The Worst. These demonstrate why people think cold calling does not work. These are what most people use.
Workable. Grab a list, pick one of my scripts. Make a few hundred calls at the rate of 40-60 an hour. If you are not generating 1.5 to two leads an hour, get another script or another list. Repeat.
Precision. There are scripts tailored to the needs of a tightly defined list. You should download my “Precision Cold-Calling Kit.”
Personalized. These are the best. If you truly hate to cold call, you will spend half your time researching your target market and tailoring an approach to each name on the list.
Here is an email that arrived in my LinkedIn inbox. The books the writer refers to are both mine.
I purchased and read both “Prospecting Your Way to Sales Success” and “Hot Prospects,” have made more than 30,000 dials, but have only been able to acquire $557,000 in new assets.
I wanted to ask if you think that the financial-services industry has changed dramatically, especially concerning client acquisition, since you wrote your books. Maybe I’m just not very good at this, yet, but I am trying to analyze my approach because what I have been doing is not working very well.
I wrote back: “Basic Mistake No. 1: Get a bad idea and stick to it. Something is off in your list, script, time of day, number of calls per hour, sound. The focus today is on what I call “Precision Cold Calling.” I’m attaching an article for you.” I asked him to send me his script.
He replied with this script.
Hi ______, this is (name) with (firm). I’m calling because I help people invest for retirement while saving on taxes and wanted to see if your schedule would permit a few minutes for me to drop by and briefly introduce myself.
Gasp. The writer is using one of countless variations on the “introduce myself” script, which I consider the worst script ever. It is most likely the reason that he (and his peers) are asking, “Do you think the industry has changed since you wrote your books?”
The answer, by the way, is “Yes, the industry has changed.”
Does this mean cold calling no longer works and that rookies, junior partners and “associate advisors” should throw in the cold-calling towel and … do what? Give seminars at $6,000 a pop?
No, it does not mean cold calling does not work. It just means every single piece of a cold-calling campaign must meet professional standards, starting with the script.
The script can be workable, tailored to an industry or personalized. If you can handle it, make 200 calls a day and go with a Workable script. Are 200 calls a day not on your agenda?
Consider Precision. Want your calls to reach executives in the C-Suite? A personalized script is the way to go.
Let’s look at the worst scripts in the hopes I can rip them from your consciousness.
My examples, by the way, came from Googling “best cold-calling script.” That same search, by the way, also turned up some excellent advice. So, let’s hack our way first through the worst.
This worst script is by a “sales transformation architect.” His website offered to trade me his cold-calling script for my email address. Done. This script, he said, is one a “financial services company paid me to write for their financial planners.”
(I’m taking his script section by section and adding my commentary immediately following. I have put his script in italics to differentiate from my commentary.)
Voicemail message (for you to leave only on the first call attempt):
Hello Bob, this is Your Name with Your Company. I was calling you today to schedule a 10-minute introductory conversation … blah blah blah.
Better advice: Never leave voicemails when cold calling. It is a total and complete waste of time! Really.
Prospect Answers: This is Bob:
Hi Bob, my name is Your Name with Your company. Have I caught you at a bad time?
Of course, it’s a bad time. You now must handle the objection that you just created.
Prospect: Yes. Who is this? What is this about?
Thank you for asking. Once again, my name is Your Name. I’m with Your Company. The purpose of my call is to schedule 10-15 minutes with you sometime early next week to formally introduce myself and my company. Would you have 10 minutes on Thursday afternoon, say at 1 p.m.?
Can’t we please put this “introduce myself” approach down?
If you are using any variation of the “introduce myself” script, stop! This approach goes back to the ‘70s (or earlier), and it probably didn’t work then. It most certainly does not work now.
We have some stats to prove it. When we do the math, those who use this script average $18 additional asset per each dial. To raise $10 million in assets requires about 550,000 dials. At 60 dials per hour, that’s about 9,000 hours of cold calling — or four and a-half years of doing nothing but cold calling. It ain’t working. ‘Nuff said.
Another Worst Script
Mr./Ms. Business Owner: Hi, this is __________ calling from________. The reason for my call is, as a successful business owner, I know you are always trying to improve your bottom line, and I specialize in helping business owners increase profits.
Now as a successful business owner, I’m sure you agree that your most valuable commodity is time and I’m not here to waste it. I am confident if you allow me the opportunity, I can show you how to add to your bottom line.
I will be in your area next Tuesday and Thursday; would you be available for a brief introductory meeting either of those days?
Pant, puff, wheeze.
Way too long. It took 38 seconds for me to read it aloud. A good rule of thumb for a cold-calling script is to not talk for more than 15 seconds without asking a question.