I always light a candle when I’m working off a cold calling sales script from home. Something about the flapjack-scented sweet air wafting through the room reminds me of the breakfast I never get around to making before my morning shift.
While I love the flickering flames and the warm light (that’s better than any harsh desk lamp), I can never strike the match on the first try. I’ll go through anywhere between two and five matches before I create fire. Grabbing two sticks and rubbing them together would get faster results.
During my first two months as a sales development representative (SDR) at The Selling Factory, I could never seem to strike a sale on the first try, either. My shifts consisted of call after call, voicemail after voicemail, and cup after cup of hot tea for my hoarse voice.
Then, after reviewing some of the best tips for cold calling, it clicked.
When to Use (and Abandon) the Script
#1 Building Your Own Script
Making a cold call can be unnerving, even for seasoned SDRs.
If you’re wondering how to be successful at sales, cold calling sales scripts are a great place to start. They offer a framework for SDRs to stay organized and consistent, but more importantly, build confidence.
#2 Internalize the Product, Don’t Memorize It!
The first key to leveraging the cold calling sales script is to internalize, not memorize. As you improve as an SDR, internalize the benefits of the product or service you’re selling and its added value for the prospect.
If you understand and believe in the value you’re offering, so will the client. Help them realize the benefits your product can bring them and their company. Internalizing is fully understanding what it is you’re offering goes further than simply memorizing some lines on a piece of paper.
You have to be able to improvise because the script can’t account for every response. If you know the product, this won’t be much of a problem.
Sometimes SDRs have to learn cold calling through trial and error. This often means putting your own twist on the script (within reason: don’t venture into false advertising because it’ll backfire).
#3 Humanize the Cold Call
As an SDR, you want to constantly lead a prospect further down the pipeline. That may mean prioritizing the nurturing aspect of good business sales development. After all, a real person, just like you, is on the other end of the phone.
If you listen, you may gain a whole lot more than you’d think. Establishing a friendly and personal relationship between yourself and a prospect can go a long way towards success in sales. People are generally more likely to buy from those they know and trust.
Strictly reading off of a script like a robot almost never works. For instance, C-3PO from Star Wars. Even though he’s a droid, his character works because he’s one of the most charismatic figures in the famed film franchise.
#4 Accept—and Learn—From Cold Call Rejection
Even after learning all this, it took a long time for me to make my first couple of sales. When I did, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment.
The truth is: like many sales representatives (especially those just starting), I’ve gotten so many more rejections than sales.
Experienced sales managers and new SDRs alike are no stranger to rejection. The best advice: review and discuss your previous calls to identify what strategies you need to adopt, adjust—and move on from.
While a prospect may have said no today, they may not next time.