outbound sales cold calls

Outbound Sales Series: How to Cold Call B2B Leads (With Sales Script Examples)

19 July 2021

Picking up the phone to get a stranger to say “yes” can be a daunting, high-risk, high-reward sales tactic because unlike other outbound sales strategies, cold calling is live. 

And whether you get stung with rejection or experience a leap-out-your seat win, results happen in real-time - leaving very little room for error. 

Oh, and while you try to avoid melting into a pool of nervous sweat when talking to prospects, you also need to strike a balance between persuasive and conversational. 

cold call nervous reaction

So...what should you say on a cold sales call? 

In this installment of the outbound sales series, I’ll share cold call sales scripts and advanced tips to help you generate more B2B leads over the phone. 

Note: Prospect not ready for a sales pitch?  Try Leadfeeder free for 14 days to identify and target only qualified leads.

1. Start with a strong introduction 

Ever picked up a call and heard something like, “Hello this John blurgh from blurbrugh co.”? 

It’s downright disorienting, and if you do continue the conversation, your first response is often “Sorry, who are you again?”

Not exactly a strong start to a cold call, right? 

To immediately grab attention, exude confidence from the start of your call. Don’t yell your company name, but don’t mumble it either. Be clear and articulate. 

This is tough and takes practice, as you’ll naturally want to dive right into your pitch. So force yourself to slow down. 

After introducing yourself with, "This is [name] from [company]," pause for 4-8 seconds.

This allows the prospect to actually process what you’ve said. At the same time, your confident, friendly tone maintains interest by hinting that they might know or remember you. 

2. Establish a connection before pitching

After introducing yourself, build rapport with a conversational question before you ask your prospect for anything. 

This personalizes your interaction and instantly sets you apart from the hordes of insta-pitch cold callers who are destined to get rejected in the first 15 seconds. 

This light touch of personalization is critical as poor personalization, weak timing, and tone-deaf messaging are the main reasons why prospects ignore sales reps. 

Some rapport-building questions you can ask are: 

  • I read your post on LinkedIn about your new role. Congratulations! How is it going so far? 

  • I see that you’ve studied [subject] at [university name], how was it? 

  • So you’ve been a [job role] at [prospect’s company name] for 5 years? I’m impressed, how did you manage to get that far so quickly? 

A good question will trigger a flash of recognition and lure your prospect into a conversation. If they’re receptive, follow them up and take it further. For example, if they respond with:

It took a lot of work and a few white hairs to sit in the seat I’m now in, but my mentor, [mentors name], was a huge help,” you can reply with: 

Thanks for sharing that. I’m also looking to [reach position prospect is at], can I reach out to him and mention that I’ve spoken to you

3. Use your USP to deliver a persuasive pitch

With the conversational intro and light-hearted chuckles out the way, your prospect will eventually ask you to explain why you’re calling. 

Before you answer, have your USP ready, and acknowledge that your prospect is probably working with a competitor, or has a list of competitors they’re considering. 

Your USP quickly shows your prospect that you understand their industry, their challenges and their company. Here’s what this might look like in your script: 

I work for [your company’s name] and I noticed that you’re using [competitor’s product]. 

On the surface, our [product] is similar to [competitor’s product]. But it’s built with [the prospect’s industry/vertical] in mind. Our customers’ tell us that we’re better with:

  • [key USP and differentiator]

  • [key USP and differentiator]

Considering your industry and customer base. We might be a more cost-effective and cohesive fit for HR and training companies looking to increase their enterprise client base. Does that sound like you? 

Talking about your prospect’s challenges means you're going against the grain - most cold callers will just shamelessly sing their company’s praise here. 

You, on the other hand, are talking about them and asking questions they’ll answer “yes” to. This builds momentum and empowers your cold call with a persuasive close. 

Finally, follow these advanced tips to optimize your cold calls 

While the script above guides you on what to say and the right messaging to include in your cold call, it doesn’t tell you how to say it. To optimize every cold call you make: 

Smile while you dial. Research shows that smiling reduces stress and alters speech to the point where the sound of your voice can feel friendlier to listeners. 

Cut any fluff out your pitch. Just like you, your prospect has 101 things to do. Respect their time by removing “fluff” from your script.

fluff info overload reaction

Gauge your prospect’s interest. During your call, prospects will give cues like: 

  • Asking more questions

  • Talking about their problems

  • Or venting their frustrations 

Use these cues to decide when to deliver your USP or guide the conversation towards the call to action. 

Record your cold calls. Use an external call tracking/deal intelligence software like Gong.io to track your cold calls, the language that prospects use, and gradually improve your script.

The secret to cold calling for B2B leads

Cold calling B2B leads doesn’t have to a high-volume and low reward endeavor. And if you’re targeting a list of pre-qualified leads, there’s no need to feel nervous.

Because contrary to what most reps think, you don’t need “the gift of the gab” or sleazy sales tactics to close.

You just need to strike a genuine conversation that builds rapport and explains how your product or service is useful. That’s it.

Following the script and advance steps above, you can close more B2B leads with calls that feel less interruptive and more like casual conversations that benefit the prospect.

Note: Prospect not ready for a sales pitch? Try Leadfeeder free for 14 days to identify and target only qualified leads.

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