For many small business owners, the idea of calling prospective customers out of the blue is terrifying. And so you look for other ways to attract attention. But the telephone is a powerful marketing tool – all you need is well-planned cold calling scripts and the time to get it right.
Why use sales scripts for cold calling?
Your call is far more likely to be focused and successful if you have a script to follow. That’s because a good script gives you a structure to work from, allows you to use phrases and key words that are persuasive and keep your prospect on the call, and stops you from getting distracted.
So, here are our top tips for writing a cold calling script:
- Have a named contact – you should always have a name to ask for when you call, rather than just ‘the marketing director’ or ‘the finance manager’. Having a name makes you better prepared and, when you speak to your prospect, allows you to be immediately personal and build a rapport.
- Establish respectful understanding – no one really wants to be sold to over the phone, so straight away you have a barrier to overcome. The easiest way to do that is to show at the very beginning of the call that you understand your prospect is short on time, and to tell them the call is just for two minutes – if it extends longer than that, it’s because your prospect is interested, and then they are investing their time willingly.
- Lead with a relevant benefit – your prospect needs to be hooked fairly quickly, so lead your conversation with a benefit that is relevant to their business – money savings, time savings, better health and safety, lower staff costs – whatever your benefit is, make it something your prospect is going to want to hear.
- Ask questions – the best way to involve a prospect in your call is to ask questions from the start. Not only does a question need a response, thereby keeping your prospect on the call, but you’ll learn valuable information about the business so that you can tailor your script to meet your prospect’s needs.
- Demonstrate – rather than spending a long time talking about your product or service, use demonstrations of success. Talk about how you saved one customer money immediately, or pulled in a whole new customer base for another. Demonstrations of success make your prospect wonder what they could be doing better.
- Have a clear call to action – there must be a ‘next step’ to the call. Ideally, the next step is a face-to-face meeting, so offer to come to your prospect’s offices at a time that suits them so that you can start to build a relationship and explain exactly how you can help them. If you can’t manage a meeting in person, then arrange another call, or a Skype meeting. If you want someone to attend a presentation or event you’re holding, the next step is to get them to book their place.
Making your calls
The most important thing about using a script for cold calling is that you shouldn’t sound like you’re reading at all. You must be genuinely interested in your prospect and have a real conversation with them that makes them feel you are taking an interest in them and their business. Use your script as a structure, and know it inside out so that you talk fluently and naturally when you’re on the call.
It may also be worth drawing up a spreadsheet of tactics you can use on your call, depending on what your prospect says. This allows you to keep them interested and change the focus of the call if necessary so that you can keep them on the line.
Getting help with cold calling
If you’re still not 100% happy with the idea of calling your prospects, why not ask a virtual assistant? Phone calling is one of the key skills for a virtual assistant. They can work with you on your script and provide provide outsourced telemarketing services or help with business appointment setting. That means all you need to do is approve the script and wait for the appointments to go into your diary, when you can meet those prospects face-to-face. Virtual assistants’ services are cost-effective, time-effective and give you access to experienced resource without needing to employ someone on a permanent basis, and for cold-calling scripts, advice and implementation, allow you to use a critical sales channel without having to do the calls yourself.
If you’re short on time and need help with your cold calling, or would like to learn more about our other virtual business assistant services feel free to call us on 0800 994 9016 or click here to request a free consultation.