When you make hundreds, or even thousands, or cold calls each week, preparation becomes paramount to your success. Given the nature of cold calls though, it can be difficult to build out an effective preparation strategy.
After all, how are you supposed to anticipate what someone you’ve never spoken with is going to say when you call them? One of the best tools are your disposal is a cold call script.
I know. I know.
Cold calling scripts and sales calls scripts get a bad rap. And nobody wants to sound like a mindless robot as they read through their cold call script.
However, when you put the time into creating the best cold calling scripts that suit your team’s specific needs, you’ll start to see some interesting results. Your reps will grow more confident in their outbound sales outreach and cold calling, more prospects will engage with your calls, and conversion rates will improve.
But creating a cold call script isn’t enough. You have to train your reps to get comfortable with the script so they can speak it on the phone to prospects in a way that sounds organic and natural.
Stop thinking of the sales call script as an afterthought. This is a tool that can help instantly connect your reps with their prospects and lay the groundwork for a lasting, profitable relationship.
It’s an essential part of your outbound sales playbook whether you’re running a smaller inside sales team, outside sales, or an entire outbound call center. And when it comes to managing fully virtual call centers, a good cold calling script will make or break your success.
Still, you may have some lingering questions like:
- How do you write a cold call script?
- What is the best cold calling script?
- How long should a cold call script be?
This is precisely the reason we put together this cold calling script super-post. Below, you’ll get answers to these questions, learn how to create the best cold calling script possible, and discover how to effectively use your sales calling script during cold calls without sounding like a robot.
As a bonus, we scoured the sales community to find the most useful cold calling script resources, including some of the ones our own sales team uses at PhoneBurner. By the time you get to the end of this post, you’ll have everything you need to ensure your team can develop and deliver highly engaging cold call scripts that are sure to level up your efforts.
Let’s get after it.
What Is a Sales Script?
At its root, a sales calling script is a guide that your team refers to during their cold calls. The best sales scripts are detailed and provide the exact language to use when speaking to different segments of prospects based on their distinct challenges and pain points.
This is especially important when considering new team members who may need extra support. In these situations, your sales calls scripts will be helpful guides that steward them toward success.
At the same time, the scripts can be helpful memory boosters for your established sales reps to ensure they hit the necessary talking points during their discussions and handle potential objections with the proper responses. Even if they know the product inside and out, the script serves as a tool to ensure they don’t miss anything important and make the most of every opportunity.
Always remember that your sales calling script is not a dictator. Encourage your reps to put their own flair and flavor into it as they get more comfortable with what’s on it. That will keep them from becoming automatons in their delivery.
Be sure to download our eBook Outbound Sales: 10 Strategies to Close More Deals, for even more strategies like this that will help your reps avoid robotic cold calls.
Why Create a Sales Script?
Your cold call script or sales calls script is more than words on a page. When given the proper time and attention during its creation, your script becomes a powerful tool to help your sales team meet and exceed their goals. Here are a few explicit benefits to having a well-planned script you should know.
1. No Fumbled Words
One of the biggest reasons why salespeople dislike cold calling is the feeling they get when they’re unable to connect with someone on the phone on a call. In those situations, they can begin to fumble words and it gets awkward.
When you create a sales calling script, your reps are less likely to have those awkward moments where they don’t know what to say. And, with the right script, they’ll know where they need to guide the conversation and what action the prospect needs to take at the end of the call.
2. You’ll Stay Prepared
A great cold calling script prepares for all responses, including rejection, and has a reply for each. With a script, you won’t need to waste time coming up with a response to your prospect’s questions, hesitations, or objections. You’ll have a plan that you can use without feeling flustered or unprepared.
A good sales development representative or account executive knows to present a genuine solution that address each prospect’s needs, pains, and interests. That’s where knowledge of the product comes into play. But a well-maintained sales call script also ensures your reps draw out the responses they need from the prospect.
3. Boost Confidence
Being prepared leads to increased confidence. Sometimes, salespeople resist cold calling because they don’t enjoy the feeling of vulnerability and unpreparedness when a curve ball is throw their way on a call.
So, provide your team with a thorough cold calling script that addresses as many of these curveballs as possible. That way, your reps can go into each call with increased confidence, which will only deepen with further experience.
4. Focus on Solutions
In the flow of conversation, it’s easy to lose focus on why you’re calling. A sales call script, whether it’s detailed or a basic, will keep your sales team focused on the ultimate goal for the call. That could be to qualify a lead, book a demo, or close a deal.
