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Rewriting a Great Cold Call Script

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After reviewing everything I have written on script writing, I have decided to abandon trying to teach you how to write a script and instead teach you these nine words.

It’s easier to rewrite than it is to write.

I want you to rewrite the greatest script ever written. You can get a free copy in MS Word format at my cold calling page and have at it. Go here:

Here’s my counsel. Let’s first understand “The Greatest.” So that you can understand exactly why it is written as is, I have added commentary. When you understand it, go get your copy. Make a few hours of calls. Then rewrite to your heart’s content.

Speaking of rewriting—I added a section on “green cherry conditionals.” These are likely to be the biggest leads you will find. I wanted to make certain you know what to do when you stumble on one of these leads.

Even the greatest script can be greater.

Get: Decision Maker

I am assuming you have a list of business owners or people at work. Our first objective is to get to the decision maker.

If you do NOT know name of decision maker:

Good (morning/afternoon). (PAUSE.) The pause here is vital. A receptionist in a busy company may answer the phone several hundred times an hour. You need to get his or her attention. The pause does it. This is _________. State your first and last name. Professionals have last names. I need to speak to your (owner/manager). “Need to speak” is much more powerful than “May I please speak …” With a slight crispness to your tone, you might sound like an annoyed customer. Could you tell me his or her name please? A sharp down-inflect on “please” makes this a polite command.

Thank you. In case I get disconnected, what is (his/her) direct extension number? We are building our list of direct extension numbers.

OK. And what is (his/her) assistant’s name? Very important to be able to address the assistant by name. We try to get this from the first person who answers the phone.

Great! Could you connect me, please? Sharply down-inflect on “please.” Again this converts the written question in to a spoken command.

If you DO know name of decision maker:

To Receptionist: Good (morning/afternoon). I need to speak with M/M _____’s assistant please. Could you tell me his or her name? Once again, we are converting a question in a polite command.

And in case we get disconnected, what is (his/her) direct extension number?

To Screener: Good morning, (NAME). Use screener’s name! This is ______ with (FIRM). I need to speak with M/M ________ for a moment about a very conservative investment idea involving (STATE) tax-free bonds. Could you connect me please? The wording here is very important. What we are doing is answering the screener’s questions first. Suppose you call and say, “May I speak with M/M ____, please?” The screener will say, “Who’s calling?” And then, “What is the nature of your call?” The assistant is in control. The person asking the questions controls the conversation. But here, we have answered the screener’s questions first, giving us a slight edge. As for the reason you are calling, be as specific as you possibly can. Don’t say, “It’s about her investments.” Do say, “It’s about an investment in Texas School Bonds.”

Decision Maker on Phone

To Decision Maker: Good (morning/afternoon/evening). Is this M/M ________? Great! This is ________ with (FIRM). (Choose one:)

(A) You are familiar with (YOUR FIRM NAME), correct?

(B) You know who we are, don’t you?

(C) Does (YOUR FIRM NAME) ring a bell?

With one of these questions, you are trying to engage quickly while giving people who are truly not interested a chance to get off the phone. Remember, the gold prospector who finds the most gold gets rid of the most dirt.

No Bell/Not Familiar:

We’re the ________. Example: We are the independent firm focusing on helping small business owners save taxes AND save for retirement.

(Optional) M/M ________, do you take care of the investment decisions for your family? Use this line with man or woman called at home or office.

Offer: I have some important information available on what’s called a tax-free municipal bond fund. Have you ever heard of one of these before? Once again, we have given people an opportunity to get off the phone!! Also, we really do not care what they say: “Yes,” “No,” or “I’m not sure.”

OK. Then (as I’m sure you know), this is a portfolio of tax-free municipal bonds that have been selected for both income and safety. Could I send you some information on this fund? We always check for interest first! If no, Thankyouverymuch.

Continue with First Call Options. Important note: You can use this style of first call script for any product, concept, service or strategy. You just need something to send. No matter what someone is interested in, we further qualify them with these options. Everyone gets qualified the same way.

First Call Options

Use this page based upon how someone responds to the offer to send information.

NOT INTERESTED: Thankyouverymuch.

IS INTERESTED: Very good, I will get it out to you right away. If you do like the idea, we are accepting accounts with investable assets in the range of $____________. Would that amount be a problem to you at this particular time?

There are some acceptable variations to this qualifying statement:

We are accepting accounts with investable assets in the range of $250,000 and above. If you like us and our strategies, would that amount be a problem at this particular time?

You might decide not to set an account minimum. M/M ____, unlike most financial advisors, we do not set an account minimum. If you are a nice person and need some help, and if you think we can help you, we would like to compete for your business. Would you be comfortable with that type of relationship?

Cherry Picking

If some problem prevents immediate action, the prospect is a “green cherry”: Okay, let me ask you this. When in the next six months to a year do you expect to have some funds available to invest or reinvest? (If any, pin down month if necessary.) Ballpark, how much will you have available at that time?

Great!! With your permission, I will send you some helpful information from time to time and then get back in touch with you in (month before funds available). Fair enough? Would you like me to send this by mail or email? (Reconfirm address/get email.) If there’s no problem, you have a red cherry: Just one other question here and I’ll let you go. Would you like me to send this by mail or email? And normally, what is the best time to get back to you, early morning, midday or later afternoon? (Reconfirm address/get email and TYVM.)

If you are calling pre-retirees, you could add financial qualification questions. Just after asking when they expect to have additional funds available to invest or re-invest, you could add: When do you plan to retire?

Green conditional: I would like to make a suggestion about your (inheritance, bonus, tax refund). This bit of wisdom comes from Yogi Berra, the great Yankee catcher and a bit of a philosopher. He said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you might wind up someplace else.” M/M ______, if you don’t have a plan for that money, I assure you it will wind up someplace else. With your permission, I would like to stay in touch every few weeks and then when you know it’s coming, let’s sit down and get a plan for it. How does that sound to you?