19 Best Cold Calling Scripts (& Free Templates) for Sales Teams
Not all cold calls are created equally, hence the need for cold calling scripts that'll help you close more deals. For instance, how many of these cold calls have you received lately?
Hi, this is frhshm from mnexmfhrsh we offer a highly effective snmedrm for businesses like yours and today we’re running a special and I’d like to offer you our trial program for just $2,500 a month which is half the normal price of $5,000 and we’d like to start by the end of the week can I get you on a call…
Wait, what? Who is this? What are they offering? Huh??
At this point, if you haven’t hung up yet, you’re just waiting for the rep to run out of air so you can tell them you’re not interested (even though you never quite heard what they were selling in the first place). That's a clear sign their sales team is using ineffective cold calling scripts. You don't want to be that rep.
In fact, according to studies by RAIN Group, 69% of buyers accept cold calls from new providers, and 82% of buyers said they accept meetings with sellers who reach out to them.
Cold calling is very much alive, and if you want to succeed at it, you should be using a sales script.
Wondering how to get started? Well, you have options, my friend! Here, we discuss...
- 5 steps for creating a cold call script from scratch,
- 7 call script templates you can use for various situations,
- 6 tips for making any script (or call) even more successful, and
- 1 complete cold calling script that’s ready to download and use today.
Whew, we’ve got a lot to cover. Let’s dive in!
What is a Cold Call?
A cold call is when a sales development representative (SDR) or telemarketing agent makes an unsolicited phone call to a sales prospect to promote a product or service and encourage that person to buy.
In this type of outreach, the prospect has not expressed any prior interest in this product; in fact, he or she may not have even heard of it before. It’s the salesperson’s job to be confident, friendly, and engaging; explain what they’re offering; and secure a second call to provide a full product explanation or demonstration.
What’s the Purpose of Cold Calling?
The ultimate goal of cold calling is to increase sales of your product or service. However, cold calling also provides the very real benefit of simply raising awareness about your product or service to consumers who might otherwise not even be aware of it.
Even if a current outreach attempt doesn’t end in a Closed-Won deal, you’ve still raised your prospect’s awareness of your brand and the line of products or services you offer. This can translate into self-guided research on the prospect’s part later on when the timing is right for the company, or when they’re looking to replace or update a current process.
5 Steps to Create Your Own Cold Call Script
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with creating your own cold call script—in fact, there’s a five-step ‘formula’ to structure your script around and generate a cold calling script that’s both successful and personalized to you, your products, and your prospects.
Though we do have a free call script template to get you started on the right foot:
1. Remember: You’re Not Selling Your Product (Yet)
When building your script, it’s essential to keep this in mind: you’re not actually calling to sell your product. Instead, focus on building rapport and selling the next step: the meeting, demo, discovery call, etc.
By focusing on the meeting, you’re more likely to get a “Yes” from your prospect. That’s because:
- You focus on the value of the meeting and the benefits your prospect will receive by agreeing to that next step
- You stop asking for such a big commitment from your prospect
Using this method sets the tone for your sales script, allowing you to put the focus where it belongs.
2. Start by Describing a Relatable Situation
The first sentence of your sales script should be a clear introduction of yourself and your company. Your next sentence needs to explain—in a way that your prospect will immediately relate to—how you solve business problems. This one-sentence description isn’t a sales pitch of your product or company: it’s a 100% benefits-focused sentence that describes what you help your customers do or achieve. For example:
“We help small hospitality businesses grow their online presence and amplify their social selling powers by about 10x.”
3. Give Them a Chance To Say No
Yes, you read that correctly. By giving your prospect a chance to say no right from the beginning, you give them the illusion of control over the conversation.
After describing in one sentence what you do for your customers, use this simple question:
“Does this sound interesting to you in general?”
By giving prospects the chance to say no, they won’t be scrabbling for a way to escape the conversation, and may actually pay attention to the next part of the call.