You can't advance the prospect through your sales cycle without credibly convincing them that your offering can address their pains and needs. A good script helps your team become problem solvers who create value for your prospects.
5. Save Time
A sales calling script will increase your team’s in-call efficiency, leaving less room for distractions and tangents. That, in turn, leads to an increasingly narrow funnel of qualification toward your call to action.
6. Reduce Mental Fatigue
Have you ever dialed a prospect and then forgot the reason for your call? It happens a lot, especially if you’re dialing dozens of potential leads each day.
There’s a reason for your lapse of memory: mental fatigue. But when you have a script, you don’t need to come up with a new spin on the same thing. You have a clear path and can just personalize the message based on the conversation and needs of the prospect.
How to Write a Sales Calling Script
Now that you understand the ins and outs of a cold calling script, let's dive into the specific tactics and best practices to keep in mind as you create your script.
Define the Reason for Your Cold Call
Before writing a sales script, first figure out why you’re calling. (Hint: It’s not about making a sale.) Your potential customer doesn’t trust you yet, so they’re not going to buy from you—yet.
The reason for any cold call is to qualify your prospect and advance the sales process to the next stage of your funnel. Write your script with that in mind.
Understand Your Target Audience
Identify your audience’s top pain points and use your script to highlight how you offer a credible solution to address these needs. If you're not solving a problem your audience wants solved, you can't expect to get to the next step, much less to a sale.
Research the Prospect
If you have the opportunity to learn more about the person you’re calling, take it. Explore their social media pages, check out their company’s website, and find out as much relevant context about them as you can. It never hurts to jot down the company’s mission and try to anticipate any gatekeepers you may come across during your cold calls.
At the start of your cold call script, state your name and the name of your company. But here’s the key to success: do it slowly. Not so slowly that you sound like an R&B singer, but slow enough the people understand what you’re saying and don’t ask you to repeat yourself. If it helps, make a clear notation in the script to go slow here.
Tell the Prospect What’s In It for Them
You have a reason for calling, so immediately tell the prospect what it is. Start by writing, “I’m calling because,” and then insert the reason for the cold call.
If you’ve built a targeted list, identified key pain points they want to fix, and outlined the benefits they want to achieve, you’ve opened the door to a fruitful conversation. For example, this part of your cold calling script might read:
"I'm calling because we help restaurants increase takeout orders by an average of 23% in 3 months, and I wanted to see if our platform might help grow this line of business for your restaurant."
You want to talk to people who are qualified and interested in the benefit your product or service provides. Asking questions is how you get there. On your sales calls script, follow your WIIFM (what's in it for me) opener with a list of potential questions to help qualify this interest or need.
One approach is to jump right into questions in your sales call script that sensibly follow your benefit. For example, you could ask:
"Are you doing any takeout orders today?"
Asking questions like this, that are designed to get a “Yes” response (known as the yes ladder technique), can be an effective way to qualify and start a productive conversation.
Another approach is to create a sales call script that asks prospects if they have time to answer a few questions to see if your offering might be a fit:
"Do you have a few minutes to answer some questions to see if our takeout program might be a fit for your restaurant?"
This positions you as someone who wants to create value by filling a genuine need. Keep in mind, if your reps are talking to people who don't have an interest, need, or problem to be solved, everyone's time is being wasted. Asking good questions in your scripts ensures your team engages with the right people.
Know Your CTA
You got the targeting right. You highlighted a key pain point or benefit that resonated with your audience. And you've answered questions that helped qualify your prospect as a potential fit.
What's next? Your team should know, and your sales calls script should be explicit on what the CTA is here.
Whether your reps need to nail down a demo, schedule other meetings, or send a contract, set expectations so the prospect is primed for your next touchpoint. Consider creating different segments of copy that can be easily swapped in and out of this part of your script depending on what stage of the sales cycle you’re in.
Plan for Objections
People will hesitate, equivocate, and downright dismiss you. But if they don't say, “Don’t ever call me again,” it’s not the end of the line. In your sales calling script, have some prepared lines to combat hesitation that have the potential to bring someone back into the realm of qualification.
For example, "You're not looking to increase the takeout side of your business?" might engender a "We are, but we've got a lot going on at the moment." Here, they’re not saying, “No.” They’re saying, “Not right now.”
When you anticipate objections in your cold call scripts, your reps can keep the doors open to a follow-up call or nurture cadence that brings the prospect back around in the future.
