Cold calling script tips checklist for B2B appointment setting

1. Three-second rule.

You have mere moments to ignite something in your prospect’s brain that says, “Whoa, I will listen to this.” If your prospect feels it’s a waste of time, your chances of success plummet.

So, if you work hard to get a quality prospect on the phone and start with “How are you?” “Got a minute” or “I know you are busy; I will be quick.” You are providing no information that is helpful to them and driving them to the conclusion that you are a time waster.

Painful if you happen to connect with someone that needs your service and would welcome a new option. You lose opportunities if you do not hook them immediately.

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2. There must be immediate, absolute clarity as to what you do.

Your “what we do” statement must be easy to grasp and understand. Long, complex sentences are hard to understand and can immediately knock you out of contention right away.

3. Relate to what is familiar to them

The themes you touch, the benefits you speak of, the examples you give must be familiar to them. If they cannot relate, what you say will not resonate, and you will not achieve your sales objective.

4. Sell hope.

In the beginning, more than anything, you are selling hope. Given what you do, your credibility, your track record, your record of results, the long list of companies that you have helped, you enable prospects to conclude that you might help them.

Writing a cold call script is just preparation.

Qualified prospects will “get it” faster and more clearly when you are prepared for the sales conversation.

Make sure you start your sales conversation by giving active buyers the information they need to determine you are worth listening to. Don’t make them wait and don’t assume that your witty repartee or dazzling personality will enthrall them.

By the time you say anything worthwhile, they will have tuned you out. Kiss that qualified prospect goodbye.

5. Stay focused on what matters.

You need to stay focused on objective specific behaviors that will advance a sale with a qualified prospect. Sorry to burst some bubbles out there, but being conversational, sounding natural, keeping it short and not sounding salesy (don’t get me going) should not be your goals.

Are you saying the right things that enable great future accounts to conclude that you are worth more time? That is the only thing that matters.

Numerous dedicated, underpaid representatives prioritize the wrong aspects, like avoiding sounding too sales-oriented. But guess what? What sounds salesy to non-buyers is what your next great account wants to hear. Focus on that.

6. Create some suspense and tease a bit.

It takes multiple interactions to build trust and comfort. Different prospects absorb and process information at different paces. Many times, without a second or third interaction, you are not getting a check. Earning that next interaction is key.

Hint that if they spoke to you again, you would deliver something worth their time. Strategies, proven methods, case studies, examples, lollipops, something.

7. Don’t leave a giant hole in your script: Credibility Statement

Want to know the most common giant sinkhole in scripts that sucks away qualified prospects? The absence of a credibility statement. Mind-boggling.

Companies or individuals that have proven track records, plenty of satisfied clients, that could rattle off the names of reputable, well-known companies that have chosen them that could relate impressive results obtained, say absolutely nothing about any of it. Nothing. Not one syllable.

Without a credibility statement, callers don’t know whether you are reputable and worth their time or calling from your parent’s basement. And don’t get me going on the knuckleheads that think it sufficient to mention saving them money. They are unequivocally a lost cause.

Why should someone invest time with a provider without knowing if they are credible? They won’t and don’t. They go to Google and, with a few keystrokes, find possible vendors worth their time.

If you have credibility, use it. Be so credible your prospects think ” I may not find someone this good online, I’ll meet.”

Why should people believe you or conclude you are worth their time? Tell them. Drop names of well-known accounts, mention a specific result obtained or relate something like ” More than 500 high net worth individuals in the St. Louis area selected us to….”

8. Be believable and fact-based. Avoid hype.

Understand that when you are prospecting initially, as there is no familiarity, history, or trust with you, that prospects will discount anything you say that may seem hyped or they are not sure they agree with. If you use words like “best” “superior” or make a claim that seems exaggerated, your prospects discount the claim right away, and you are on shaky ground.

In the beginning, keep your claims matter of fact without hype or anything that suggests exaggeration. A strong fact-based no hype script will get you more “yes’s” as it will be believable.

9. Don’t lead with price.

I am at a loss how to sugar coat this. There are so many factors that go into a buy decision. If you lead with the price, you are not relating more important points to get you deeper into the pipeline. Leading with price is a thin foundation upon which to build a sale and attract the wrong type of customer.

