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Sales Tactics : 14 min read

7 Cold Calling Script Ideas to Get Appointments

If you aren’t thrilled about cold calling, you definitely aren’t alone.

Because there’s plenty that can go wrong when you hop on the phone with a total stranger.

Immediate rejection. (Here’s how to deal with that.) Stumbling over your words. The list goes on and on.

That said, cold calling isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. To help you smash that looming sense of anxiety and start closing more deals over the phone, it might be time to rethink your approach to cold calling itself.

Rather than waste your time on lengthy calls that go nowhere, how about trying shorter, to-the-punch calls that focus on scoring future appointments?

This approach to cold calling goes hand in hand with the Relationship Era, allowing reps to make personal connections with prospects ASAP and worry about selling after the fact.

To help you get started, we’ve put together some cold calling scripts to get appointments, including:

Try these seven cold calling scripts to get appointments.

Instead of relying on a single, one-size-fits-all pitch, having a variety of cold calling scripts available means that you’re less likely to be caught off-guard.

The beauty of these scripts is that they can be used across various verticals and adapted to your specific situation as a salesperson.

Maybe you have little more than a name and a phone number for a particular prospect.

Or perhaps you’re totally new to cold calling.

Don’t sweat it. Even if you don’t follow these scripts to a T, they can still serve as some much-needed inspiration for how to handle modern cold calling—and put together a script of your own.

1. The “‘I noticed…’”

Who’s it for? Reps who’ve had the opportunity to do their homework on prospects via social media or a Google search.

“Hey there, this is [your name] from [your company]. How are you today?"

[Pause]

Option A: "I’m reaching out because I noticed that you recently became [role] at [prospect’s company] - congrats! How are you digging the position so far?"

Option B: "I noticed that [prospect’s company] is currently hiring for [role] and wanted to reach out. Is [role/department] something that you’ve been struggling with or is [prospect’s company] just changing things up?"

Option C: "I noticed your recent [comment/mention] via [company/industry content] and wanted to get in touch. Out of curiosity, how long have you been working in [industry]?“

Based on their response and level of interest, you can introduce your product and a specific feature or benefit of your product to keep the conversation moving.

“I wanted to explore the possibility of [your company] and [prospect’s company] working together. How about we set up an appointment for this week to talk about [your product]? Let’s see what I have open…”

Why it works: This script puts your call into context and is open-ended. Here you aren’t just calling out of the blue: you’re giving a thoughtful, valid reason for your outreach. The fact that you’ve taken the time to research your prospect shows that your call is indeed intended for them.

2. The “pain point”

Who’s it for? Reps who are selling a product that solves a single, measurable pain point. Prime for those in the B2B and/or SaaS space.

“Hi, this is [your name] at [your company]. How are you doing?"

[Pause]

"I saw that you work at [prospect’s company] and really wanted to get in touch.

We work with both up-and-comers and established companies in [industry] to help with [industry-specific pain point]. On average, we’re able to [save/reduce/help] our clients [data point/percentage/dollar amount related to pain point] per [time period]."

Option A: "Out of curiosity, how are you currently dealing with [pain point]?"

Option B: "If you don’t mind my asking, do you currently use any other solutions to deal with [pain point]?”

Option C: "Could you tell me a little bit about [prospect’s company]’s approach to [pain point]?”

And then based on your their response…

“Honestly, [our company] has just the thing that can help with that. Let’s set up an appointment and I can break down exactly how [your product] deals with [pain point]. Let me pull up my calendar…”

Why it works: Many pain points, such as the pressing need to save more time or money, are universal. Tapping into your prospects’ desires signals that you understand them, and more importantly, that you could be their helping hand. Here you can paint yourself as the “good guy” and not a random salesperson.

3. “Spot the decision-maker”

Who’s it for? Reps who aren’t 100% sure they’re reaching out to a decision-maker or gatekeeper.

“Hey there. I’m [your name] from [your company]."

[Pause]

"This is [prospect’s company], correct?"

[Pause]

"Okay, awesome. I’m trying to get in contact with [role] for [prospect’s company]. I searched around on [company website or social media] but still wasn’t 100% sure if I had the right number or not.

Oh, and who am I speaking with, by the way? Wanted to make sure that I got your name—sorry about that."

[Pause]

If you’re speaking with the decision-maker, they’ll let you know. If not, you’ve diffused the tension and can guide yourself toward the right person.

“Excellent, pleased to meet you! I wanted to see about setting up a quick appointment to talk about [your product].”

Why it works: This script remains positive whether you’re in touch with the proper point of contact or not. You obviously want to be on friendly terms with anyone you reach out to even if they can’t help you immediately. Once you confirm that you’re in contact with a decision-maker, you can pivot towards your pitch to schedule an appointment.

4. The “straight shooter”

Who’s it for? Reps who have little knowledge of their prospect(s) or are otherwise pressed for time.