Have a Plan to Get Past the Gatekeeper
When you're making sales calls, there are administrative assistants, office managers, receptionists, and a host of others who may block your passage to a decision maker who can say, “Yes” to your proposal.
Remember, these gatekeepers are just doing their job. So, don’t think of them as enemies. Instead, create a sales call script that gets the gatekeeper on your side.
This is one more reason why researching a target can be helpful. You may learn something about a gatekeeper that can help prepare you or build a rapport with them. Then, after establishing a relationship with the gatekeeper, you’ll have easier access to the decision maker.
Be Prepared for Voicemail
Your calls are eventually going to end up at a prospect’s voicemail. There’s no getting around that. So, you need a solid voicemail script to ensure you leave the perfect message that encourages the action you want from your prospect.
You can create a script for your voicemails, pre-record them, and then drop them in one click as soon as you know you've reached voicemail. To increase callbacks, you can even send an email and a text message with this same click. Learn how PhoneBurner’s power dialer software makes this incredibly easy for your reps.
Free Cold Calling Script Template
To help start you on the path to creating the best cold calling script possible, we wanted to share a free cold calling script template here. If this seems simple, it’s by design.
Remember, your reps don’t have long to grab a prospect’s interest. You want to get down to business as quickly as possible:
Hello [lead's name]. This is [your name] with [your business].
I am calling because we help [kind of person/business you are targeting] to [achieve specific benefit/fix specific problem or pain point].
[Qualifying question or permission to ask qualifying questions to assess fit].
Use This Free Cold Calling Script Template as a Starting Point
Scripts are meant to be tweaked and adapted for particular campaigns, and to learn what works for a given list or situation. Plus, you’ll likely need to put in specifics around your own industry and product offerings.
You should test different concepts to see what works. And don’t be afraid to infuse some of your own flair, soul, and style into the script template.
Take this script for example, which has worked well for our own sales team at PhoneBurner. We use this when targeting a specific niche in which the contacts may or may not have heard of us before.
By design, the script immediately aims for a demo. While atypical, it frequently grabs interest in contacts who don't recall hearing of us and prompts a follow-up question where they ask us what we do.
Objective: To schedule a demo
Hey, this is [NAME] with PhoneBurner.
We haven't spoken before... the reason for my call is that I lead the outbound business development efforts at PhoneBurner, and I am reaching out to coordinate an introduction meeting at some point in the coming weeks.
Would you be open to meeting next ____ or _____?
Prospect: What is PhoneBurner?
We’re a power dialing solution that can boost team productivity by 4x without the awkward beep, pause, and delay that you get with traditional auto dialers. We also incorporate omni-channel touch points with voicemail drops, email and even SMS/Text messaging.
Do you have a direct sales team or are you selling primarily through channel partners?
We are working with other solar companies like Odin Energy helping them move from door knocking to dials.
Their team was able to create a brand-new phone sales process from scratch and generated over $500K in sales in just one week on our platform.
Does this sound like something you'd be open to learning more about in the next week or two?
Ok, how does your calendar look on over the next week, are you more of a morning person or an afternoon person?
30 Free Cold Calling Script Templates and Resources
You’ve seen the cold calling script templates we use at PhoneBurner, but we know variety is the spice of life. That’s why our team rounded up 30 resources to further help you create the best cold calling script possible for your team.
Created by our team at PhoneBurner, this eBook brings together insights, strategies, tactics, and advice from five cold calling experts:
- Greg Woodward, Founder and CEO of Woodward Strategies (Greg also does the sales training for us at PhoneBurner)
- Haylee Taylor, Senior Associate at ClozeLoop
- Dan Bigelow, CEO at Sandler Training Utah
- Jason Bay, Chief Prospecting Officer at Blissful Prospecting
- Josh Braun, Founder of Josh Braun Sales Training
The guide is filled with real-world examples from their careers spent helping sales teams master cold calling and outbound, including free cold calling script templates you can use. You’ll also learn the psychology behind outbound and how it impacts cold calling, what openers invite prospects to connect with your reps, and how to handle objections to keep prospects talking.
This is a quick read but it gives you the inside scoop on the basic structure of a cold-calling script. Sales leader Kent Holland shares some tips on how to keep the conversation fluid—and how to avoid getting hung up on.
HubSpot delivers a cold-calling script template and several variations designed for different situations. You’ll also find a free download of 10 sales call templates for outreach, and a video about cold-calling techniques that really work.
