A New Age of Cold Calling: Tips, Tricks and Scripts to Make It Work

cold-callingSalespeople have strong opinions about cold calling:

  1. It’s a dead, ancient tactic that you shouldn’t even try.
  2. Email is too saturated, cold calling is making strong a comeback.
  3. It’s still effective, but not in the same “smile & dial” sense of the past.

We fall into the 3rd category.

In many of our previous blog posts, we often mention the importance of picking up the phone, while also sending emails — didn’t get a clear answer from an email? Pick up the phone. Does the prospect have follow-up questions? Pick up the phone. Waiting on the prospect to sign an SOW? Just pick up the phone.

The (Not-So-Good) Old Days

“Cold calling” has such a negative/salesy connotation associated with it, that many people are now afraid to do anything on the phone…even if it’s the most effective form of communication for a given situation.

Part of the apprehension lies in the preconceived notion of what cold calling used to be — where reps couldn’t leave for the day until they made 250 calls. Understandably, no one wants to be on either end of those phone calls, which is why you should approach it in a different way.

New School Cold Calling

We treat cold calling as an extension of our outbound sales process — meaning that it’s highly targeted, and the calls are scattered between a lot of other touches over different mediums, like social platforms and email.

Not only does this build brand/product awareness, but it also adds to your credibility when you’ve already done something to provide value to the prospect — like sending a relevant case study or helpful eBook prior to your first cold call.

If you’re curious, here’s an example outline of how we set up our Sales Flows, how we target prospects from different outreach channels and the message we’re trying to get across on each step.

Helpful > Salesy

Before making the first call, you should know the answer to two things: what do you want to get out of the call, and what is a good next step to continue the conversation after the call? If you can’t answer these things, don’t pick up the phone.

Cold calls should be clear and concise — let the prospect know exactly why you’re calling and what problem you can help them solve. You’re not going to close a deal on your first phone call with a cold prospect, so instead of going into it with that kind of mindset, think about how you can genuinely be helpful to the prospect.

From there, here are three quick tips to frame the conversation in a helpful way:

  1. Respect the prospect’s time — cold calling isn’t a scheduled conversation, so plan to keep the first call short, and try to schedule a follow-up time if necessary.  
  2. Talk less, listen more — you initiated the call, but one of your goals should be to learn about the prospect, so let them do most of the talking.
  3. Ask followup questions — again, learning as much as possible about the prospect and their problems will help you figure out how to best frame your solution.

Examples of Cold Calling Scripts

Finally, here are two examples of cold call scripts that have worked well for us. We keep it short and relevant, ask non-threatening questions and then we let the prospect’s response direct us to next steps.

“Hi, my name is Zach and I’m with RevBoss — do you have two minutes?”

“Great, I’ll be really brief. We’re a lead gen software company with a lot of experience with marketing services — we work with a lot of companies that look like {{prospect’s company}}, like {{current customers 1, 2, 3}}. I sent you an email earlier this week hoping to connect to see if we could save you and your team some time with your prospecting/outreach efforts. Are you responsible for business development or is there someone else I should be reaching out to?”

“Hi, my name is Zach and I’m calling from RevBoss — did I catch you at a decent time?”

“The purpose of my call is to see if we would be a good fit for {{prospect’s company}} by learning a bit more about how you’re handling prospecting and the outbound process, and to see if we could help you guys with any piece of it. If you don’t mind me asking, I’d love to get a better idea of how your sales process currently works. But if now isn’t the best time for us to chat, I totally understand and I’d be happy to set up another time this week.”

We’d love to hear what kind of success you’ve had with cold calling — what are your best tips to make it work?