Cold calling is one of the most popular tactics for outbound sales—and for good reason. By pulling new prospects into the sales funnel, successful cold callers play a key role in the sales process (particularly in terms of B2B lead generation).
That said, there’s much more to this type of outreach than simply picking up the phone and calling a prospect. In fact, that’s only the beginning.
The most effective salespeople all use cold calling scripts to guide the conversation towards a positive conclusion. There are many different styles of sales scripts, ranging from simple bullet points to exact lines of dialogue. Scripts vary depending on the industry, as well.
To improve your success rate and help you land more sales over the phone, here’s a closer look at the anatomy of a great cold calling script—along with some proven examples.
How to Build an Effective Cold Calling Script
In an ideal world, every cold call would start a free-flowing conversation. On occasion, that actually happens quite naturally.
But more often, the person who picks up is pressed for time. They don’t have half an hour to chew the fat. In fact, the average successful cold call is only 7½ minutes long according to Chorus.
That’s why many of the most practical cold calling tips are designed to keep your calls short and sweet—including using a cold call template that ensures you hit the most important points in the span of a quick conversation.
Although there are many ways you can build a productive conversation within this timespan, the best cold calling script templates generally use the following structure:
- A quick introduction
- Establishing rapport or common ground
- Setting up an offer
- Prompting next steps with a call to action
Start with a Quick Introduction
As a rule of thumb, you have no more than 30 seconds to introduce yourself at the start of an outbound sales call. You need to grab the prospect’s attention, provide some context, and give them a reason to stay on the line.
First and foremost, the prospect wants to know who is calling, and why.
Rather than using the usual:
“Hi [prospect], how are you today?”
Try something more like:
“Hi [prospect], this is [your name] calling from [your company] about [topic or your offer]. Do you have a moment to talk?”
Boom—in one sentence, you have given your prospect a reason to continue the conversation, while still being very polite. Practice this mini elevator pitch often so you come across as confident and comfortable from the first moment a prospect speaks to you.
Build a Connection
Of course, just because your prospect doesn’t immediately hang up doesn’t mean they are interested in listening to your offer.
If your prospect is willing to talk, the next step is to build rapport. If you have done prior research, now is the time to use the information you gathered.
“I’m calling you today because I know you’re a [prospect job title] at a [business type], and I wondered if you have recently faced [challenge related to your solution]?”
If the prospect gives one-word answers and needs additional prompting to share details, follow up with more open-ended questions. (“Can you tell me a bit more about that?”)
You can also name-drop social proof, any professional contacts you have in common, and relevant recent news about your target client.
Set Up Your Offer
The idea of asking the question about paint points is to qualify the lead. If they seem like a prime candidate for your product or service, it’s now time to introduce your offer.
“Have you thought about using [your product type] as a solution?”
Depending on the answer you receive, you can then explain the solution more or start talking about the key reasons why your solution is worth a try.
You should prepare responses to common objections in advance—and don’t take offense if the prospect seems skeptical. Instead, empathize with their position, ask additional qualifying questions to find out if they’re the right person to speak to, and make note of their concerns in your CRM for future reference.
Always End with a Call to Action
It’s very, very rare to make a sale at the end of a cold phone call.
But what you can do is set up a follow-up call at a more convenient time for the prospect. Booking a follow-up sales call is one of the best outcomes for a cold call since it demonstrates interest and an initial commitment from your prospect.
Plus, a scheduled call will give you more time to talk through your sales pitch and answer any questions they may have—without the pressure of cold calling.
“When would you be free to talk more about [solution]?”
Make sure to get a date and time in the calendar, and check you have the best phone number to reach them at.
15 of the Best Cold Calling Scripts for Any Niche
Now we know the individual elements that make up a cold calling script, it’s time to start putting them all together.
The question is: what does a great cold calling script look like in the real world? To provide you with some inspiration, here are some tried and tested templates that will work in pretty much any industry.
1) The Classic Opening
Let’s start with the basics. Here is a classic script that works for any call (via MarketMeGood):
You: “Hi, is this [prospect]?”
You: “[Your name] here from [company name]. Do you have a quick minute?”
Prospect: “Go ahead.”
You: “I’m sure you are a busy person, and I want to respect your time, so I’ll be brief. The reason for my call is this. We specialize in [your niche] so that you can [solution to challenge]. With your permission, I was hoping to ask you a few questions and see if there is anything we are doing that you could benefit from.”
2) Getting Past the Gatekeeper
“Hi [gatekeeper], it’s [your name] from [your company]. I was hoping to speak with [decision maker]. What’s the best way for me to be connected with them?”
3) Finding the Right Contact
Sometimes, you’re not sure who you need to contact at a company. This little script can help quickly find the right person (via Eventual Millionaire):
“Hello, I was hoping you might be able to help me out here…”
“I’m looking to connect with the person in your department who manages [target process]. Do you know who that might be?”
Most people will be keen to put the phone down, so they will quickly offer up a name and even contact details if you ask nicely!
4) Making a Connection
As we mentioned above, referring to professional connections or a shared alma mater is a smart move (via G2):
“I also had a friend who worked at [past company]. Did you like it there?”
