Networking smarter helps you gain better clients and save time.

Cold Call Scripts

I submitted a question on Linked in regarding creating sales scripts…
When creating your first script, let’s say for follow up with someone you met at a networking event, what recommendations do you offer a newbie to script writing? Do you recommend any websites as resources

I received this great answer from John and have his permission to use it here on my blog. Enjoy. It’s full of great advice.

When you look at developing a script, there are 6 steps to follow for the call to be effective.

1. Have clear and defined strategy, reason for the contact and best practices.

2. Understand each of the objectives you are attempting to reach.

3. Have an opening statement for each of the possible people you will speak to during your follow-up. i.e. informant, influencer and decision maker.

4. Create a primary question to begin the discussion necessary with each of the possible contacts you may speak with during the call, also have all other questions prepared ahead of time that you may feel able to ask. One last note about questions. Always use some form of pre-question statement prior to asking the question that aligns your prospects thinking with the information you are searching for.

5. Create a positioning statement that will allow you to summarize the discussion and allows your prospect to reason within themselves why the next step makes sense.

6. This is the most important step and one of the main reason so many fail at doing business over the phone. Always on every call, no mater whether you think you know the answer or not…ask for the next step. If you don’t, everything up to that point was a waste of effort.

Here is a quick opening statement to a decision maker / contact

Good _________, my name is _________, we spoke at _______ event, last week, I know you were not expecting my call today and I was wondering if I could have a brief moment to discuss (link this to the contact from the event)

The first obstacle anyone needs to overcome when cold calling is developing a level of rapport. When you go in cold, the tone of your voice and the words you say are important. The bonus for this situation is you have a point of reference to develop that rapport already. Your prior meeting.

Also keep in mind that the message you are creating should take on a few different forms, including email and voice mail. Key here, each should flow into one another.

Answer (c) 2008 John Chepyha http://www.linkedin.com/in/effectivecoldcalling

What’s all the brew-ha-ha about follow up?

Follow-up is not rocket science. You follow up with people you want to know better. Maybe you can use their services. Maybe they can use your services. Maybe they’ll be good strategic partners. Maybe your clients could use their services or products. Maybe you want to conduct a teleseminar with them. Most important is that you feel that knowing them will add value to your life.

Next, make the call or send the email then follow up with a call. Be honest. "I’d like to meet with you because I think we have similar clients and I’d like to get to know you better" or "I’d like to meet with you because your "product/service" really sounded interesting. OR "I’d like to learn more about you and your business" OR "I heard you say "______" and I think I can help you with that" Or "I’d like to meet with you because I want to become part of your affiliate program" — that’s honest.

Never say "I want to meet with you because I have something to sell you." Never lie either.

Never follow up by adding someone to your mailing list; forcing them to unsubscribe. That’s called spamming someone and chances are they’ll tell you to go to hell (in one way or another) — should you spam them and then ask them to meet.

Call people within 2 days of connecting with them; you’ll a better chance of be remembered.

Write a calling script and use it. This way if the script works as you want — great. If it doesn’t you’ll have a system to critique.

Who to follow up with?
When someone gives you their business card or permission to contact them. Could be at a networking event, class, "whatever".

Follow up to what?

Coffee is the least expensive way to meet others but make it a quite coffee shop. OR take coffee to a park or other quite place. Note the word — quite space. There is nothing worse than going into a busy coffee shop where you have no privacy AND having to shout so that your guest hears you.

Breakfast for night owls is a pain, however, if you’re buying it’s less expensive than most meals. Dinner of course is the most expensive. You can also take someone to a networking event with you and then talk. See what works best for you and them; always looking for a win-win.

Old Fashioned or NOT?
I’m old fashioned and the etiquette rule is that the person who invites — pays.

So when I’m unable to do that or don’t want to; I say something like — happy hour is from 5-7pm and if you’d like to join me, drinks are 1/2 price at that time. OR lunch is much more affordable after 1pm, it will cost you $10 if you’d prefer eating and talking.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social networking platform. Follow-up with people the same as you would in person events. But instead of coffee, you meet virtually…over SKYPE or FaceTime or the phone.

When someone contacts you to connect with you follow up.

Personally, I consider a request to connect as a networking opportunity. I send the person a request to learn more about their firm. If they don’t want to talk, I don’t add them as a connection. I prefer quality to quantity.

P.S. Always follow up with someone after receiving a lead. Let the person who referred you know how the intro worked or was wrong for you. Why? Only one reason. You want to teach them how to be better refers of your services or products in the future.

(c) 2007 Elevating Your Business, Maria Marsala, Strategic Business Coach