How To Create A Successful Sales Call Script by @Steli from Close.io


Hey guys, this is Steli Efti with Close.io,
let’s talk about the infamous sales phone script. How do you create and craft a successful
phone script for your outbound sales and outbound calling?
Well, let’s first go through the benefits of having a phone script. I know that lots
of people out there are afraid of creating a phone script, they’re like, “Sales scripts
are stupid. They’re dumb. They make me look like a robot. I don’t want to read things
from a piece of paper or look at my screen. I want to be creative, I want to be a genius,
I want to be interacting with the person on the other end on the line. I don’t need
a script – I can do calls successfully without any structur or design.” Well, that’s only
partially true. Here’s the downsides of not having script
in your day-to-day life: number one, when you don’t have a script, you’re probably
lacking a structure. When you’re lacking structure, you’re lacking design, and with
that process. What does that mean? Why is that a bad thing? It’s probably a bad thing
because you don’t really know what you’re doing.
You might even have success once in a while but if you don’t know why you’re successful,
if you don’t have a structural design, some level of clarity and purpose to what you’re
doing and knowing exactly why do I do this in step one, this in step two, this in step
three, a lot of it will be based on your intuition and that’s only going to work if you’re
a real sales pro; and even if you’re a real sales pro, that intuition, that creativity
will heavily depend on your daily performance – some days you’re going to have a good
day, some days you’re going to have a bad day. In good days you might be a creative
genius on the phone, and in bad days you’re going to be horrible.
You want to maintain a certain level of professionalism with every single call; it doesn’t matter
what your mood is, it doesn’t matter what’s happening in the world, you want to be at
least at a really high level and high standard of performance in every single call. And a
phone script is going to help you keep that level and that standard even at days when
you’re not feeling as great, not as creative, not as imaginative on the phone.
The other thing it’s going to allow you to do is its actually going to allow you to
train other people and replicate success within the organization. You don’t want a group
full of individual geniuses that have hit-or-miss days. You want a focused unit that works together
as a team where when somebody discovers something that works or improves something in the over-all
structure that works, that knowledge can be transferred throughout the entire sales team
and sales force to raise everybody else’s game.
This is like a competitive and performance-based sports; it’s like being a part of an elite
army team. This is not being a beautiful little artist that writes music or paints pictures
and needs creative juices and all the universal forces to align to be able to perform.
As a sales team, you have to train really hard, you have to have structure, you have
to have design and process in place to be able to replicate success and perform at a
certain professional high standard level every single day.
So having a sales script doesn’t have to mean that you read from it all day long, it
doesn’t mean that you have to become a robot. You can use your own language, you can go
off the script a little bit but you still use the basic structure of the script; and
that’s actually giving you clarity, it gives you guidance and allows you and the prospect
on the phone to go from one step to the next to the next in a proven model that actually
delivers success and produces positive outcomes. So let’s look at the basic structure of
creating a cold-calling script for your phone sales.
Number one, the very first thing you have to do is you have to raise curiosity – you
have to answer the question, “Who the hell is this on the other side of the phone and
why should I listen for one more sentence?” Think about yourself, when you pick up the
phone and there’s a voice you don’t recognize, what are the first thoughts that go to your
mind? You’re thinking, “Who the hell is this and why should I care and how can I get
off this call?” The natural core questions anybody would have that isn’t prepared to
get a call from you, you need to be prepared to answer these questions – explicitly or
implicitly in the way that you communicate when you script your calls.
So the first thing you have to do is you have to raise their curiosity, answer the question
“Who is this?” but at the same time, answer the question “Why should I keep caring? Why
should I keep listening?” Once you’ve done that, you have to give
them some context, you have to give them your elevator pitch – the one sentence that explains
what is this all about. You can’t just hide from that fact, you don’t have an hour to
explain it – you have one sentence. Once you’ve told me who you are and why
I should keep listening for one more sentence, now you have to give me that sentence, “What
is it that you do? What is this all about?” You have to be able to effectively answer
that in a single sentence in an elevator pitch. Once you’ve done that, you need to ask me
for permission to continue and you could mix this up.
Some people like to start with permission and then they raise curiosity and give context,
others will like to do it in a different sequence – first curiosity, then context, then, “Hey,
do I have your permission to continue?” You want to empower them to say they don’t want
to keep talking to you, to say they think this is not interesting; and I’m going to
tell you exactly how to respond when they do that but you need to give them permission
to tell you what they’re thinking and to ask for permission to continue.
Then once you continue, now you’re in the qualifying phase of the call. Now, you’re
in the phase of actually understanding them better, asking detailed questions to explore
“Is our service, our product, the thing that I’m selling, is this even a good fit for
them? Should they care? Should they buy? Is this really truly going to make their life
better? Going to deliver success to their business?”
