30 Best Cold Calling Scripts Guaranteed To Drive Sales

The idea of cold calling potential customers can be daunting, yet it is proven to have results. You don’t know for sure if someone wants your services or products until you ask them, right?

Cold sales calls can be an effective way of increasing your brand awareness. RAIN Group reported that 69% of buyers accepted phone calls from new providers in 2019 alone. However, it is important that once you’ve got through to a potential customer, you don’t put them off by sounding too robotic, rehearsed, or even impolite.

We’ve researched some of the top scripts to follow to get results. Depending on who you are contacting and what your desired outcome is, you‘ll need to follow a different approach. Whether calling other businesses or potential clients, read on to find the best sales call script to suit your needs.

What are the benefits of using a business phone call script?

1. Confidence

For some people, talking on the phone is harder than meeting in person due to the lack of body language or mannerisms that allow us to see how well we’re being received. Having a call script can instil confidence in anyone placing cold calls, and helps keep your conversation upbeat, organised and on track.

2. Continuity

If your business is quite large, you’ll want to ensure all of your employees are making the same good impression when placing calls for you. Scripting what you’d like them to say can be a good way of achieving this and makes it easier to monitor call quality. 

However, scripting calls for many different personalities can sometimes make them sound unnatural or robotic. Try using bullet points or phrases to include, instead of a set script, such as:

  • Introduce yourself - your name and company name
  • Ask who you’re talking to if they didn’t already say their name. Use their name throughout the conversation.
  • State your reason for calling, “Our digital marketing strategies have delivered results for other companies such as [list some], we’ve seen a few ways we think we could help develop your website and wondered if there’s anyone we could talk to about that today?”
  • If nobody’s available, ask for a callback. If this is not possible, ask if it’s okay for you to call back on this number, or if there’s an email address you could use.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

3. Making new business

Cold calling is an effective way of reaching out to several different organisations in a relatively short amount of time. For efficiency, keep detailed records of which companies you’ve called, when (including the time of day), who you managed to speak to, whether or not they seemed interested and details of any follow-up communication.

4. Cost-effective

The Brevet Group reports that companies spend an average of $2,000 per sales rep to train the sales staff each year. Work out the cost of making phone calls, paired with the time it will take you to make them and the value just one new potential client could bring you. When compared, you will likely see that cold calling can be extremely cost-effective. 

RELATED: How can I market my business online for free?

Business-to-business (B2B) cold calling scripts

Whether you’re looking to supply industry giants with your product for wider distribution or wanting to offer large organisations your services, calling as a business to another is an entirely different ball game to pitching sales calls to regular consumers.

Use an open-ended approach

Rather than pigeonholing a potential client and telling them what you can do for them, provide them with open-ended questions that allow them to tell you about their needs. 

For example, try:

“Hi there, I’m calling from [Your Company Name]. We work with a wide network of individuals in the digital marketing industry. Are there any aspects of your digital marketing strategy that you might like some advice developing?”

They’ll often be very aware of what aspects of their company need work and will be able to tell you if they’re interested in your services or not almost immediately. Of course, you’ll have done your research before calling a client like this, so if the person you speak to seems unsure or can’t think of anything off the bat, you can return with:

“I’ve had a quick look at [certain aspect of their website] and I think we could support you with [insert what you’ve researched and learned from the call]. Would it be possible to book some time to talk these ideas over with the person responsible for your digital strategy?”

Both of these options make you come across as knowledgeable, without seeming arrogant. This is a great balance to be able to strike when winning clients over and shows how far open-ended questions can get you in a sales pitch. 

Getting past the receptionist

People working on the phones in an organisation of any size are often given strict orders not to bother senior figures with anything unless it’s an emergency, let alone put cold callers through.

When dealing with a personality where this is the case, the best you can often hope for is to be able to book a meeting at a later date, either in person or over the phone. However, to get there, you need to make sure you are as friendly and approachable with the person you speak to as you possibly can be. 

Avoid getting frustrated with them at all costs, no matter how bored or hostile they might seem. Think of cold calling as a customer service style role, nothing is gained from taking things personally. 

Make a point of remembering and using their name, and smile as you speak to them to inject a level of warmth into your voice. Make them feel important and valued:

“Hi Louise, how are you?... [pause for response] Thank you for taking my call. I can appreciate that you’re probably really busy today in your line of work, am I right?… [pause for response]. I’m sorry to hear that Louise, I’ll try and make this quick so I don’t take up too much of your time. 

I know it’s unlikely [name of the person you want to talk to] is available right now, but I’m wondering if you have an email address or extension number I could catch them on? Alternatively, would it be possible to book an appointment to meet with them sometime in the next week or two?”

Securing a phone call back

A script like the one above shows that you value the receptionist’s time as much as anyone else’s, you respect that they’re busy and you’ve levelled with them. You’ve then given them several suggestions as to how they can quickly get you off the phone so they can get back to their other tasks. 

