Studies have shown that when you are cold calling, you have between 10 and 20 seconds to interest your potential customer in what you are selling. If you don’t impress within that short period of time, you’re not likely to get a second chance. That is why, instead of “winging it,” it’s a good idea to use a sales script when you’re prospecting for clients.
The Perfect Sales Script
The best script is a “sound bite” of 50 words or fewer. Once you have been connected to the person who makes buying decisions, use those words to introduce yourself and your company, explain what you are selling, describe the most compelling features of your product, and assess whether or not the prospect is interested.
For instance: “Mr. Smith, my name is Jane Doe with the XYZ company. We sell group health insurance plans to small businesses. We have a rock solid reputation for providing the insurance that your employees need at rates well below the industry standard. Is this something that would interest you?”
Sales Strategy for Cold Calls
When you are cold calling, it’s unrealistic to expect to make a sale over the telephone on the first call. Instead, your sales strategy should be geared to catching the prospect’s interest and getting your foot in the door.
If the person you are calling expresses interest in what you are selling, your next step should be to go for a “small close.” Ask the person to meet with you face to face so that you can more fully describe your product or service and explain how it would benefit the prospect.
For instance: “I appreciate your interest, Mr. Smith. Is there a time this week when I could meet with you for fifteen minutes to give you additional information about our insurance plans and show you how we can help your employees meet their health care needs at affordable prices?”
A Word of Warning About Sales Scripts
Write your sales script carefully, and then practice saying it over and over again as if you are an actor learning his or her lines. You may even want to add brief pauses and the occasional “um” or “er” to make your script sound natural.
Whatever you do, don’t read your script in a mechanical voice when you’re prospecting. Even if it is a canned presentation, it shouldn’t sound like one. If it does, you are likely to lose your prospect very quickly.
A good script presented in a natural manner can be an important part of your sales strategy. It can help you catch the interest of prospects during those crucial 10 to 20 seconds when they are deciding whether or not to do business with you.