“I saw that you went to [your university], too! What did you study there?”
5) Referencing Recent Updates
One good way to strike up a conversation is by mentioning relevant recent activity at the prospect’s company. This script shows us how it’s done (via Salesmate):
You: “Hey. I recently found out that you’re looking for a [insert need] for your business. Our business can really help you with this [prospect pain point]. Can I talk to the right person?”
Receiver: “Yes. This is [prospect]. I’m [job title] at the company. I’ll be forwarding the right profiles to our Director. Please go ahead.”
You: “Throughout these years, we have created a [insert your solution]. So we can get you to the right [end point] that satisfies your criteria. Would you be interested in that?”
6) Making Your Solution Stand Out
“Hi, this is [your name] from [your company].”
“I know that we haven’t had a chance to meet, but I saw that your company recently was recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in the area.”
“I haven’t caught you at a bad time, have I? I’ll be brief and to the point.”
“Many of our current customers are similar to your company, in that they are experiencing growth and looking for [insert your solution type].”
“Does that sound like your company? Well, we specialize in helping [company type] with [challenge].”
“I’d love to schedule 10-15 minutes next week to learn more about your business and how we might be able to save you some time and money. In fact, I’m free [two times/dates]. Which of these works best for you?”
7) Delivering a Special Offer
You can just drop special offers into your usual script, but here’s a better option (via IntelSales):
“Hi [prospect name], this is [your name] from [your company].”
“At [your company], we work with people like you to help with [value propositions x, y, z].”
“Currently, we’re offering [insert promotional offer]. I would like to help you take advantage of this limited-time offer. [Ask them to attend demo / continue conversation with Account Executive / other next steps].”
8) Qualifying the Lead
Not every prospect you contact will be a good fit for your product or service. That’s why it’s important to ask qualifying questions as part of your discovery call. You can use this script to qualify every lead, while also gathering useful information (via Fit Small Business):
“We’re a company that specializes in [insert your niche] and I’m trying to gather some information from local businesses. Many of our current customers are similar to [prospect business] in that they are looking for [your type of solution]. Does that sound like your company?”
“Great, do you mind sharing what you currently use at your company?”
“Do you anticipate making a change to your current software options in the next 2–3 months?”
“Finally, is there anyone else at [prospect company] you think it would be helpful for me to speak with?”
You can then move straight into your CTA, such as scheduling a follow-up call or demo.
9) Scheduling a Demo
With some products, it’s better to show than to tell. This cold calling script should help you schedule more demos (via RiseFuel):
“Hi, [prospect]. My name is [your name] with [your company].”
“The reason that I am calling today is to get some time on your calendar.”
(Make your pitch in 2–3 sentences)
“I thought the best place to start might be to schedule a quick call to learn about the current sales challenges and goals that you have in your sales team.”
“Do you have time to talk on [name a time/date]?”
10) No Frills
You: “Hey, can I talk to [contact]?”
Contact: “It’s him, how can I help?”You: “I’m reaching out to all the major small businesses to offer our solution. If I have to put it in a sentence, our solution provides a platform that helps businesses like yours to [describe your solution]. Would you be interested to know more about our [solution]?”
11) Avoiding the “Callback”
If you accept a request for a callback, you probably won’t hear from your prospect again. Here’s how to navigate the situation (via Salesmate):
You: “Hello. Am I talking to [prospect] from [prospect company]?”
Prospect: “Yes. This is him. Who’s this?”
You: “This is [your name] from [your company]. I’m reaching out to discuss how our solutions can help your business.”
Prospect: “Umm. Can I call you back in a while?”
You: “[Prospect], I receive this response almost every day and believe me no one calls back. I think there can be a lot of value added to your business from our conversation. If you have just minutes, I can quickly show you how we can help.”
Prospect: “Yes, I think I have two minutes. Please go ahead.”
12) Use Some Numbers
Just as social proof can be a powerful tool for persuasion, a really good stat can turn a cold call in your favor (via Salesmate):
Salesperson: “[Prospect], 78% of our clients have seen a drastic improvement in [key metric]. We have industry experts and influencers on our team. Would you like to know more about our services?”
13) Bypassing the “No Time to Talk” Excuse
You won’t catch every prospect at a convenient time. But with the right script, you can still get them to engage (via Pipedrive):
Prospect: “I don’t really have time to talk right now…”
You: “I understand this may not be a top priority right now, or perhaps you don’t see the value.”
“Several people have said the same, but once we had a brief discussion they were thrilled to learn more. Give me two minutes of your time and I promise you’ll be clear on whether or not this is a good use of your time.”
14) Win From Rejection
Even if the person who answers a call has no interest in your offer, they might know someone who would be more receptive (via Salesmate):
You: “This is [your name] from [your company]. Is your business looking for networking services?”
Prospect: “No. Thank you. We have our in-house team for networking.”
You: “Can you recommend someone who can use our services? That would be a great help, [prospect]!”
15) The Voicemail
If you don’t get through to anyone at all, try using this script (via G2):
“Hi [prospect], this is [your name] with [your company].”