If you are one of those that call people up and say, “We can save you money,” you need to unlearn everything you think you know about sales.

10. Vary your pace and vocal tone.

People don’t absorb every word of your scripts. Not all words are equal. They absorb words and phrases that stand out to them. Vary your pace and vocal tone on your most important points to ensure that they are emphasized. Lowering your voice and slowing down makes important points stand out.

Have “500 companies in the East Yazoo area chosen you?” Is your typical result to “improve ROI by 22% within six months?” Make those points stand out by altering your pace and tone.

11. Eliminate the boring parts

When you write, delete the parts that people will skip.

When you write sales scripts, delete anything that sounds like the same old same old, heard it before, here is another one, yada yada yada. Delete that crap.

If you can envision a competitor saying the same thing, don’t. Keep it fresh.

12. Eliminate “I” and “we.”

Keep what you say focused on your prospects and your happy clients and accounts. “I think” “I want” “I’m calling today to” “we think” “We would like to. That is the completely wrong focus. No one cares about what you think or what you want.

Turn your “I’s” into “You’s.” Keep the focus of your scripts on them.

Say “We do X” But other than that, all your focus should be on them and the experiences of your current and prior satisfied accounts.

News flash. They don’t care about you. It is about them. Use “You,” “You,” “You” over and over in your pitch. Change your orientation away from yourself and focus on them or what you have done for others like them.

13. Remember that value knocks down doors.

Every syllable of your sales scripts should ooze with credibility, benefits, specifics, and value. Value knocks down doors.

If you are communicating value important to top prospects, they will forgive that you sound a little scripted or what you might consider a bit too salesy. (Don’t get me going.) If you are saying the things they want to hear, need to hear, you will open doors.

I have seen plenty of reps that consistently racked up opportunities, even if they weren’t the smoothest or most natural talkers and sounded a bit scripted and salesy. Why? Because they were communicating value as defined by active buyers.

Many reps make the fatal mistake of failure to understand that a lot of people don’t need what they are offering. You get rejected because they don’t need you. Not because you don’t sound natural, are not conversational enough, or sound too salesy. The insecurities that you are experiencing belong to you, not the prospects.

Don’t water down your verbiage to have more comfortable conversations with those that have no need and will say “No” anyway.

Keep your scripts laser-focused on communicating value to those that have a need. They will ignore what you might consider imperfections in delivery if you are communicating value and credibility important to them.

14. Give them immediate “cause for pause.”

Don’t let them lump you in with the other knuckleheads who call them and waste their time. If they have a need you can fill, tell them, within seconds, of “Hello.” You must say something that pauses their fingertip above the hang-up button. Typical intros get you cut off. You lose and the target loses because they never listened to you.

16. Don’t say what everyone else says.

Let me see… you give superior service with competitive pricing and really care about your clients/accounts. I just fell asleep.

If you could easily imagine your competitors saying what you say — don’t say it. You won’t break through appointment setting barriers unless you have a different approach.

17. Specifics have impact. Generalizations mean little.

Relating specific results and benefits are powerful.

Specific amounts and percentages of results and benefits get attention and arouse curiosity. Think about specific results obtained for new accounts and how you can work them into your pitch.

18. Ask for what you want.

If you are not crystal clear, you won’t get it. Any doubt or confusion in their minds results in your loss. “I would like to introduce myself… provide you with some options and strategies that have achieved these results for others… would you have some time in the next week or two?”

19. And do all the above in…

…less than 30 seconds. No more.

Two quick examples of what happens when you rework your scripts.

Coach client #1: Called me to thank me 2 days after finalizing her new scripts. She said she had just called someone who was in a meeting, but because her script was so clear and short, she got a next step. She never made progress in those situations before. And… she was getting more meetings and referrals to the right decision-makers as people “got it”.

Coach client #2: Tele center hired me to help with an extremely tough account they were in danger of losing. Bottom line, with a new script approach, they reduced the number of hours necessary to book a meeting from 12 to 3.

Good things come to those who script.

If you have any questions or might need some help, contact us.

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