This is often all it takes to secure the callback, phone number, email address or even book the meeting that you wanted.

Be honest

There may be occasions where you might feel the need to omit certain truths or bend the truth a little to get the call back you’re after. However, don’t lie outright. This can leave you in an embarrassing mess, sounding like a prank caller and even being hung up on.

Don’t lie about having a mutual friend or knowing someone specific who works for the organisation for example. A smart way to get around this yet maintain some level of familiarity with the organisation might be to say:

“An old schoolfriend of mine is related to someone who works for you. Forgive me, I can’t remember their name, but they were saying [insert compliment about the business/way that you think you could help them].”

Don’t bend the truth too much

It may even be true that you once knew someone who had a connection to the company you’re calling. However, you want to sound as genuine as possible. The last thing you want to do is leave a bad impression of your company. 

If you’re asked a lot of questions about this distant connection, laugh it off and again, just be honest about it. The person you’re talking to will often laugh with you. Try:

“Okay, you caught me. I’ve heard what a good company you are to work with and I thought having a friend in common with the boss might make it more likely I’d get a chance to meet with them.”

Leaving a message

As a cold caller, it can sometimes be hard to get the person you’re chasing to pick up the phone. Although leaving a voicemail is not ideal, in the eventuality that you get through to a voice machine, it is best to have something prepared to say beforehand. Remember to:

  1. Politely introduce yourself
  2. State clearly which company you’re calling from and your job role
  3. Say why you were calling, focusing on how you think your company could meet their potential needs
  4. Leave contact details that you can be reached on
  5. Keep your voicemail short and concise. 
  6. If you don’t hear back from them in good time, try reaching out to them again.

Follow up on voicemails

If you were fortunate enough to get the chance to leave a voicemail, but don’t hear anything back for a few days, it is worth calling again in about a week.

It’s important to ensure that you don’t seem desperate, rude or pushy. Be polite at all times and try something like:

“Hi, I’m trying to get in touch with [insert name] I tried calling last week and managed to leave a voice message. I know how busy everyone gets so I thought I’d try calling to see if they’re available to speak now.”

By commenting on them being busy, you show respect for their time and the work they do and simultaneously give them an acceptable reason for not having returned your call. This will keep your call friendly rather than hostile. 

Do your research

When cold calling someone you’ve never met before, the internet can be a great tool to help you close the sale. Google the person you’re calling beforehand and get to learn a bit about their career history. You might find some common ground that you can mention when you talk to them - maybe you or a close relative went to the same university as them for example. LinkedIn is a great tool for this.

Engage with their content

Take a look at Twitter or other social media accounts of the person you’re looking to speak with. Have they recently published any research papers? If they’ve recently posted something topical about their industry, lead with that and tell them how interesting/insightful/eye-opening you found what they wrote. 

This will show that you’ve invested time learning about them as a professional and suggest that you are genuinely invested in working with them. Building trust in this way will help you build rapport.

Send an email first

A great way to let potential customers or clients see if your products and services are a good fit for them is to send an email before calling them. You can easily add links to your website or social media accounts for them to peruse at their leisure. When you then call them a week later, you can lead with:

“We sent you an email a week ago, I don’t know if you received it?”

Saying “received” rather than “read” is more likely to elicit a positive response. Initiating conversation in this way also increases the chances your prospective customer might have questions for you when you call.

Openings are important

The most important things to remember here are to be clear and concise. Use something such as:

“Good morning/afternoon [insert name of the person who answered the phone]. I’m calling from [insert your company name] and looking to speak to [insert name of the person you need/their job title]. Would they happen to be available right now?”

Endings are also important

Be clear about any follow-up actions or communications you intend to take, and polite and respectful at the same time. Show you are reliable by phoning back again a few days later when you said you would. For example, try:

“Thank you for your time today [name of the person you’re talking to]; it’s been really good talking to you. I’ll email/call you again [insert time and date] as discussed. If you have any questions in the meantime, my name is [insert name] and you can contact me at [insert your company name] on [insert phone number/email address].

Use website insights

Make use of the data you can gather from your website or social media platforms to inform your cold-call script writing.

If you’ve noticed more web traffic going to one particular item, service or even blog post, it can be worth drawing on this when you speak to people.

Perhaps you’ve recently written a popular blog post about the advantages of detailed keyword research and you’re approaching a clothes retailer to offer your services. Your script could go as follows:

“We’ve recently researched the cost-effectiveness of conducting detailed keyword research before writing content for different websites. 

We look at how individual websites like your own can convert more sales by carefully wording the articles on your site. My research suggests that your company is currently in a good position, and we’d love to help improve that even further. Would it be possible to speak to [name/job title of the person you want] about how our services could benefit you?”

