We invest a lot of time sharing content aimed at the various facets of digital marketing – the strategies, its importance, and even new trends in the field. And while the Vimagery Team still places a lot of emphasis on the engagement process, we'd be remiss if we didn’t also stress how important it is to close prospects into paying clients.
Your digital marketing strategies can do a lot to source you qualified leads and turn these strangers into an interested audience, but we have to face the fact that, one way or another, you'll get to a point where you will need to pick up that phone and make a few sales calls. After all, it is you and your services that you are selling, so it's integral that your potential clients hear from you directly.
The digital marketing initiatives that you have could land you the best list of names, and it can even minimize your labor in terms of nurturing these leads. But if you're not good in making sales call, you might end up losing these potential clients, and therefore wasting all the marketing effort you have invested up to that point.
This is why it's highly important that you are equipped with a well-structured sales script before you conduct your sales calls.
What is cold calling?
After having a refined list, you'll have to reach out to these people. If you've never spoken to these contacts before, then this outreach is often considered a cold call.
A cold call is basically the process of reaching out to an individual whom you've never contacted before. You engage in these calls with the intention of selling your service to a potential client.
A typical cold call may sound like this:
Sales Rep: Hi. This is [Name] from [company]. [Silence] So, how's it going with you? I'm calling to offer you our [services]. I’m glad I caught you.
Prospect: I'm actually in the middle of something...
Sales Rep: Are you interested in setting an appointment so we can discuss our services in more detail tomorrow? We've worked with a lot of other [people like prospect] before, and you might find our services useful.
Prospect: Sorry. We're not interested.
Sales Rep: Can I talk to a decision maker? Just give us a few minutes and you'll see the value of our services. Unless you have budget restrictions...
Prospect: *hangs up*
You're probably having a good laugh right now with what you just read, and with good reason too. But you'll be surprised how many sales calls take this route resulting in numerous missed opportunities.
A lot of sales people think that they can just wing it over the phone as reading from a script tends to sound unnatural and insincere. And we couldn't agree more. You really shouldn't be reading from a script during these calls. However, preparing a script before you conduct these calls equips you with the best questions and lines to say or ask.
How To Write An Effective Script
1. Identify which vertical this script is for. While sales scripts serve as very good guides for call flow, there isn’t one script that can do the trick for all potential clients. That being said, you'll need to create multiple scripts for different situations, and the first part of doing such is to identify which vertical a specific script would serve. Think about our previous clients and which among them have been great for your business. Examine them and look for common attributes. This helps you in identifying the verticals you'd like this script to target. Let's say you're an architect and your verticals are home interior and office spaces, or maybe it's landscape and urban planning. Having this specified gives you a basis for performing the second step.
2. Filter through your leads. If you have properly cultivated your audience and converted the right audience members into interested prospects, for sure you have a ton of names on your list. However, you wouldn't want to use the same script for all of them. So the next step is for you to filter through your leads and check which ones are more likely to have a need for the verticals you've identified. Among the numerous names that you may call, select around 15-20 names that fit your criteria. Once you have them, make sure to dive into their characters through the next step.
3. Research each prospect. It would really be a lot easier if you just go ahead and rang the names on those list, but believe us when we say that would normally result in challenges with regard to developing and maintaining rapport with your prospect. The better investment of your time is to write out your script. When writing an effective script, make sure that you conduct, at the very least, shallow research about your prospects.
Go on LinkedIn and try to find some useful information about your prospects. Where do they work? What does their company do? Have you encountered clients from a similar company? Doing this will provide you with an arsenal of information which may come in handy with building rapport and making your prospects comfortable throughout your sales call.
Now that you have these prerequisites down, you may now start drafting an outline of your sales script. Remember that this script isn't meant to be followed word for word, but should serve as a guide on how the conversation should flow so you may drive your potential client towards deciding to acquire your services.
How To Create A Sales Call Script
Your sales script should at least have these 3 major elements.
