For many salespeople, sales calls are still an important part of the sales process. Unfortunately, some still rely on scripts when making calls, which prospects probably don’t appreciate. “When it sounds like narration rather than a conversation, you make your prospects feel like mere names on a list,” writes Darryl Praill, chief marketing officer of VanillaSoft. “They likely roll their eyes and move on with their day after brushing you off.”
But this doesn’t mean that you need to shred every script. Instead, Praill urges reps to strike a balance between scripted and spontaneous, and he shares some tips on how to find this balance and deliver a killer first call.
The first few seconds of a call, especially a cold call, are important. During this time, you’ve got to capture the prospect’s interest and keep them on the line. Start with a simple introduction, then immediately move on to the call’s purpose. Praill suggests having a loose script prepared and practiced prior to the call. Jot down important points that you want to touch on when explaining the purpose, but keep it flexible; likely, the prospect will immediately have a response you’ll need to address. For example, if you are calling a prospective client about financial services, introduce yourself and your company, then turn your attention to exactly how you can impact their finances.
It’s not just what you say, but how you say it. You’ve got to be in control of your modulation, pitch and tone. “Your voice is your tool,” Praill explains. “There is a world of difference in how you sound to yourself and how you sound to others.” Record yourself and determine how much your voice is “selling” your message. Even if part of your call is scripted, your tone and pace will give the words meaning and emotion. It will also make what you’re saying seem rawer and not scripted.
These are just two highlights from Praill’s article, and surely, you’ll be able to easily implement them all into your call prep. Finding the right balance between rehearsed and spontaneous can be achieved with a bit of effort. As he writes, his tips “can help to keep your scripts 100% authentic. It only takes a bit of familiarity with your script and active listening to make a memorable chat.”
Want to know when the best time to call is? Check our podcast episode, "The Best Time of Day to Make Sales Calls."