4. Ask Your Key Qualifying Question & Repeat Their Answer Back
Whether they answer yes, no, or maybe when you ask if your product sounds interesting, your response will be the same: ask them your key qualifying question. Something as simple as this:
“Tell me more about your current sales process.”
As the prospect responds to your qualifying question, practice active listening. Take some quick notes and focus on what they’re telling you, and then continue with this powerful statement:
“Ok, so what I’m hearing is…”
Using this transition, repeat back what the prospect said. This does two important things:
- Shows the prospect you’re actually interested in what they have to say
- Gives you a better starting position to offer the next step (meeting, demo, etc.)
Remember, this only works if you actually listen to what the prospect says!
5. Secure a Meeting for Tomorrow
The faster you can get to your next meeting, the better. Don’t give them time to rethink it or lose interest. Here’s how to do it:
First, offer your next step (the meeting, demo, or another part of your sales process), being sure to focus on the value propositions your product brings to the prospect. Then ask them when is a good time.
“I’d like to hear more about the details of your process and show you how (your product name) can (provide significant value) for you. When is a good time for a 10-minute demonstration?
They’ll probably give you a time in a few weeks (or maybe even months)—that’s fine, but counter with this:
“How about tomorrow?”
In most cases, the prospect will be open to a meeting the next day. Set up the particulars, and you’re golden!
7 Best Cold Calling Script Templates for Common Scenarios
There will be many times in which your base script won’t keep up with real-life conversation. While there’s no way to pre-establish a response to every possible situation, it is definitely in your best interest to have scripted responses ready and waiting for some of the more common scenarios you’ll encounter, such as getting past a gatekeeper and leaving a voicemail.
Start with a Cold Call Script Template
Every cold call script starts with confirming who you’re speaking to, then providing an introduction to yourself and your company, followed by a pause, then a one-sentence description of what you’re selling and the value you provide to your clients.
Hi (prospect name)! I’m (your name) with (your company).
I work with (prospect job title-plural) like yourself to (describe the service you provide) and (describe the value clients receive).
From here, you’ll dive into a short conversation with your prospect and navigate any hurdles or questions that come your way. Use the following events to add on to this base and create a script for any situation.
Getting Through Gatekeepers
If a secretary or assistant blocks the path to your decision maker, you’ll need a script dedicated to speaking and collaborating with that person. Try this:
Hi, this is (your name) with (your company name). I’m trying to reach (prospect’s first name). Is (he/she) available?
Sometimes the gatekeeper will simply put you through, but if they ask why you’re calling, say
I’ve been working with (prospect’s first name)’s peers on integrating a new (product/service/software solution). There’s been some interest in getting a relationship started with (prospect’s company name), and I was just calling to go over the details with (him/her).
This may be enough for the gatekeeper to put your call through to your prospect’s main line, but even if you’re sent directly to voicemail, count that as a win! If you often find yourself struggling with gatekeepers, try to check your own perspective; the most successful sales professionals actually appreciate gatekeepers.
You already know this, but hearing objections comes with the territory in cold calling. Be sure your call script includes built-in responses so you can better handle sales objections and never be caught off guard.
- “We already have a solution for that”
Oh great, what solution are you using? Is it doing everything you need it to?
After they respond,
Got it—I’m glad it’s working for you right now, but I do think (product name) has some capabilities you could take advantage of. Do you have 10 minutes that I can quickly go over our product, just so you can make an informed decision later on when it’s time to renew your current contract?
- “I don’t have a budget for that”
I totally understand. When does the new fiscal year begin? I’d be more than willing to reach out in advance and show your executive team how (product name) is worth the investment.
- “The price is too high”
The investment seems high, but the payoff and results you’ll see make it more than worth it.
Well let’s see what features you don’t need right away that we can hold off on. That’ll get you a lower monthly rate while still accessing all of the essential features you need.