1. Self-introduction. These people may not know exactly who you are. They may have heard of your company, but not necessarily you as a person, and so it is important to begin your call with an introduction of yourself and where you work. A simple statement like "Hi, this is [Name] from [your company]." could already set you off to a good start. Make sure to sound vibrant and confident as you deliver your introduction so as to set a good tone for your call.
It is important to remember that these people might be trying to place you in their minds as they first hear your introduction. How do you know them? Have they worked with you before? This is why you need to give your prospects ample time to recall how you know them before proceeding to the next step.
2. Rapport building. When prospects detect that they're going to be sold to, they immediately put a guard up and more often than not, this results tin rejection even before hearing and understanding your offer. This highlights the importance of rapport building.
Mention a few facts about them that you gathered from your research and throw them questions about it. Ask about the university they went to, or about how they got started at the company they're currently working. Get them to talk about themselves and try to show them that you are familiar with them and their company. If they seem receptive, throw them some follow up questions. Eventually, they'll be the one to ask the purpose of your call.
3. Use of a positioning statement. Most cold callers try to pitch their services right away, making the call about them and their company. This can be much of a let-down for your prospects. Try to position the call by letting them know subtly that you work with similar companies and that you understand their challenges. Doing so encourages them to talk about their pain points and objectives and gives you an opportunity to present where your firm can help them.
It's all about them and their concerns and what you can offer to alleviate these pain points they have. Eventually, they'll be more open and comfortable in providing you valuable information that could be very strong foundations for your sales pitch.
Of course, these scripts won't do the job for you. They are only there to guide you with your call flow, and you are still the one carrying the entire conversation. So to ensure that you'll have fruitful outcomes from your calls, here are some tips you should be practicing as well.
Effective Cold Calling
1. Practice your script. You don't want to sound like you're reciting memorized sentences during your call, but practicing your script gets you more familiar with the direction you want to take the call. By knowing your call flow and script by heart, you'll be able to think on your feet more effectively should your prospect throw you questions that you didn't foresee.
2. Focus on your goal. Always remember that cold calling intends to get your prospects interested so they agree to the next step in your specific sales cycle – a meeting, a purchase, etc. By always reminding yourself of this goal, you'll be able to stay on track as the call progresses.
3. Ask open-ended questions. Yes or no questions are conversation killers so, by all means, avoid asking them. Keep in mind that you need to keep your prospects interested in the call so ask them open-ended questions that prompt them to elaborate about themselves and their experiences.
4. Listen to your prospect. Just to put emphasis, cold calls are all about your prospects. So make sure they know you are listening to them. Building rapport may sometimes lead you to different topics, especially if the prospect is receptive to chatting, but really pay attention to things they are saying. When appropriate, try to repeat what they've mentioned earlier or clarify things. This makes your prospects feel that you really care about what they say and that you are indeed listening.
5. Improve your script over time. As your business grows and evolves, your cold call techniques should follow suit. Every once in a while, make sure to assess the scripts you've used. Which ones are effective and which ones need some fine tuning. Schedule a 'call review' with your sales team and assess how you can improve the existing scripts you have.
6. Have a “close” in mind. Related to item no. 2, always make sure that each call has a goal. It may be big or small depending on how each conversation goes, but make sure that whenever you pick that phone up, you have a 'close' in mind. It could be as simple as a request to extend the call for another 5 minutes, or scheduling a follow up call within the week. Whatever it is, ensure that each contact you make with a prospect achieves a goal that brings you closer to closing the deal.
Digital marketing strategies are just one part of the puzzle. Effective sales scripts help to fill out the missing pieces. While digital marketing strategies have the potential to provide you with a lot of convenience in lead generation and nurturing, getting in touch with your prospects is still one of the most important steps in closing a deal. This is where most digital marketing agencies stop. They hand you a list of nurtured leads and let you take over the closing process without any support on how to reach out with your prospects.
If you want a better way, click here to see if you qualify for a Vimagery Strategy Session. Together, we can help you to gain an unfair advantage regarding your efforts to cultivate, convert, and close new clients in the weeks and months ahead.