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Tips for Cold Calling Scripts

Solicitation Many people say cold calling is a dead practice. With the rise of social media, email, and internet marketing, it’s easy to dismiss good old-fashioned phone calls as unnecessary. The stress of collecting phone numbers, making multiple calls to unexpecting strangers, and facing anger and hang-ups just isn’t worth the low sales yield.

However, many sales employees are simply not communicating effectively with their customers because of poorly written sales scripts that lack organization and a personal human element. Making simple changes, such as studying the anatomy of a cold calling script and taking on a conversational tone will help strengthen your cold calling script and turn your sales pitches from boring and basic to engaging and persuasive!

 

Know the Anatomy of an Effective Cold Calling Script

The basic anatomy of a cold calling script is:

1. State your name and your company, as well as some variation of “I hope your day is going well!”

2. Connecting statement. This is where researching the prospect comes in handy. Use the information you’ve learned about their company or interests and connect it to your own experiences.

3. Reason for calling. Tell them why you’re calling, but not explicitly. Explain that you notice that they are lacking a service or product that your company can provide for them. Be specific and connect with the prospect.

4. Qualifying statement. Tell them why your company can provide the best service or product and make their operations easier. Tell them what your service or product does and ask them if they already use a similar one.

5. Personalized ask. It’s all up to you from here. If they already use a similar service or product, tell them why yours is better. If they don’t, explain the benefits of your service or product. This will lead into your ask – and hopefully lead to a sale!

Many times, a sales call fails because of poor organization and preparation. Adhering to this basic structure will allow you to communicate the purpose of the call and begin your sales pitch to the customer quickly and effectively.

The amount of time a cold calling script should take a salesperson to read through should be 30 seconds or less. The entire sales call should take only a few minutes to complete. With a cold call, you are likely interrupting the prospect’s daily routine and you want to be mindful of their time. With a concise script, you will be able to communicate your message quickly, confidently, and clearly – qualities your prospect will appreciate.

How can such a short sales pitch be compelling enough to lure in new customers? The answer lies in the amount of prior research a salesperson does and his or her ability to hold a conversation.

 

Identify the Audience and Research, Research, Research

Once you’ve identified your prospective customer, take a few minutes to research them. Visit their LinkedIn profile and company website. Visit their associated social media profiles. Make notes of areas where your service or product can benefit them.

This information will help you craft a compelling qualifying statement and reason for calling. This research will set you apart from other sales calls in the customer’s mind, adding a personal human touch to your pitch that will compel them to learn more.

 

Have a Simple Opening

State your name and your company but try not to linger too long on your introduction. If someone detects that you are a cold caller, they may hang up immediately. A simple “Hi [prospect name], this is [your name] from [your company]” will convey a friendliness and a familiarity that will keep the prospect on the phone longer.

Try not to ask the prospect how their day or week is going. Both the caller and the prospect know that “How are you today?” is simply filler and doesn’t convey genuine interest. It is more professional to use a statement such as “I hope your day is going well” or “I hope you’ve had a good morning.”

 

 

Be a Human, Not a Robot

The purpose of a cold calling script is for referral, not to read word-for-word. Having a well-organized script will allow you to communicate in a credible, authoritative way, but if it’s obvious to the customer that you’re reading from a script, you lose that credibility.

Always adopt a conversational tone when using a cold calling script. Read the script like an actor, not a robot. You want to connect with your prospective customer – talk with them, not at them!

 

A Cold Calling Script Example

You can tweak the following cold calling script example to fit your sales pitch. It applies the basic script anatomy, takes on a conversational tone, applies simple research, and has a simple opening.

Jessica, a sales representative for Rooster Distribution, is trying to find new customers for her company’s line of phone accessories, including chargers, headphones, and charging blocks. She identified her city’s local aquarium as a prospect, since it is a tourist hotspot and many travelers may need to purchase emergency phone accessories. The following is the script Jessica plans on using to call Rob, the manager of the aquarium’s gift shop:

 

Hi Rob, this is Jessica from Rooster Distribution. I hope you’re having a good morning!

I’m a big fan of the Bishop Aquarium – I saw that you’re opening a dolphin exhibit next month! I can’t wait to check it out.

The last time I visited the aquarium, my phone was dying, and I noticed that your gift shop doesn’t have any chargers in stock. I know that a ton of tourists come around as well, and I imagine that they might need these products too… you know how hectic traveling can be and how important your phone can be!

Losing a charger or needing one in a pinch is super common and something I deal with all the time. Rooster Distribution supplies local businesses around Bishop with phone products like chargers, headphones, and charging blocks every day. Has your gift shop considered stocking products like these?

[continue from here and transition into ask].