If you think your sales script needs some work, Michael Pedone, CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com, an online sales training company has your back! This article walks you through what to say, when to say it, qualifying questions, handling sales objections, and more.
You can get your hands on the script that Cognism's SDRs used to go from $0 to $4 million in ARR and 0 to 300+ customers in under 2 years. The accompanying training video breaks down how to tweak the script and increase your likelihood of success.
The Ultimate Guide to Cold Calling: Frameworks, Scripts, Tools, and Resources to Make You a Cold-Calling Pro (Part I)
This post gives you the 3 major reasons that salespeople fail at cold calling, tips to help you prepare for a cold call, scripts to use, and more. Sales pros will love the science-based hack that can help you stay motivated.
The Ultimate Guide to Cold Calling: Frameworks, Scripts, Tools, and Resources to Make You a Cold-Calling Pro (Part II)
Part 2 of Pouyan-Salehi’s ultimate guide has scripts and frameworks the author sourced from various places, magic words and phrases for cold calling, and how to scientifically test scripts. There’s even a section on how to get “in the zone” before your next sales call.
If you want to level up your cold-calling skills, you’ll love this guide. Anja Jeftovic shares common cold-calling mistakes, interesting statistics about cold calling, and the best time to make a cold call. You’ll also find proven cold-calling techniques that SDRs can use to make more effective cold calls.
Josh Slone lays out 12 cold-calling techniques, 10 sales statistics, and a 4-step framework for effective cold calls. This blog post is packed with tips you can use to get prepared for your next cold call.
If you’re looking for inspiration to develop a winning call script, Pipedrive has you covered. In this post, you will find a boatload of cold-calling scripts. There are scripts for B2B, SaaS, and real estate. Plus, you can get a script to help bypass gatekeepers and even tips to help with your account-based marketing efforts.
At the time of this writing, 231,836 people have checked out Jenny Keohane's epic blog post so far and it’s not hard to see why. She includes tips on how to turn cold calls into booked meetings, research-backed cold-calling tips, and advice on preparation and prospecting.
You can also score your own pre-call research checklist, sales call scripts, and a spreadsheet you can use to calculate how many cold calls you need to hit your monthly quota.
Sales pro Derek Jankowski delivers the goods in this blog post. You’ll find an example of his company’s cold-calling process along with cold call openers and cold-calling scripts.
Derek also teaches a sales technique called question stacking you can use while talking with prospects to get the information you need to set an appointment.
Mailshake co-founder Sujan Patel tapped experienced sales leaders to find out what goes into a successful sales script. He also shares cold-calling tips, best practices for creating your cold-calling script, and a couple ways to redirect common sales objections.
There’s plenty of valuable information here that will help you develop your own unique sales script.
In this video, Marc Wayshak of Sales Insights Lab — also the author of 25 Tips to Crush Your Sales Goal! — breaks down how to make a sales call that closes the deal. Wayshak has the proof to back up his advice. He also tells salespeople what not to do saying, “The data shows that when salespeople talk about themselves or their own companies, they do significantly worse with prospects.”
George Rowlands tapped his customer success team to bring you cold-calling best practices, a winning cold-call structure, and several cold-calling scripts. In this blog post, you’ll find some tips and tricks for maximizing your chances of success like how to do pre-call research. As a bonus, you can also download NetHunt's “Sizzling-Hot Guide to Cold Sales Emails.”
You’re almost guaranteed to find a sales-call script that will be helpful in this guide from Rovva. They’ve done their homework and come up with 30 cold-calling scripts you can use to drive sales.
Because no sales call is the same, there is something here for almost every situation a sales rep might face.
SalesIntel has scripts for outreach, discovery, asking for introductions, following up, and more. You’ll want to personalize these scripts but you will save some time since you won’t have to start from scratch.
With these templates in your arsenal, it's pretty hard to go wrong.
Melissa Williams’ doozy of a blog post has a template you can grab plus call script do’s and don'ts, a sample sales call script outline, and a 3-part formula you can bake into your sales call scripts to overcome prospects' objections.
She also shares helpful insights like the right time to call based on an analysis of over 25,000 calls. You’ll be glad you read this one.
If you want to improve your sales performance, block out 24 minutes to read Kashyap Trivedi’s article on cold calling. In addition to giving you 15 cold-calling scripts, Kashyap covers the essential elements of a cold-call script and different use-cases for the various scripts.
This cold-calling guide is value-packed. The Sell To Win Team delivers cold-calling scripts and tips from the experts. Plus you’ll find popular qualifying methods sales reps can use during cold calls, example questions to ask on sales calls, the 4 pillars of prequalifying, and red flags to avoid.