- “I need to discuss this internally and will get back to you later.”
Of course! I’ll go ahead and get you the full details so you have everything you need to review it with your team. What’s your email address so I can send this to you?
After confirming and repeating back their email address,
Perfect. I’ll send this now, and can check back with you on Thursday or Friday next week to find out how it went and what questions your team may have. Which day is better?
- “It’s not a good time”
I’m sorry if I’m interrupting! I’ll let you go and will give you a call back on Monday to tell you more.
There are a few different ways to ask for a referral, based on the scenario. Here are three short scripts to approach the ask:
- You can’t find a decision-maker to reach out to at a target company:
Hi, this is (your name) with (your company name). I’ve been trying to find someone who handles (core job responsibility of the decision-maker) but I can’t seem to get a hold of the right person. Do you know who I should be reaching out to? What’s (his/her) phone number?
- You’ve reached the wrong person:
After introducing yourself and realizing the person you called isn’t the decision maker:
I’m sorry (contact name), I think I’ve got the wrong person on the line. I’m trying to reach someone who handles (core job responsibility of the decision-maker). Who does that at (company name)?
- You’re reaching out to a closed-won deal:
Hi (prospect name)! It’s (your name) with (your company). How’s everything going for you with (your product/service)?
That’s great! It looks like you’ve been making good use of it. Listen, I wanted to ask—do you know anyone else in your field that could use our (product/service)? I’d be happy to get them a demo or offer you a referral bonus.
Pro tip: There's a very simple, and yet much underutilized way to get more referrals: ask again.
Reaching Out Through Mutual Connections
Ahh, your referral request worked and now you have the name of a qualified individual—and more importantly, you’ve got a bit of built-in trust due to your and your new prospect’s shared mutual connection. Leverage that with a script specifically for the occasion.
“Hi (prospect name), this is (your name) with (your company name). I’ve been working with (other customer’s name) to get (your product name) up and running, and as we were talking about others who might enjoy this (product/service), (he/she) mentioned you specifically. (He/She) said (something interesting about the new prospect).
Take a moment for your new prospect to chime in and discuss their work.
That’s so great. Well, I’d love to show you why (other customer’s name) chose us over the competitors to (generate results). What day this week is good for a quick product demonstration?
Leaving a Voicemail
Not every call ends in a response. In fact, an average of 80% of calls go to voicemail according to data from RingLead. That’s why it’s essential to create a voicemail that is short and enticing, making your prospects want to call you back for more information.
For a memorable voicemail script, make an extravagant claim and back it up with real data. For example, you could say something like this:
“Hi, this is (your name) with (your company name). I’m calling because last year our customers earned an extra $2.6 billion in revenue by using our product, and I’d like to offer the same kind of results to you. If this sounds interesting to you, call me back at…”
Pro tip: Want to save time on voicemails? Use a CRM like Close to leave pre-recorded voicemails when no one answers and save your team oodles of time.
Making a Follow-Up Call
A successful follow-up call should be enthusiastic, and should remind your prospect of your initial call. You can usually spend a bit more time digging into the details of your prospect’s current processes, and how your product or service can simplify them. Remember, it’s essential to maintain a two-way conversation throughout.
Hi (prospect name)! It’s (your name) with (your company name). How have you been?
Take a moment to talk about your prospect, their interests, and anything else non-work-related. When you’re ready,
Awesome. Well, I’m excited to learn more about your current process for (job function) and what I may be able to help out with. Tell me about it.
Always end the call by allowing your prospect to ask questions, and then asking what their thoughts are about your product or service. Ask what you can do to provide additional information, or what the next step in their decision process looks like. And always, always, schedule the next call before ending your current one.
Cold Calling Tips to Boost Success Rates
The right script, when paired with the confidence that comes with practice, will truly go a long, long way in getting you to that second call. But if you feel like you’re saying all the right words and still need help getting better results, give the following tips a try.