“Hey there, [prospect name]. This is [your name] from [your company], how are you doing today?"

[Pause]

"It’s my understanding that [prospect’s company] might be looking for a way to solve [pain point] and I honestly think [your company] and [prospect’s company] would be a great fit.

I figured that we could set up a quick appointment to discuss [mutual goals related to the industry] and how we might be able to help each other out. How about [suggest a time to meet].”

Why it works: You may be surprised at how many people appreciate someone who gets straight to the point. This script puts your prospect first in the sense that you respect their time and intelligence, making your intentions known from the word “go.”

5. The “friendly referral”

Who’s it for? Reps who are reaching out to prospects via a referral who hasn't had the chance to warm up the relationship for you.

“Hey there, this is [your name] from [your company]. How are you?"

[Pause]

"I wanted to reach out because [referral] recommended that we get in touch. Did [referral] have a chance to talk to you about [your company] or the possibility of working together?"

[Pause]

"Gotcha. Out of curiosity, how do you know [referral]?”

From here, you can gauge where to take the conversation based on how well you and your prospect know your referral. If you’re both close friends with the referral in question, you have a chance to take things in a more light-hearted direction. If not, you may want to move toward a more general pitch based on what you learn from the conversation.

Why it works: This script feels more like a friendly conversation than a traditional sales call. Here you have the freedom to get to know your prospect, crack jokes, and ask questions to help let their guard down. Doing so lets them see as you a person first and a salesperson second.

6. The “say ‘yes’”

Who’s it for? Reps who have ample knowledge of their prospect’s company or industry and their respective pain points.

“Hey there, this is [your name] from [your company]. How are you doing?

I’m reaching out today because it’s my understanding that [prospect’s company] might be in need of assistance for [pain point - ex: more leads, less wasted time, saving money, etc]."

[Pause]

"Let me ask you something…"

Option A: "Is [prospect’s company] on track to surpass its [industry metric - leads, traffic, revenue, etc] goal for this year?"

Option B: "Did [prospect’s company] do anything differently this year in response to [pain point - industry regulation, new competitor, etc]?"

For either question, your prospect will want to say “yes” to signal that their company is competent and capable of keeping up with the rest of your industry. You can then encourage your prospect to clarify their response, allowing you to learn more about their situation and how your product could help.

And if their response is “no,” simply move toward booking an appointment to learn how you can help them solve the problem you just made them aware of.

Why it works: This script encourages your prospect to nod in agreement and build a sense of curiosity. By saying “yes,” you and your prospect find common ground that could lead to an appointment.

7. The “old reliable”

Who’s it for? Reps who are new to cold calling or feel most comfortable following a general, looser script.

"Hello [prospect's name], my name is [your name]. I work for [your company] and we [what your company does].

I saw that [prospect's company] has been [describe something that relates their company to your product or service, or why they would be interested]."

Example: “I saw that [prospect’s company] has been producing a lot of new content lately—I actually came across one of your ads on Facebook yesterday."

[Pause]

"Mind telling me more about some of the [main challenges or something you'd like to find out more about]?"

Example: “Mind telling me more about how those campaigns are performing?"

[Pause]

"Thanks for the clarification—perhaps we could set up an appointment to see how [your company] could help with those challenges [more clicks, more conversions, etc]?”

Why it works: Serving as a variation on our cold calling script example, this particular script promotes positive calls that translate to appointments. The simple “intro-leading question-close” approach is easy to follow and seamlessly guides your prospect from Point A to Point B.

Pro-tip

Crush your quota.

Learn about the 7 habits rep should cultivate to close deals + crush quotas.

How to adapt your cold calling scripts to get appointments:

Now that you have some scripts under your belt, it’s time to think about how you’re going to put them into action.

Remember: no two cold calls are the same.

Although scripts are invaluable for streamlining your calls and hitting sales quotas, keep in mind that prospects are always going to throw you curveballs.

Objections. Off-the-wall questions. No matter what you’re selling, a bit of preparation and the right mindset can completely change the outcome of your calls.

To help make the most of your conversations, we’ve put together some general tips to adapt your cold calling scripts to get appointments. If you want your cold calls to go more smoothly, follow the following principles.

Sell the appointment, not the product

This is the big one.

During a cold call, it may be tempting to dive into a laundry list of product features or benefits.

However, doing so could very well make your prospects tune out.

Your job isn’t to sell your product over the phone: it’s to create enough curiosity to the point where they’re hungry to learn more. That’s the whole point of the appointment, right?

Instead of a long-winded pitch, try to stick to a single feature, benefit, or pain point that would be relevant to your prospect and be most likely to drive them to want to learn more.

Ex: “Most of our customers found [unique feature] to be the most helpful for their business...

Ex: “Out of curiosity, how much time/money is [prospect’s company] spending on [industry pain point] per quarter?”

