Effective cold calling goes beyond picking up the phone and making contact. Benjamin Dennehy suggests you forget the phone etiquette you’ve learned: do not introduce yourself, tell the prospect it’s a cold call, and explain you only need 30 seconds and after that, they can choose to continue the conversation or end it.

A Killer Cold Call Script to Get You Appointments

Do you introduce yourself at the start of a sales call? If so, Benjamin Dennehy says you’re doing it WRONG. Sure, your mother may have told you it was rude to not introduce yourself, but starting with, “Hi, my name is Darryl, and I’m calling from VanillaSoft,” is only going to cause your prospect to start thinking of ways to get off the phone.

Benjamin Dennehy, a.k.a. The UK’s Most Hated Sales Trainer, spoke with us on Episode 3 of Inside: Inside Sales, where we talked about Prospecting vs. Selling. He shared his cold calling strategy, revealing his script and other valuable tips. Tune into the podcast or keep reading to start engaging your prospects in conversations they will find hard to resist.

Use this Script

In Benjamin’s experience as a sales trainer, he’s been exposed to all the mistakes salespeople are making. The biggest one? When a sales professional focuses on how great he or she is at the start of the call. “You can’t phone up a stranger and talk to them about you. It doesn’t work.”

His advice to not introduce yourself may come as a shock to many, but Benjamin says it works.

The first thing Benjamin recommends is to reveal to your prospect that this is a cold call, and then ask the individual if he or she wants to end the call right there. This blatant honesty is not what a prospect expects to hear — it lowers the person’s guard.

If the prospect agrees to continue, the individual will ask what you’re trying to sell. You just need to ask for 30 seconds of his or her time. Let the prospect know that, “By the end of those 30 seconds, we can either keep speaking, or we can hang up. Does that sound fair?” In most cases, they will agree to give you 30 seconds. Benjamin says this is a form of bonding – you’ve initiated the call with honesty and you’re letting the prospect feel in control.

During that 30-second time slot, talk about the world of your typical customers. Cover three key pain points they typically deal with and ask your prospect if any of those pain points apply to their business. By focusing on typical customer pain points, you have a better chance of keeping the prospect engaged because you’ve demonstrated insight into and empathy for his or her problems.

Next, ask the prospect to pick the pain point that they want to fix first. At this point, your 30 seconds will be up, so you should now question if the person wants to continue the call.

From here you’ll ask a series of questions to qualify the lead.

  • Can you provide any specifics or examples of this problem?
  • When did you recognize it as a problem?
  • What have you done to fix it?
  • How much has this problem cost you?
  • Have you given up trying to fix this?

After asking your qualifying questions, you still might not have enough information to solve their problem. If this is the case, let them know, but also mention how you’ve helped similar companies in this industry with the same issue. Then ask for a meeting.

Using this approach creates an intriguing conversation to pique a prospect’s interest and land you an appointment.

Even without revealing your name, you can gain the trust of your prospect and position yourself for a meeting. As Benjamin said, your job as a salesperson “is never to give away any information, it’s to gather it.” Your job is to ask questions and listen until the timing is right for you to present a solution.

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