Thursday, March 6, 2008

A Good Call Script

Facts about cold calling: only 7% of your prospects will give you a positive answer if your opening (read elevator pitch) is OK.

As a result of the above, you can state that 93% will give you a negative answer, you can either accept or fight back. I would like to urge you to go for the last option.

What does a good call look like?

  1. The elevator pitch.
    You will get somewhere between 10 and 20 seconds to convince your prospect to listen to you. That means that your name is irrelevant to the story, the name of your company could be relevant if it is a well known company.
    A good elevator pitch looks like this (I don't know who invented this scheme):
    For ... (your target customers)
    who ... (your customers need)
    the ... (your product or service)
    is a ... (your product or services category)
    that ... (your key benefits or the compelling reason to buy for your customers)

    If you want to go one step further, you could add:
    Unlike ... (your competitor or competitive product)
    our product ... (your main differentiation)
  2. Response.
    As mentioned above, you will a 7% chance your prospect is ready to accept your offer, and again 93% will not be that enthusiastic. If we analyze the answers, you will see that most of them can be categorized in 4 to 5 standard type of answers:
    a. No, I am not interested.
    b. No, I am happy with my current supplier.
    c. No time.
    d. Send me some documentation (this is a NO, believe me).
  3. Objection handling.
    Now that we know what the answer most probably is going to be, we can start building contra arguments. The objection handling is most probably the most important part of the call, if done properly, you will be able to convert another 20 to 30% of your prospects.
    Let me give you an example about a prospect who is happy with his/her current supplier and doesn't want to meet you: "We got the exact same answer from [your prospects main competitor and your customer], but after a 1 hour meeting we were able to prove them that we could save them €/$ X per annum / increase their productivity with X %, and now we are their main supplier for [product category]. Are you sure you don't have 1 hour to see how much savings / increase of productivity we could bring to your company?". Always make sure your story makes sense to them, numbers that speak. A sample of increased productivity: 4% increase in productivity representing 8 calls per rep per day ... 
  4. Answer/Appointment.
    At the end of the call, always try to come up with a closed question that suggests a positive answer. Never give the prospect the chance to come up with another negative response. If you want an appoint, suggest 2 dates (ex. would next week Tuesday at 15:00 be a good time for a meeting or do you prefer Thursday at 11:00) in the near future, if the preferred outcome is an order, propose an expected quantity or trial order.