3 Cold Calling Scripts that Can Warm Up Your Outreach
February 28, 2019
Editor's Note: As 2020 begins, we're looking back at some of 2019's most popular posts on the LinkedIn Sales Blog. This one ranked No. 3.
The common cold call has been known to cause severe discomfort among even the sweetest-tempered of sales prospects. Fortunately, sellers have discovered a cure: warmth.
Cold calling as we once knew it has been declared dead at a rate rivaled only by disco. And for all intents and purposes, it is: Only 1% of cold calls ultimately convert into appointments; roughly 90% of top-level B2B decision makers say they won’t respond to cold outreach at all.
Technically though, I guess there’s a chance that a sales rep could commit to some crazy call volume and find enough prospects to fill their pipeline using the “classic” edition of cold calling. But how long can the rep keep up this pace before they become demoralized by such a high rate of rejection? And who wants to work like that?
An Up-To-Date Definition of Cold Calling
Cold calling used to refer to dialing one’s way down a list that typically only included a name, a phone number, and a company name. Today, this approach is almost laughable. Sales pros simply need more context if they are to expect any level of engagement because today’s B2B buyer doesn’t just expect personalization, they demand it.
Today, a cold call refers to any call that a sales prospect is not expecting from you.
Calling a former customer to check in? That’s a cold call. Calling someone who’s been consuming your content with vigor? Also a cold call. Calling someone from a list that includes names and numbers only? That call’s been frozen solid for years.
3 Cold Calling Scripts to Make Your Cold Calls Feel Warmer
Let me start by acknowledging the glaring discord between saying that B2B buyers demand personalization, then offering scripts as the solution. For any sales pro serious about personalization, I recommend checking out these cold calling tips, strategies, and techniques to avoid.
The scripts you’ll find below include more blanks to fill in than you might find in sales scripts of yesteryear, which traditionally only called for adding the prospect’s name and company name to the spiel. This is intentional. The idea here is to create scripts that essentially “unlock” when sufficient personalization is in place.
Also, because the purpose of this post is to help you fill your pipeline with qualified prospects, the three scripts you’ll find below are suited for sales scenarios in which success is entirely plausible.
The “I’m Straight-Up Prospecting” Cold Call Script
The situation: You’ve used your ideal customer profile as a guide for filtering a list of sales prospects who most closely match the description of those who’ve already bought from your company and are generally satisfied with your product or service.
Why this script might just work: B2B buyers are adamant about working with sales pros who demonstrate expertise with, or knowledge of, their industry. By filtering based on ideal customer profile, you can demonstrate your (or at the very least your company’s) relevant experience and expertise.
I’m calling you today because I noticed that your company regularly works with / deals with _____. That caught my attention because in working with ____ and ____, we’ve come to learn that companies like yours often struggle specifically with _____. I also couldn’t help but notice you / your colleague, _____, talking about _____ on social media.
_____ ultimately solved their problem but I also know each company works differently and I’m curious to know how _____ affects you personally?
The “I Noticed You’re Interested” Cold Call Script
The situation: Your marketing automation system spits out the name of someone who downloaded one of your gated assets.
Why this script might just work: They’ve indicated an interest, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re ready to hear about your solution. By ignoring the sale for now and tailoring your message to satiate your prospect’s thirst for specific information, you can demonstrate that you have your prospect’s best interests in mind, making it more likely that you’ll eventually land the appointment.
I noticed you’ve been learning more about _____. That’s been a popular topic around these parts. Most of the people I talk to know they have a _____ problem but aren’t quite sure how best to handle it yet. How have you and your colleagues been feeling about the whole ____ thing?
Interesting, we have another _____ I think you’d be interested in, particularly the section about ____. There’s also a customer story in that section, which, based on what you just told me, will probably sound eerily familiar. Can I send over a PointDrive link?
The “I Know Someone You Know” Cold Call Script
The situation: Because you’re familiar with the stat below, you perform a LinkedIn search that further filters your prospect list down to 2nd degree connections.
Why this script might just work: Sales pros are 4.2x more likely to schedule an appointment if they already have a personal connection with the buyer.
I noticed you and I are both connected to _____. I met _____ through _____ and it looks like you two go back even further. How did you all cross paths?
I’m also calling you because [common connection’s] company and yours are similar in that you both _____, and if you’re anything like them, you deal with ____ quite a bit. What’s that been like over at _____?
A Final Word on Cold Calling Scripts
Clearly these scripts make a few assumptions. Rarely will you be able to use these scripts in their exact form, but the key here is to create a framework for instantly establishing relevance and building rapport so that your prospect feels comfortable enough to open up.
The “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it” principle also comes into play here. From a prospect’s perspective, if it seems like the sales rep is reading from a script, it won’t feel personalized, even if it is.
Whether you decide to use the scripts above or create new ones that better fit your situation and personal style (which I recommend), get to know them intimately so that you can listen intently without getting lost, and communicate your key points conversationally.
For more ways to make sales prospects feel more comfortable with you, subscribe to the LinkedIn Sales blog.