 

Of course, even with the best cold calling script in the world, you will receive hang-ups and rejection. This is simply a part of the sales world. It’s important to keep pushing forward to success – and with a well-organized, conversational script, your chances of success will increase.

To learn more about cold calling scripts and other effective ways to boost your sales call success, schedule a corporate sales training session with Shapiro Negotiations today.

 

Improve Your Sales Prospecting With These Proven Processes

It’s no secret that sales is a competitive field. In a technology-driven mobile environment, the industry is more dynamic than ever. Sales reps must make use of a variety of techniques to make the most of their efforts – this applies not only to closing a deal, but with sales prospecting itself. Learn the essential sales prospecting tools and processes you should be incorporating into your workday.

 

What Is Sales Prospecting?

Simply put, sales prospecting involves seeking out potential buyers or customers to garner new business. Ideally, the process of sales prospecting will move a prospective buyer down the funnel until they become new – and hopefully repeat – customers.

The difference between sales prospecting and lead prospecting is subtle, and the source of some confusion. Generally, we think of a lead as someone who has a marked interest in a product or service that is demonstrated by visiting the website, subscribing to an email list, commenting on a blog post, or something similar.

A sales prospect, on the other hand, is a lead who we might deem as a qualified potential customer. In other words, he or she fits a target buyer persona and is generally more likely to continue down the sales funnel.

Some people use the terms sales prospecting and lead prospecting interchangeably, and they’re very similar. However, true sales prospecting focuses the effort on the people who are most likely to become bona fide, revenue-generating customers.

 

Best Practices for Sales Prospecting

Like any other aspect of sales, prospecting takes time, a thoughtful process, and a continual commitment. Over the years, we’ve identified several strategies that make sales prospecting more likely to be successful.

 

It Starts With Your Mindset

Any successful prospecting approach requires the right frame of mind. The best reps use an “always prospecting” approach to their practice. In other words, prospecting is not something that you do once. It’s a continual, effort-based process that uses a variety of techniques to reach success.

In general, the prospecting mindset involves continuous research. Knowing the customer is arguably the most essential aspect of sales, and sales prospecting is no exception. Sales reps must know if they’re eliciting quality prospects that they can deliver business value to. The research phase of prospecting involves asking several important questions, such as:

  • Is the prospect viable?
  • What system will work to prioritize prospects?
  • How can reps develop opportunities to connect?

By continuously deploying the research phase, reps will be able to seamlessly move qualified prospects through the funnel. As with any aspect of sales, mindset is more than half the battle.

 

Develop a Viable Prep Tool

Getting into the mindset seems simple enough, but how can a rep know if a prospect is qualified? This is where battle-tested sales prospecting techniques come in. We find that the following process proves to be successful:

  • Identify the target. Remember, a lead becomes a prospect when he or she fits into a target buyer persona.
  • Establish precedent. Why would a prospect be interested in a product or service? How does it address his or her pain points? Does any compelling precedent exist that would help establish a prospect as a qualified lead? This is also a good time to examine other disqualifying notions such as budget limitations or time constraints.
  • Create a script. The final step in the sales prospecting process is developing a script for identified, qualified prospects. The goal of this script is to be actionable as soon as possible, which we’ll discuss more at length.

 

Rehearse the Script

It’s a good idea to have an established script in place when making cold calls or participating in other sales prospecting activities. However, it’s also important to understand that these scripts aren’t one size fits all. The success of a script depends on a few different factors:

Personalization. Tailor messaging to address a specific problem that prospects are having.

Keep it relevant. Do some research ahead of time and determine if the issue is still a relevant concern. Remember, some prospects simply get stale.

Be professional, but casual. No one likes feeling like the recipient of a cold call. Add touches that make the script seem less scripted and more personable. Use a natural tone, whether communicating through email or over the phone. Resist the urge to be “sales-y” and keep the focus on adding value.

Be helpful. The key distinction between prospecting and selling is the desired outcome. Obviously, the end goal of prospecting is revenue. However, at this stage of the process, provide the prospect with something valuable and expect nothing in return (a good example is a free consultation or something similar).

 

Create a Sales Prospecting Strategy That Works

Now, down to the nitty-gritty details. How can a sales prospecting strategy ensure success? We advise using the following techniques:

 

Use a Mix of Inbound and Outbound

The conventional wisdom has long been to use either inbound or outbound prospecting, but a mix of both tends to work best. While outbound prospecting involves more aggressive prospecting such as cold calling and social media messaging, inbound marketing focuses more on casually emailing or social selling to someone who already has an expressed familiarity with the product or service. Both have their advantages; but inbound prospecting tends to be more successful. Consider, for example, that IMB managed to increase their sales by 400% after implementing an inbound prospecting program.