When in doubt, keep it simple. Denise Stephan of Crunchbase notes that reps should master a 15-second pitch for the sake of brevity during cold calls. Although you may not be able to sell a product within such a small time frame, chances are you can pique somebody’s interest.

This mentality ultimately makes your job easier as it directs your conversations towards the singular goal of making an appointment. This helps you avoid a lengthy Q&A session on the phone and that’s likely to go off the rails.

A little research goes a long way

There’s a common thread between most of our cold calling scripts to get appointments:

Personalization

A thoughtful, personalized pitch is more likely to help you score an appointment than sticking to a totally generic script. Even if someone gets the sense that you’re trying to sell them something (hint: give your prospects some credit), they can at least appreciate the fact that you made the effort to do your homework beforehand.

Consider the sort of research you can conduct in under a minute that will lead to talking points and details to help you win appointments.

For example, a quick Google search can confirm someone’s role at a company in addition to their social profiles:

google search example

LinkedIn and Twitter can be a treasure trove of information to support your cold calls. This includes company roles, milestones, and recent content that could clue you in on something you can help them with.

There are also a number of third-party tools out there which you can use to supplement your cold calling efforts. For example, tools such as Skrapp can find a LinkedIn user’s email address and confirm company roles based on the addresses you already have.

skrapp search example

The few seconds it takes to research prospects or confirm your information could be make-or-break during your cold-calls. In other words, it’s time well spent.

Adopt an assumptive mentality

As noted earlier, effective cold calling requires a specific mindset.

Think about it. When you approach a cold call, do you assume the worst? Do you assume that you’re going to fall flat or get hung up on within seconds?

If so, might want to rethink your mentality toward cold calling (or your prospecting tactics).

The concept of assumptive selling can make a massive difference in the quality of your calls. Assumptive selling means approaching your cold-calls with two assumptions:

  1. Your product is beneficial and relevant to whoever you’re on the phone with.
  2. Your prospect is ready and willing to make an appointment with you.

The idea here isn’t to act like a brick wall, but to speak to your prospects with a sense of confidence that’s almost infectious.

For example, let’s say you’re using one of our cold calling scripts to get appointments. Instead of asking what time and date works best for them, you take the wheel and start by suggesting a date and time on their behalf.

Ex: "It looks like I have this Wednesday and Thursday open between 10:00 AM and noon. How does that sound?"

If they say “yes,” you’re golden.

And if they say “no?” Assumptive selling means that they aren’t saying “no” to the appointment, but the time suggested.

Ex: “Okay, what about Friday afternoon, then? Or better yet, what does your schedule look like?”

Assumptive selling can give your prospects a push by putting your enthusiasm front-and-center. It might sound like fluff, but ask yourself: would you rather stay on the phone with someone who sounded half-asleep or someone who was passionate about a product?

Make the extra effort to be personable

Cold calling isn’t just a numbers game and your prospects are more than just names on a list.

So don’t talk to your prospects like a robot: try to find opportunities to make a personal connection wherever possible. This might require some research, but these details might also come up naturally during your conversations with prospects.

Ex: “Oh, you used to work at [prospect’s former company]? Do you happen to know [referral]? Funny story about [referral]...”

Ex: “How do you like being a [prospect’s company role]? I used to do the same at [former company] and could tell you some stories…”

Don’t be afraid to deviate from your scripts, especially if it means breaking the tension of your call. You might also want to check out some of our sales conversation starters which can lighten the mood and reveal some important details about your prospects in the process.

Make appointment-setting as painless as possible

Let’s say you get to the point where somebody’s ready to schedule an appointment.

Nice!

But before you do your victory dance, you need to make the specifics and setup of your appointment crystal clear. Beyond getting someone’s contact information, clarify the specifics of your future meeting including:

  • The date and time of your appointment (a no-brainer, but bears repeating)
  • Who will be present (will it be just you and your prospect or someone else from their company?)
  • What will be discussed during the appointment (running a product demo, for example)
  • Where your meeting will take place (in-person, via Skype, or perhaps through a conferencing tool such as Zoom)

Ideally, you should be able to confirm all of these details without an endless back-and-forth email chain. This is where third-party tools such as Chili Piper can come in handy. Chili Piper’s platform allows for one-click appointment confirmations and reminders to reduce no-shows.

chili piper

And if you happen to be using a CRM (like Copper), you can use the meeting scheduler in Google to schedule and confirm appointment details during your call (or immediately after it ends). Beyond that, Copper’s call-logging feature can keep track of your cold calling efforts to help you determine which scripts are helping you win those ever-so-valuable appointments.

Ready to step up your cold calling?

For companies looking to improve and scale their cold calling efforts, scripts are a must-have.

And by focusing your efforts around cold calling scripts that get appointments, sales reps can worry less about the “hard sell” and focus on filling their calendars with relevant prospects who actually want to talk to them.

The end result is a faster, more proactive approach to cold calling that sticks to the principles of the Relationship Era.

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