So what is it exactly about cold calling that makes it so tough?

Conventional wisdom says it’s the rejection. And it’s certainly tough to hear no all the time.

But even more demoralizing, I think, is the notion that you’re wasting people’s time. You’re interrupting them, imposing on their busy schedule, taking them away from something that’s important — all to get what YOU want: a sale.

And your mother raised you better than that.

Your mother would want you to use a cold-calling script, because it respects your prospect’s time. It’s not even a selling tool; it’s a time management tool for you and your prospects. It’s designed to help you determine, as quickly and efficiently as possible, whether there’s a reason for you and the prospect to engage in a lengthier conversation.

An effective script efficiently communicates three things to your prospect:

  1. Who you are
  2. Why you’re calling
  3. What’s in it for the customer

Number one is a gimme. (You DO know who you are, right?) Numbers two and three are more challenging, because that’s when customers are going to decide whether this conversation is worth continuing, at least for a few more minutes. So you don’t want to wing it. Every word matters, and should be honed, tested, revised and revised again based on what’s worked in the past. Once you’ve come up with a winner, you want to stick with it.

Too impersonal, you say? Too one-size-fits all?

Well, how could it be otherwise? After all, this is a cold call. You don’t know your prospects from Adam. You don’t know their needs and motivations. So you need to quickly get to the part of the conversation where you can learn more.

That’s all a cold-calling script has to do. Once you get past those first few seconds and begin to engage, you can throw it out the window. (Actually, don’t do that. You’ll need it for your next call.)

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