How to Write an Effective Cold-Call Script

Jul 28, 2012   //   by John Tabita   //   Business, Marketing, Sales  //  2 Comments

Ring, Ring!

“Good afternoon, Affordable Insurance. May I help you?”

“Hello, this is Joe Schmo from Joe Schmo Consulting Firm. Is this a good time to talk?”

“Yes.”

“With whom may I ask I am speaking?”

“Mike.”

“I am an expert in the web design field. You might have seen some of my work: xyz.com, 123.com, and blahblahblah.com. I could design a site for your business at the lowest rate around. If you are interested, I could give you a free 1-hour consultation.”

Would you say yes?

That’s an actual example of a cold-call script someone recommended using. I didn’t link back to the article because, as that old T.V. show used to say, “The names have been changed to protect the innocent.” (In this case, the guilty.)

What’s so bad about that script, you ask? For starters, it sounds like a self-absorbed tweet: it’s all about me—my expertise, my work, my low rates, my free 1-hour consultation.

It’s also completely untargeted. Joe Schmo probably decided his target market was “small to medium-sized companies,” and since Affordable Insurance fit the mold, he called them up, using the same tired old generic script he’d used on the veterinarian, the dog groomer, the roofer, and the auto repair shop.

But did Joe ever stop to ask himself: “What would the owner of Affordable Insurance want, and how can I help him get it?”

I’ve never sold insurance, but I do know that an insurance agent or broker makes a commission for each policy he or she writes. So more policies means more money. I also know that insurance sales is a referral-driven industry, so anything you can do to help an agent generate word-of-mouth will get their attention.

One way you can help an insurance agency’s referral business is to get them more clients—because more clients means more people to potentially refer them to others. So, if I were targeting insurance companies, and had a number of them I’d worked with in the past, I’d say something like this:

This is Joe Schmo from Joe Schmo Consulting. We help insurance agencies generate more leads, write more policies, earn more commissions, and build their referral base.

Agencies like XYZ Insurance and ABC Insurance have used our web marketing services to bring in a steady stream of quality leads and new customers.

I don’t know what your marketing needs are, but I can show you some options and strategies other agencies have used to find clients in this highly-competitive insurance market.

Is that something you want?

You see, while a good script is important, it’s just one part of the equation. According to appointment-setting guru, Scott Channell, at least 60 percent of your prospecting success will come from hitting the right target. Once you know who you’re aiming for, it’s not rocket science to come up with a presentation that addresses their three P’s: Pain, Predicament, and Problem.

But untargeted means you have to be generic. And a generic, watered-down presentation is not a recipe for success.

Essential Ingredients to an Effective Script

While there are many possible variations of a good script, here’s one formula that works:

  1. This is [YOUR NAME] from [YOUR COMPANY NAME]
  2. We help companies [BENEFIT]
    • Or: “We work with companies to …” or “… who want to …”
    • Or: “We specialize in helping companies …”
  3. Rephrase the above with an additional BENEFIT or examples of similar companies you’ve helped
  4. Call to action

Here’s how a script targeting hospitals would look, using that formula:

  1. This is Tom from 123 Marketing.
  2. We help hospitals attract patients who are facing more out-of-pocket expenses and are searching for a hospital or clinic to get the most out of their health care dollars.
  3. We would like to introduce ourselves and show you how our web marketing services can let the public know what distinguishes you and encourage consumers to consider your hospital for treatment.
  4. Would you have any time in the next week or so?

I don’t just make this stuff up. The verbiage I’ve used is what the hospitals themselves have said about why they need to advertise.

Here’s a resource to help brainstorm an effective pitch. Besides the video, I recommend you read the full article, How to Pitch Anything in 15 Seconds.

Keep in mind that such a script is not just something to use in a cold-call. What you come up with lays the foundation for an elevator pitch, marketing copy, and a Unique Value Proposition. Happy scripting!

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John Tabita

Marketing Evangelist and Blogger at SitePoint.com. Digital Strategy Director at HainesLocalSearch.com. Passionate about helping people and businesses reach their fullest potential and become wildly successful.

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2 Comments

  • Your articles are fantastic, John. Thank you for starting this blog.

    Something I’d like to point out is that instead of making cold calls right off the bat, I’ve learned from other marketing materials I’ve read that the first thing a marketer wants to do is just gather knowledge about the pain, predicament, or/and problem, as you mentioned. And then after that, speaking to those specific points, in their own words.

    I’ve never done cold calling, although I’ll be trying this out for my the web business I’m starting.

    Thanks again.

  • Thanks for the wonderful article John. I’m preparing for call callings. this is helpful information.

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