow up with ideas that could help you rank higher in search so that more folks can find you.
Let me call back tomorrow, once I’ve got your Google My Business account connected. We can make sure everything is working as it should.
Great! I’ll give you a call around this time tomorrow.
Pro-tip: Use freemium solutions and product-led growth strategies to help offer your customers value before upgrading them to paid versions of a digital solution.
Final Cold Call Considerations
Confidence comes into play when conducting a cold call. By practicing regularly, and remaining flexible in how a call unfolds, you can adapt and make real connections with a customer. Those authentic moments get you closer to closing a deal, quicker than reciting a script verbatim ever will.
Pair your industry expertise and knowledge about the local economy with tools to put validity behind your value proposition. The Vendasta Snapshot Report is a great resource. By running the report in advance you can assess the online presence of a local business and identify pain points that are backed by valuable data - all before ever picking up a phone.