Anastasiia Holovnenko's guide on the CIENCE blog answers all of your cold-calling questions. There's tons of good stuff in this resource from the components of a good cold-calling script to cold-calling scripts that work.
If you’re looking to improve your sales conversations, the cold-calling tips from sales pros included here will be invaluable. Holovnenko also covers the 12 principles of outbound and how to get phone numbers for cold calling.
Chorus.ai analyzed more than 1 million cold calls and now they’re presenting their findings along with some tips and cold-calling scripts you can use. I have a feeling that once you start reading you’ll see some things that interest you.
In addition to the scripts and tips, you’ll find solid advice on the fundamentals of cold calling and information you can use to overcome obstacles and objections.
Ryan Reisert, Founder of Phone Ready Leads™, hosts a streaming show on LinkedIn called Cold Calls Live. In it, he cold calls prospects and has conversations with them live for his audience to listen in on. After the calls, Ryan will dissect what went well, what could have been better, and what he’ll attempt to do on the next dial.
There are usually successful cold callers and outbound salespeople on his show to help with the calls and coach him in real-time. Often, they’ll even share scripts and free cold calling templates they use in their own day to day activity. Check out his YouTube channel for past episodes.
According to Erika Granath, “Salespeople need a new type of sales scripts and to completely change their way of using them.” Granath explores 3 key strategies you can use to improve the effectiveness of your sales script.
You’ll want to pay close attention because out of every 100 calls, Vainu’s salespeople book 8.5 meetings on average. Since every third call is usually answered, their hit rate from conversations to booked meetings is just over 25%. And when you’re following a cold-call script that works, the sky’s the limit.
If you want to know what to do — and what not to do — when writing your cold-call script, check this article out.
Joseph Alzein shares what he learned making thousands of cold calls to secure around $28K of MRR in 3 months. He also talks about how his company built their 6-figure cold-call script. You’ll see what Alzein calls, “the same structure that has my cold-call closing rate at 6.3% (according to our CRM) over the past 6 months.”
Entrepreneur and corporate strategist Greg Woodward, Founder of Woodward Strategies, has expertise in outbound that’s favored by many of the fastest growing companies and largest private equity firms, has a solution. In fact, he works directly with our own sales team here at PhoneBurner.
In this post, he discusses how to eliminate the struggle between sales reps and executive assistants. Further, he shares a free cold calling script that’s targeted specifically at gatekeepers. If used right, it can turn them into fierce advocates.
After watching Grant Cardone closing clients over the phone, Leon Shi decided to deconstruct one of Heath Powell’s sales calls. Powell is the Sales & Marketing Manager at Cardone Training Technologies. Leon transcribed the call and breaks down Powell’s sales approach in this Medium article.
Speaking of Grant Cardone — because, as he says, “You have to have a script,” —Cardone wrote a blog post tackling everything cold calling related. You’ll learn about creating your cold-call script, the benefits to cold calling, and the things you need to do before calling.
There are actual live sales call sales training videos you can watch to learn even more about successful cold calling.
Content Marketing Specialist Mary Clare Novak packs a lot of value into one blog post. She has compiled 12 sales-call script examples you can use in different scenarios. Novak’s scripts cover everything from leaving a voicemail to trying to generate referrals.
You need a specialized cold call script for when your calls go to a prospect’s voicemails. Leaving a well-planned, detailed voicemail can score your reps a callback, and it won’t diminish your efforts for future calls to the same prospect.
Use this free voicemail script template to ensure you’re captivating your prospects so they listen to your entire voicemail, and then follow through on your CTA with a callback or note.
Create the Best Cold Calling and Sales Calls Scripts Possible
When your team makes a sales call, it’s crucial that they go into that call armed with every advantage possible. Cold calling scripts are an often overlooked, but critically important, tool that your reps need to have at their disposal.
Spend time together as a team outlining the best sales scripts you can, empower senior reps to create their own scripts, and draw inspiration from sales script examples in this blog post to refine yours. That way, when you a prospect throws an objection at your reps, tries to push them off the phone, or attempts to shut down the conversation before it begins, they’ll be ready.
Make sure you download our eBook Outbound Sales: 10 Strategies to Close More Deals if you want to learn how to take your cold call script and put it into practice on the calls themselves. You’ll get advice for how to avoid robotic script deliveries, how to quickly engage prospects, and so much more.