2016-05-09 in Learning

Cold calling script – coach your sales team to sell advertising

If you run a magazine and have been selling advertising, it’s likely that you have a lot of cold calling experience. Use our guide and free cold calling template to revamp your insight and coach your sales team in the art of designing awesome cold calling scripts for themselves.

Using a cold calling script will help you avoid sounding like a blabbering idiot

This should be the number 1 argument for sales reps who believe they can just wing it. If you’re not using a script it’s likely that each call will sound different and that the are progressively getting worse and worse.

The script will keep you on track so that you can gather intelligence about the client rather than trying to think of what to say next.

Research the prospect before calling

Scripts should be designed to intrigue the prospects you are calling. Depending on what your clientele looks like, their position, your geo location and other variables, take ten minutes to do a little bit of research before you call. This research will help you if you are able to get past the first crucial minute – the usual time it takes for most to say they are not interested or even just hang up.

Research their website, google them and also look up the person you’re about to call on LinkedIn. This makes them less cold for you. In today’s business environment it’s usually not good enough to just present your product, but if you can show them that you’re actually interested in helping them grow their business, you are more likely to grow your own.

Define your goal before calling

Your script should be laser focused on driving the prospect towards your goal so you better make sure you understand what your goals is. Do you want an in-person meeting, are you looking for permission to create a pitch and/or are you calling to determine if they are a good fit for your publication?

Don’t be afraid of being up front with this, even to put this into the second or third sentence in your script. People tend to be busy so if you are holding your goal back, you may just be making your prospect impatient.

Get to your value story quickly

Don’t spend too much time asking for permission to take up the prospects time, but rather weave that into the ending of your leadin. If your script is not good enough to hold water for more than three sentences you should not be calling at all.

—– Beginning of Script —–

Hi Terry?

(Prospect: Yes.)

Melissa here from Nifty Magazine. I have done some research about your company and I believe we can help … [replace with; grow your business, reach specific clients segments, generate leads for your sales team, etc.] Do you have a quick minute to discuss?

(Prospect: Sure, you can have 1 minute.)

Great! Terry, I’m sure you are busy and want to respect your time, so I’ll be brief. If my research is correct, your clients … [replace with; procure huge amounts of, are located in, have some time to kill on breaks, etc] Is this correct?

(Prospect: Yes, but they also …. ) [truly listen to the prospect, ask questions, and take notes in your CRM system, i.e. RunMags]

I understand. Nifty Magazine is published with premium content in print and then we have more up-to-date articles on our website to drive engagement. Experience tells us that people tend to give the print magazine their undivided attention during breaks and that related news and articles is effectively reaching them by email and on our website.

(Prospect: OK, so how does that help me?)

With your permission, I’d like to take what I have learned from you during this call, go back to my desk and device a cost effective plan for how we could add value to your business. I want to make sure that you get the most bang for your buck as possible. Can we schedule a call on either Monday or Tuesday next week so I can present this plan to you?

(Prospect: Sure, Tuesday at 10 am works for me.)

Great! Shall I call you on this number and also, please let me know your email address so I can send you my plan and also a meeting invite.

(Prospect: Yes, that works. My email is terry@prospect.com.)

Perfect! I have what I need for now. It’s been great talking to you. I wish you a great rest of the week and I’ll talk to you on Tuesday.

(Prospect: Sound good. Thanks!)

Thank you, bye for now.

(Prospect: Bye)

—– End of Script —–

Design cold calling scripts for your Buyer Personas

Prospects are not created equal and you will be more effective in your dealings with them if you understand what’s driving and motivating them. If you take a look at this Cold Calling Script Template, you’ll see that it’s actually designed with a specific Buyer Persona in mind – Terry the small business owner.

If you haven’t already defined Buyer Personas for your business and would like to know more about how to do this, read this blog post where you will also find a template for Buyer Personas. Design your scripts for each Buyer Persona so that you quickly can navigate past gate keepers or blockers, and be ready to strike if you’re able to connect with a decision maker.

More effective than circulation and readership numbers

Even if your publication is not well known and the client have not heard about it, try hold yourself off from listing proof points from your media pack. While circulation and readership numbers may be important indicators for agents, don’t assume that they are to a small business owner who leads with rational needs. Instead, focus on emotional needs and the actual value that you can delivery, i.e. more business for your prospect.

As you have done your research, increase your sales effectiveness by becoming a trusted confidant that help the client stand out as a thought leader and/or reach clients that they could otherwise not reach. If your website and subscriber database allow for it, be ready to talk about which customers you client would like to reach and how you can help with that.

If you are able to intrigue the client enough to the point where you get to talk about how you can help them get more business, you may also want to explore offering additional services, for example branding and marketing expertise, artwork design, cold calling 🙂 As you put together your Deal in RunMags, think of ways you can expand your product inventory and grow with your clients.

Practice, practice, practice

One final, important note: Do not read the script, under any circumstances. Instead, practice the script as written, and then practice it from memory–so that the words emerge naturally, as if you just thought of them, the moment you began speaking.

This is what great stage actors do. They rehearse until the words are “part of them”–then, when they speak lines they’ve spoken on stage 100 or even 1,000 times before, each performance seems fresh and exciting.

Also, when you ask a question as part of the conversation, stop and actually listen to the customer. Don’t plow through like a carnival pitchman. This is about having a conversation, not about getting the words out of your mouth.

Good luck!

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Other resources

Template in Google Docs: Cold Calling Script
Blog post: How to create Advertising Buyer Personas


Case study - Travel Media

Learn how Travel Media modernized their advertising sales and production operation with RunMags.

Travel Media case study