Only 2% of cold calls are successful. That's a bleak figure, even for the most optimistic of sales professionals.
When it comes to sales, cold calling has a bit of a reputation. When the average person thinks of cold calling, things like telemarketers and robocalls may come to mind. But, is it possible to develop a cold calling script that produces a positive experience for both the caller and the potential customer?
This article will examine some of the best scripts online. Will one of these options be the solution your team has been looking for? Let's find out.
The Best Sources for Cold Calling Examples
The statistic that only 2% of cold calls are successful may be attributed to the legendary copywriter, Dan Kennedy. Kennedy was a direct marketer, and not likely a proponent of the cold call. There are several reasons that the statistic is suspect, including the fact that there is no accompanying data to support the assertion, as well as the fact that there is no way to capture the information.
The truth about cold calling is that, compared to email, direct mail, and social media, it is the most effective outreach when measured by the number of first meetings. The most successful salespeople prioritize cold calling, using the other mediums to nurture relationships, capture their prospective client's mindshare, and stay top of mind. They also practice a "phone first" approach to their outreach sequence, shortening the time and the number of touches it takes to produce a meeting.
There is a single, cardinal mistake that salespeople make that prevents them from scheduling a meeting with their prospective clients. That mistake is not trading enough value to gain a first meeting. Their language promises an experience that most of their clients would rather avoid, even if it means they have to enter a witness protection program. A request for a meeting that promises the salesperson will talk about their company, their clients, and whatever it is that they sell, leading to the question, "what's keeping you up at night?' offers no value, and it is the primary contributor to the low success rate. It's not the cold call that is to blame; it's the lack of value.
The talk tracks in Sales Accelerator are proven and battle-tested to improve the cold by reversing the talk tracks, promising the client that the time the salesperson is asking for is going to be valuable to them--even if there is no next step for the salesperson or their prospective client. It requires a bit of intrigue and a promise that they will gain ideas that will help them improve their results in the future.
Let's examine some of the top scripts I've found, why they may be effective, and the struggles your sales team may face using them.
The strength in the approach here is that the salesperson has a theory as to why their prospective client might need to change.
The weakness in the introduction is that the person is already selling by suggesting they "increase rep productivity by up to 45%." In starting the conversation this way, you have already projected that your intention is not to create value for your client, but to position what they want to sell. The alternative talk track, "my customers are typically looking to increase rep productivity. Does that sound like you?"
One of the ways this approach causes clients to reject a request for a meeting is found in the advice that when the client agrees they have a problem, asking them "tell me about that," has changed the conversation from one designed to acquire a meeting to one that is now a discovery call. This makes it easy for the prospective client to disqualify the salesperson over the phone.
The outcome of a cold call is not to learn about the company, the challenges, and their goals. By pursuing that conversation on the cold call, your client has little reason to schedule a call.
The strength of this approach is that it allows a company with a large number of leads to prioritize them by eliminating any lead that isn't currently trying to buy.
The single person who might enjoy being qualified by a salesperson on a cold call is also likely to be the kind of person who rejects anesthesia when getting a root canal. Whether you BANT them or CHAMP them, you are initiating a conversation that does not lead to a meeting. This is the perfect example of how to ensure that you create negative value for your prospective client, providing them with the easiest path to rejecting any request for a meeting.
One of the problems with using a cold call to qualify a prospective client is that it assumes the client has a problem they are trying to solve. In B2B sales, your client is certain to have problems that they have not addressed, and they may need a conversation to begin to understand the nature of their problem, the increasingly negative results they will experience, and how they might move forward. Scheduling a meeting is the best way to understand where a client is in their buyer's journey and how you can help them.
The first part of the script provides good guidance on introducing yourself. It's important to remember that while you know who you are calling and have reviewed their background on LinkedIn, they have no idea who you are.
The idea that you should ask a client about themselves to create rapport ensures your prospective client that you are going to waste their time. The single reason prospects reject a request for a meeting is because salespeople waste their time trying to build rapport. The approach is a legacy approach, one that relies on "problem-pain-solution." One of the worst mistakes you can make is positioning your "solution" in a call to request a meeting.
The modern sales approach is one that recognizes that the talk tracks have to serve your prospective client. All of the approaches above are designed to help the salesperson make a call, but offer the client no value at all. Your talk tracks should provide you with the ability to promise your prospective client with a meeting in which they gain some new insight, a greater understanding of their environment and how best to navigate it and improve their future results.
We see salespeople increase the number of meetings from 1 meeting out of 10 conversations to 4 out of ten. The improvement is found in a pitch that trades enough value that the prospective client is enticed to agree to a meeting, with a risk reversal that promises they get the value, even if there is no next step.
What Are the Best Cold Calling Examples?
What makes a cold call successful is a value trade that causes the client to agree to a meeting. Talk tracks that promise an executive briefing or some other content that creates value for the prospect is the key to improving your success in cold calling and improving your ability to command a meeting.
I made my first cold call when I was fifteen years old. It took me nine years to find an approach that resulted in an easier and more certain path to a meeting, as well as the language choices that allowed me to address the client's concerns about the meeting. You can find all of the strategies, tactics, and talk tracks in Sales Accelerator.