 

Make a Great First Impression

Even when working with qualified leads that express familiarity and interest, it’s essential to communicate expertise and credibility from the first interaction. Here’s how to do it:

  • Practice, practice, practice. Many reps fail to realize a powerful tool that’s usually in the palm of their hands: their smartphone. Create an elevator pitch, record it, watch, and make adjustments. Think about how to communicate authority and warmth, and make adjustments, as necessary.
  • Ask for feedback. When in doubt, ask for help or expert advice. Most reps can improve or refine an elevator pitch with just a few simple adjustments – sometimes, it just a matter of getting a different point of view.
  • Remember the end goal. Many people fail to recognize the goal of prospecting, which is simply to add value. Do not overtly sell; give a prospect something, and don’t expect them to give anything in return. Do, however, schedule a time for follow up if possible.

 

Sales prospecting is a continual process, but it’s well worth the effort. When using proven sales prospecting techniques, reps can move qualified prospects down the funnel and efficiently increase their sales each month.

How Sleep Deprivation Negatively Affects Your Work

It’s widely known that sleep deprivation negatively impacts a person physically, mentally, and emotionally. Our ability to focus, handle stress, and think clearly are all at stake. No matter what your profession, not getting enough sleep has a negative impact on your performance. But when you are a sales professional or a training manager, it doesn’t just affect you – it affects your whole team.

Here are some of the results of sleep deprivation:

* High blood pressure

* Heart attack

* Stroke

* Obesity

* Psychiatric problems, including depression and other mood disorders

* Mental impairment

* Poor quality of life

For your health and your team’s, follow these critical steps to make sleep a priority.

Set a Bedtime Routine and Stick to It—Even on the Weekends

Prepping for bed starts early. Try to begin the process at the same time each evening. Follow these guidelines for a greater chance of success:

* Prohibit alcohol and caffeine consumption within several hours of your desired bedtime

* Exclude screen time one hour before bed

* Don’t do any exercise within three hours of when you want to sleep

* Wake up at the same time each day; don’t sleep in on weekends

Create a Restful Space

Cluttered bedrooms lead to cluttered (and restless) minds. Take some time to create a peaceful, tidy space in which to sleep. Invest in a good mattress and linens. After all, we spend about a third of our lives in bed – which justifies a more substantial investment into that part of our homes!

Consider Incorporating a Mindfulness Practice

Mindfulness and meditation practices can lead to falling asleep more quickly and having better quality sleep. By managing stress and keeping you focused throughout the day, mindfulness can also improve performance in other areas.

It’s safe to say that sleep is one of the most influential factors in our daily performance. There’s no such thing as making up for lost sleep, so prioritizing it is crucial. For those in high-pressure sales jobs or people in charge of training programs, it’s even more important to take care of this easy to neglect need.

Ensure that you’re firing on all cylinders and aren’t running the risk of blowing a gasket when things get heated in the office – or when deadlines are looming. Take care of yourself so you can take care of your team. Follow the tips above, and work your way toward more restful nights and more productive days.

Should you listen to a Devil’s Advocate?

Why would we encourage someone to tell us we are wrong and that our ideas aren’t clear? Sometimes it could be the push we need to be better, to do more, or to make more. John Adams, the second President of the United States, relied on his wife Abigail for advice and critiques to lead our country. With that said, taking the extra hour to script your pitch for a meeting or to hand off your proposal to a co-worker might not only be the remedy to miscommunication, but the key to success. So, do you have a devil’s advocate, someone you can turn to for guidance? Who is your Abigail Adams?

If you’re the drafter…

The tried and true process of putting pen to paper allows us to work through our thoughts and uncover our real goals. We have drafted our proposals and scripted our speeches And, now that you know what you want to say, and think you have said it clearly, hand it to the one person you know won’t be biased or go easy on you. When he or she brings you back your draft with red marks and arrows, go and redraft the script. Do it again and again until your devil’s advocate has run out of recommendations. In this case, third time may not be the charm. It may be the fourth or fifth or tenth. But when all is said and done, you will have a script that is clear and concise.

If you’re the devil’s advocate….

Maybe you are sitting at your desk when a co-worker hands you their latest proposal. They ask you to read it over, make suggestions, and be brutally honest. How can you be a good devil’s advocate? Here are a few key things to consider.

Is the intended demand or request clear? What can you change to make it more apparent?

Are the facts there, or does the proposal sound too personal?

Is the proposal concise and specific? What type of language do they use?

Take-aways: Take your time with a proposal. Get your ideas down on paper and don’t be afraid to redraft until it is right.  Be someone’s Abigail Adams and let someone be yours. You will be more successful in the long run if you’re not afraid to ask for advice.