Here’s where you qualify, where you ask questions, where you understand who they are,
if they fit into your perfect customer profile, if their needs fit into your solution and
what the universe in the context is in which their needs and their wants is living. So
you really and truly try to let, get into a deep level of understanding for them before
you even attempt to sell them anything. At the beginning, you just sell them on why
they should keep listening to you and what you’re doing and if you have permission
to continue, now the roles reverse and you actually try to explore and discover “Is this
a good fit? Should we even work together?” You’re trying to get to that conclusion;
and once you’ve done that, ask all your questions and actually explored who they are
and if you should continue with it, and then you go for the test close.
In some cases you can go for the close right away, and other cases – more complex cases
– you’re not closing them on buying the product immediately. You might close them
on the second meeting, on a demo, on a trial, on an appointment in person – whatever it
is that you want to do but you go for the close and you set up the next steps.
Let’s do a quick test, actually I’ll share with you the structure that we use when we
started a business called ElasticSales doing outsourced sales services to start-ups. We
were cold-calling companies and that’s how we got started, got our first seven customers
within two weeks and were off to the races with a new business and here’s the basic
structure that we used. When were calling people, I would say, “Hey,
this is Steli. I’m calling companies in the area to see if there might be a good fit
for a beta program that we are running.” That was the first sentence of raising curiosity
and making them think “Well, maybe I should listen for one more sentence.”
And let’s actually going into detail and analyze that first sentence: “Hi, my name
is -,” alright that’s pretty basic. “I’m calling companies in the area,” that implies
– and probably also local – local means more like you, more familiar, somebody that might
know you better or you might know better; something that people feel usually more comfortable
with. So “I’m calling companies in the area to see if they might be a good fit” – a good
fit, not if I can sell you or if you want to buy, but if this is a good fit for both
parties, “for a beta program that we are running.” A beta program is heavy, insider lingo for
start-ups so the kind of companies that we were calling probably had beta programs that
they were trying to get customers for, so here, again, a way for me to build rapport
to show that this is not a sales call, this is very much a business just like yours trying
to see if this might be something we should work together on. That was the very first
sentence. People would usually respond to this with, “Yeah… Tell me a little bit more
but I’m already trying to put up my defenses and thinking about actually hanging up.”
So the next sentence was: “What we do in a sentence is we offer start-ups with a sales
team on demand.” And here, very important, I would preface the elevator pitch with telling
them this is only going to take one sentence. And I do that because I want to calm them
down, bring down their defenses and have them actually listen to me. Not just start babbling
“You know, we have a sales team on demand for start-ups and blah blah blah” and the
person is not even listening to you, dude. The person’s thinking, “Oh my god, I’m
in a sales call. This is going to take forever, fuck, and I have this important appointment.
How do I get rid of this person?” We’ve all been in these shoes and these situations
ourselves so in order to proactivel y address that concern, I tell them what we do in a
sentence. I tell them, “Listen, this is only going to take a sentence. You better just
listen and see what happens next. We offer a sales team on demand to start-ups. Does
that, in general, sound interesting to you?” Here’s the question basically asking for
permission to continue the conversation; giving them a chance to air their thoughts and get
feedback. At that point, to be honest, it didn’t really
matter if they said no, yes, or maybe. They said no, I say, “Interesting, what’s your
sales process like?” they said maybe, I said, “Oh interesting, what’s your sales process
like?” they said yes, I say, “Whoa, awesome! What’s your sales process like?”
Now it doesn’t mean that I never cared whether they were interested or not, I didn’t just
care right at that moment because I knew it was too early, both for them and for us, to
actually make a judgment call if this is a good fit or not. But I still wanted them to
verbalize their thoughts because if they thought, “this is not for us” and I kept on talking,
there would be a mismatch – communication wouldn’t really be able to happen and they
wouldn’t listen to me. I needed them to actually verbalize what they
thought – yes, no, maybe, whatever it was, I hate you – it didn’t really matter to
me. They just needed to get it out of their system so that there was air and space and
capacity for me to actually communicate to them and for them to actually take that communication,
just by asking them what the sales process was like.
Nine out of ten times we got into a pretty engaged conversation, I was actually able
to ask more questions, follow-up with those questions and go into the qualifying part
and we asked about their sales process, about their buying cycle, how they got leads, what
the customer lifetime value was – questions that were relevant to us, not questions that
are relevant to everybody but just to us. And after that, after we’ve actually explored
if they were a good fit or not, that’s when we try and went for the test close and for
us, it was all about testing were they ready to get started with something like this within
the next month, were they okay with just getting one sales person, were they okay with our
basic pricing plan and what will be the buying process for them, how many people would be
actually included in the buying process, how complex would the sale be; and once we got
the answers to all these questions, then we actually scheduled the next step and went
for it. And that, we started doing cold calls on a
Tuesday morning, within two weeks with seven companies that wanted to pay us and get started
with a brand-new business that we had. So this script definitely worked for us, were
going to link up to that script, you’re going to get access to the script. You can
copy and paste it and customize it for your business and use it to be more successful
with cold-calling by using a professional, thought out, and well-designed sales script.
I wish you good luck with it. Go out, hustle, and get them.

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