Whether you're new to sales or you've been at it for years, one question often arises: What should you say to open a cold call? Don't worry, because in this blog, we'll provide you with a cold calling script and strategy that works every time!
Overcoming the Anxiety of Cold Calling
Most people find difficulty in the moments right before they make their first cold call of the day. There's a lot of internal anxiety associated with these calls. This shouldn't be a surprise. Cold calling goes against everything we've learned about human interactions. We're taught that it isn't polite to barge in on others or to interrupt their day. We're also conditioned to avoid rejection whenever possible. All of this comes to a head the moment we're about to make that first call.
The Solution: Action
The good news is that the solution to all of these things is to simply act and make the call. Just like standing on a high dive when you're a kid. No amount of thinking and waiting will make jumping less scary. The only thing that makes that tension go away is action. But, that still leaves the question of what to say. When we have something prepared to say that we can rely on without thinking, it makes this first call much easier. But, what?
The Cold Calling Script: A Recipe for Success
Here, we're going to give you a recipe that we use on all of our calls. It follows the same pattern without fail. The words change a bit depending on who we're speaking to, but the structure remains the same. It's a carrot, a pressure release, then followed up with a question in the distant future or past.
An Example of a Successful Cold Call
Here's an example of how this cold calling script works:
"Morning John, I know I likely caught you off guard, but I had something I'd like to run past you. I've got 2 drivers that have worked with me for years. Both have asked me on numerous occasions to give you a call about some of your outbound lanes headed north. They've got dedicated customers that deliver to your neighborhood twice a week and they've even delivered to your facility in the past. But, hey, I don't expect there to be an immediate need. In fact, I don't even know if we'd be a fit to work together. I just thought it was worth a call to see if maybe down that road some backhaul rates might be beneficial to you."
Pause, wait for response.
"John, out of curiosity, how did things play out last year? Again, I know a lot of shippers volumes are lower than normal with the economy. Curious though if you'd had any customers with northbound lanes last year that may arise again later this year?"
Why This Cold Calling Strategy Works
This cold calling strategy works because it answers the question, "what's in it for them?" right up front. It offers a reward or reason for the prospect to keep listening. Then, it uses a pressure release, telling them that we're not even sure we could work together. This allows the prospect to lower their guard and feel comfortable just chatting a bit. Finally, we shift to operational questions in the past or a quarter or two in the future. This allows us to learn about them without arousing suspicions that we're a moment away from asking whatthey expect us to ask.
Tailoring the Cold Calling Script to Your Strengths and Advantages
You can use this structure on every cold call. You can also tailor it to your strengths and advantages. Just remember that the carrot has to answer the questions, "what's in it for them?" Not the service or advantage you want to provide. Put yourself in a prospect's shoes to think about what's important in today's market.
Right now, most prospects are focused on price over service. But, that's not always true. As we transition out of the bottom of the rate environment, prospects will begin to prioritize service over rates. It's usually one of those two. Service or price. And prospects will push low prices until their service falls below acceptable levels for their customers. As soon as the customers get fed up with late trucks and no communication they begin demanding better carriers from their shippers. And the market starts to swing to service.
Recap: The Cold Calling Strategy
To recap, it's a carrot or what's in it for them, then a pressure release or going for no, that is telling them you don't even know if you could be a fit to work together. Then shift to operational questions in the past or a quarter or two in the future. Either will allow you to learn about them without arising suspicions that you're a moment away from asking what they expect you to ask. Where's the loads and when can I get onboarded?
Got it? Now craft your own, type it out and have it in front of you to resolve some of the anxiety related to making that first call of the day. Just jump!
For more tips on mastering cold calling and improving your conversion rate, check out our other blogs.