“I’m calling because I would love to chat with you about the benefits of our buyer intent data. If you’d like to learn more, call me at [your number]. I’ll send you an email with more information as well. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks!”
10 Industry-Specific Cold Calling Scripts
As every sales rep knows, a targeted message is always more effective than a generic one. The same goes for cold calling scripts. Here are some industry-specific examples of cold calling done right that will help you land more clients.
Cold Calling Scripts for IT Services
Cold calling always works well when you can offer an instant solution to a pressing problem — and that describes many IT services.
16) Pitching Cloud Migration
(Via The Volt Lab)
“Hello, this is [your name] from [your company].”
“The reason for my call today is that we work with [type of business] in [industry]. Our customers are typically looking to migrate services to the cloud and move off legacy hardware. Does that sound like you?”
(Listen to response)
“Sounds like our product can help you and your organization achieve the cost savings and agility you need. Can I schedule a call with one of our solution architects?”
17) Pitching a New Product or Service
(Via The Volt Lab):
“Hello, this is [your name] from [your company].”
“The reason for my call today is that we work with [type of business] in [industry]. We have launched [new product/service] that has resulted in [savings/efficiencies/growth] in our pilot customer group. Would you be interested in hearing about [new product/service]?”
(Provide product or service description)
“Do you or your team experience any of the following?” [List problems that product or service resolves]
(If response is positive…)
“Good news! Our product is tailored to help you fix that. Can I schedule a call with one of our solution architects?”
Cold Calling Scripts for SaaS Businesses
You might not expect cold calling to work so well in the tech industry. But with the right script, this sales method can be more effective than most.
18) Building Rapport
“Hi, [prospect], how are you today? My name is [your name] with [your company]. The reason I’m calling is to get some time on your calendar.”
“I just noticed on your site that you [recent business action] this quarter. Several companies in [industry] are already using [solution] to help their [relevant staff] get more conversations started and meetings booked. They are also able to cut [business process] time in half.”
“I thought the best place to start is to schedule a sales meeting to learn about your challenges and goals. Do you have time on [two times/dates]?”
19) Earning Referrals
“Hi [prospect], it’s [your name] from [your company], I noticed you [read our content/had great results using our platform] and wondered if I could ask a quick favor?”
“Do you know of anyone else in [target industry] who would see great results from using our platform? We’d offer your friend an extended trial period, as well as [X] amount off your monthly subscription for each friend you refer.”
“Can you think of anyone who would benefit from using our platform?”
Cold Calling Scripts for Real Estate
There is always big money at stake in real estate, but no one has any time. For this reason, it’s smart to keep your scripts really concise.
20) Getting to the Point
You: “Hello [prospect]. Good morning. I’m calling from [your company]. We’re offering some great benefits on housing loans. Are you looking forward to buying your own home?”
21) Targeting an Owner Who Is Selling
“Hi, is this [prospect]? My name is [your name] and I’m calling from [your company]. I was browsing the web this afternoon and I noticed you’ve got your business premises up for a private sale. I was just wondering if you have had any success?”
(Wait for response, ask follow-up questions)
“The reason I’m calling you today is just to see where you’re at with the sale. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you with the sale, and if you would like my assistance with getting some more interest in the property.”
22) Utilizing Recent Sales
“Hi, I’m John from Big Wins Real Estate. Is this the homeowner?”
(Wait for their confirmation)
“Just getting in touch because I sold a property down the street from you recently at (recent sale address). It’s a great area with a lot of interest at the moment and the properties are selling for fantastic prices. Out of interest, have you thought about selling your home?”
Cold Calling Scripts for Financial Clients
Cold calling can be a very lucrative sales strategy in finance, where a single customer can invest millions of dollars. Here are some top scripts to use.
23) Talking to Business Owners
“Hi [prospect]. My name is [your name] from [your company].”
(Say where you got their contact information or how you learned about their potential business needs)
“I’m calling to discuss [specific area where you provide solution]. Are you familiar with [competitor company you worked with]? We helped them [insert success story]. I expect we could get similar results for your company.”
“I’m hoping we can talk for a couple of minutes to decide if you’ll benefit from a longer meeting or call in the future.”
24) Talking to Individuals
“Hello [prospect]. My name is [your name] from [your company].”
(Say where you got their contact information or valid reason for calling)
“What type of [your type of financial product] solutions do you currently use? We’ve helped [X] people in your area take control of their [your type of financial product] solutions and we think we can do the same for you.”
“I’d like to talk for a couple of minutes to see if you’ll benefit from a longer consultation soon.”
25) A Pitch for Financial Advisors
“Hi [prospect], my name is [your name], and I’m calling on behalf of [your company]. May I have six minutes of your time to talk about [topic]?”
(Talk about how much money you can save them or make them, examples of others you have helped, and FAQs)
“[Prospect], I see I’ve hit my six-minute limit. I’d love to set up a time to have a 55-minute, more detailed discussion. Would [time/date] work for you?”
Warm Up Your Cold Calls with Datanyze
Want to convert more of your cold calls? Aside from using a reliable sales script, accurate contact details and background research are vital to warming up your leads. In fact, the right information can be the difference between landing a client and being turned down.
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