A word of warning: Yes, most of these cold calling tips involve some amount of extra time or effort on your part. But trust me—a few minutes spent upfront can make all the difference in the world.
1. Segment Your Prospects (And Your Scripts)
If your customers are segmented into different lists or profiles, then your prospects should be as well. And if you have clearly segmented prospects, you should create segmented cold call scripts that adapt to each profile.
For example, if some of your prospects are small businesses and others are enterprise companies, you need to adapt your sales pitch to fit each business. Pay special attention to how you word your one-sentence description, and focus on specific benefits for that sector of your audience.
2. Take Time for Prospect Research
Looking each individual up to prequalify your prospects may take some time, but it will help make sure you’re using the right sales script, and give you valuable insights to build rapport with your prospect.
One of the best social media channels to discover insights into your prospects is LinkedIn. Here, you can find out where your prospects are from, previous companies they’ve worked at, and what exactly they do at the company where they work. You can also see company information such as how many employees they have, recent updates, and more.
When you use LinkedIn to prequalify your prospects, you’ll be able to adapt your sales pitch to their specific interests and needs.
3. Speak Slowly and Clearly
Remember that 100 mph pitch I mentioned way up there in the intro? I’m begging you: don’t be that guy.
In order for your prospects to listen to the rest of the call, they need to hear and clearly understand who you are and where you’re calling from. Otherwise, they’ll spend the rest of your pitch wondering, “Who the heck is this?”
In this case, the power of an appropriate pause can never be underestimated.
When you say your name, pause. Let them hear it and spend a second wondering if they know you. Then, say the name of your company, and pause again. Let those two points sink in before you continue.
Very few people understand how powerful it can be to simply stay silent—and this is especially true in a negotiation. I discovered this myself when I saved our company $225,000 simply by keeping my mouth shut.
By speaking slowly and pausing effectively, it also shows you’re not nervous (even though you might be a little bit). You’ll also have more control over the conversation and make your prospects feel more relaxed.
4. Discover the Most Common Objections, and Include Responses in Your Cold Call Script
Using a CRM like Close, you can record and listen to your sales calls over again. Especially helpful for sales managers, this helps you to see how your team responds to sales objections, and which responses really work for your team.
When you’ve analyzed the responses, pick a few that seem to always work. Then, add those to your sales script, or create talk tracks for each objection.
5. Collaborate to Constantly Improve Your Scripts
Your cold call scripts should never feel stagnant. As a team, work together to improve those scripts.
Sales leaders can set up regular meetings every quarter to discuss the current cold call scripts and brainstorm on improvements.
This gets the whole team involved in making sales scripts even better and more effective.
6. Know When to Throw Your Scripts Out the Window
A good sales rep knows that sometimes the script just isn’t cutting it. (But that doesn't mean you shouldn't have one—you absolutely should, I talked about this here.)
A good manager knows that when his B2B sales team is creative and brings their own ideas to the table, amazing things can happen.
Just because you spend time developing an excellent sales script, doesn’t mean every rep needs to follow that script to the letter on every call.
Ultimately, every rep has a different personality and brings a different energy to each call. The way one rep starts their sales call may work for them, but not for the rest of the team. One thing I've seen in all my years in sales is that in the long run, being authentic will pay huge dividends.
So, sales leaders should make sure their team knows that, even though they can always use the cold call script, they’re not meant to sound like robots on the phone. Invite each rep to bring their own personality and style to their sales calls, and you’ll develop a team that works creatively and effectively as individuals.
Take the Easy Route: Use Our Free Sales Script
The templates and scripts provided above make it easy to build a cold call script that works for your business and captivates your prospect’s attention.
And remember: by working collaboratively to build segmented sales scripts and knowing when to throw them out the window, your team can truly excel at cold calls.
But if you want to get a head start on creating an effective cold call script, you can download our proven script template, adapt it to your own market, and start closing more deals immediately. Give it a try!