Make it all about them

Remember that whoever you manage to speak to is likely too busy running their own company to listen to you talk about yours. As in the example above, make it clear what services you provide, but be sure to come back to say how this can benefit them, linking each benefit to a company requirement or need. Script your calls to spark interest and inflate their egos by acknowledging the progress they’re currently making.

Say thank you first

Starting off by saying “Thank you for your time” or “thank you for taking my call today” instead of “I don’t want to take up too much of your time”. Starting off with “thank you” is polite, so unlikely to face much pushback from the person you’re talking to, and simultaneously presumes that they have already listened to you. Even if their initial reaction might have been to hang up on you, they are more inclined to sit and listen to you after this.

Be positive

This one might sound obvious, but it’s harder than you might think. This is where following a script template can really come into its own. 

As in the example above, saying “thank you for your time” rather than “I don’t want to take up too much of your time” also has the bonus of avoiding the negative term “don’t”.

Negatives to avoid include:

  1. No
  2. Never
  3. Not (or anything ending in “‘n’t”, e.g. can’t, won’t, don’t)

Whenever you notice a negative turn of phrase, try rewording it to make it active and positive. Rather than saying “I hate to trouble you to ask this” say “I want to check I have the right details so I can get this done perfectly for you”. 

Keep it brief

Although what you’re selling might well be quite a complex service to explain, make sure that you don’t immediately overwhelm the first person you speak to with all of these facts. Limit yourself to three basic points. 

You might want to start by writing a whole paragraph and then rescripting it until you can fit the key details into one line.

Remember to pause

You may feel under pressure to get all of your points out. Do not rush when talking over the phone as it might become unclear what you are saying. 

Speak slowly and clearly and remember to pause after asking questions, especially if what you’ve asked is quite complex. Give them thinking time so they can best respond to you. You’ll get more out of your conversations this way.

Check for pain points

Whatever you’re offering, you’ll undoubtedly have competition somewhere. Once you’ve built a good rapport with the person you’re speaking to, ask them if there’s anything, in particular, they look for or would look to receive from you if you were to do business together.

Here they are likely to offer you suggestions that are possible ways they’ve been let down in the past or by their current provider. From here, if you’re able to win even a trial run, you’ll know how to offer them an improved service.

Listen actively

When you’ve finally got them talking about how you can help them, you need to pay close attention to what they’re saying and also indicate that you are listening closely. 

Make use of verbal cues, but not so much that you drown out or interrupt the speaker. Instead, try listening to everything they have to say without interruption. Once it sounds like they’ve finished talking, pause shortly before responding to ensure they’ve finished.

Empathise

Empathise with them. If they speak about problems they’ve had in the past that you think you could help with, say “I can see how [insert problem] must be so frustrating, I hope your business wasn’t too badly impacted by this.” 

Be professional

Refrain from saying anything bad about your competitors. After working so hard to get through to the company’s main decision-maker, if they do mention occasions where they’ve received poor service in the past, simply say:

“Okay, so if we were to put {insert service procedure] in place, we could reduce the chances of this happening to you again. Would that work for you?”

Focus on the positives and actions that you could take to move forwards together.

Paraphrase

Before the end of the conversation, show that you’ve listened carefully to them by paraphrasing back to them what, from your understanding, their needs and wants are. It can be helpful to read these from the notes you will have made these during the call. 

This is a great way to show that you’ve listened to them carefully, further building their trust in you, and it provides an opportunity for them to offer further clarity on any points you may have missed.

Make notes

Again, this might sound as though it goes without saying, but making notes is not only beneficial for you to go back to, they’re also a good way of buying yourself some time. 

Even if you’re in a call where they don’t seem all too interested, if you feel you need a moment of thinking space, wait until they’re telling you something and then as they tail off, tell them:

“I’m just writing that down now” or “I’m just making a note of that for you”. 

They’ll forgive you a moment of silence while you do this, even if you don’t write anything at this point.

Use social proof

Once you’ve established that your company offers the ideal products or services to suit your potential client’s needs, use social proof examples to validify yourself. Give them some solid examples of ways you’ve helped organisations like theirs in the past. 

Anticipate common objections

Quite often people will turn down cold calls because of time restraints, and ultimately because they are unlikely to trust sales reps from companies they don’t know anything about.

If told they will call you back, make sure you get a time and date for this. You could also say:

“So that I can prepare properly for the call, could I ask [insert relevant question] about your [insert product/service you offer].” 

Once they hear this and see that you are offering a genuinely relevant service, they might even take your call there and then.

RELATED: The 8 golden ground rules for successful meetings

There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ best sales script for cold calling, but with trial and error, you can certainly find one that is perfect for you. Get your sales team and business developers together with these tips today to start finding the ideal script for your company.

Now that you know the 30 cold calling scripts guaranteed to drive sales, check out our guide on sales reporting

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Rovva puts everything you need for your business in one place. From an accountancy helpline to a drop-in business lounge - we've got everything covered.