Calling clients is a discipline that is often disliked by both callers and called. Why? Because most call centres and salespeople do it poorly. Wondering how to write a successful call script, how to make an appointment, and how to prepare for a call? In that case, read on, you’ll learn it all.
4 call phases and the best call script for each of them
If the call is progressing as it should, it goes through four phases:
- the beginning of the call
- gaining interest
- answering questions and objections
- arranging a meeting
Let’s take a step-by-step look at how to use each of these – so that you can lead the customer to the outcome you want.
1. Starting the call
Have you ever had a call from a call centre? If so, you probably know how it starts: “Hello, I’m John Smith from XY, do you have two minutes for me?” You can probably guess what the answer usually is. So how do you start a call so that the customer wants to talk to you?
Starting a call needs a good script
Don’t start with a bland introduction of yourself and your company or get into the most important things right away. The customer isn’t really in the mood yet, he’s just getting the lay of the land and trying to figure out why you’re calling. They won’t yet be able to find their way around a complicated offer or technical product description.
Instead, explain briefly and in a personalized way who you are, what you want and why you are calling them. Try to give the person the impression that the call is relevant to them and that they should listen to it.
How to write a call script to start a call?
Michael, one of our experienced Sales Specialists, advises:
First, look at who you are calling. You probably want to speak to a decision maker – find their contact, call them and speak to them personally. For example, you might say, “Did I reach Mr. Smith, who is the Sales Director of XY which deals with such-and-such?” They will respond, “Yes, it’s me, what do you need?” When you say it this specifically, the person in question talks to you in a completely different way than when you run: “Hello, this is YZ, we offer such and such.”
Once you’ve successfully got through the beginning of the call, you need to get the customer’s interest. How? The easiest way is to present the problem and its solution. Michael advises:
Create a problem and offer a solution to it. If Mr. Smith sells bananas and you offer banana delivery, you say: “I saw that you sell bananas. Would you like to expand your business to other cities? We’ll arrange delivery for you, and you’ll make more money.” At that point, the person starts thinking that they would really like to make more money and considers your solution.
In order to correctly gauge which problem the customer is having and how you can help them solve it, you need a good database of contacts. But we’ll get to that later. First, let’s look at the third stage of the call.
3. Answering questions and objections
If you’ve made it to this stage, you’re well on your way. Here comes the final turning point: promptly answering questions and objections. How do you handle it and come out a winner? Prepare answers to common questions and objections in advance. Also have a list of USPs and all the necessary product information on hand so you can quickly improvise when needed.
It’s a good idea to prepare at least five sales arguments and five answers to common objections in advance, Michal recommends. Because you need to respond to any complaints or requests immediately. The speed of your response also determines whether the call continues.
Tip: If you don’t know what to answer, don’t make anything up and instead tell the customer honestly that you don’t know the answer to their question, but you will find it out for them. If you then get back with the answer, you’ll see that they’ll appreciate it.
4. Making an appointment
When calling clients, you are usually not trying to make a direct sale over the phone, but rather set up an appointment. A common mistake call centres make is that they pressure customers from the start and try to coax a positive response out of them at any cost. Go about it the other way around.
Give the customer a choice and present the appointment as an opportunity for them to learn more about the benefits you offer. They should feel that if they don’t make an appointment with you, they’re missing out, not you.
Tips and tricks for a successful call script
We asked the experts from myTimi how to communicate with customers, what to focus on when creating a call script and what tricks are guaranteed to help. Here are the answers.
Tip 1: Set your communication style from the start
Prepare for the call by, among other things, analysing your target audience and determining what tone of communication will be best for them. Define how to talk to the target group, how to express yourself and what impression you are trying to create. Dominic, Customer Service Specialist at myTimi, advises:
There are several factors to consider. How much do you want to personalize communication? How nice do you want to be? What style of speech do you want to use? Is your company’s overall communication style formal and professional, or more warm and friendly? It all depends on the area in which the company does business. It will be different for a law company and different for an experiential agency.
Tip 2: Involve the customer in the call
Keep the customer’s attention with questions. In fact, you need to lead the conversation interactively – in a way that engages the customer. If you lead a monotonous monologue, the person will soon stop listening to you.
Tip 3: Learn to work with your voice
You probably wear a suit to a business meeting and try to look formal and elegant. You care about how you come across. You should focus on the same thing when prospecting over the phone. Even though the client can’t see you, they can perceive the way you communicate, hear your tone of voice and know if you’re smiling.
Therefore, pay extra attention to voice work. Focus on intonation. Articulate. Speak with energy, and smile when appropriate. The customer will know it.
Tip 4: Don’t stick to the call script
You shouldn’t recite the text of a call script like a poem. No matter how good it is, always tailor it to the specific person you’re talking to.
For example, one of our employees shared with us his recent experience with a financial advisor who apparently conducted the call according to a pre-learned call script: Do you have any money saved? And how would you like to finally save some money? But the call went like this:
- Financial advisor: “Do you have any money saved?”
- Answer: “Yes, I do.”
- Financial advisor: “And how would you like to finally save some money?”
- Answer: “But I’m telling you, I have money saved.”
And that’s exactly an example of how it’s not supposed to be.
Tip 5: George already has it
In business and personal life, social reference – comparison with others – works wonderfully. If you tell a customer that George already has something, they’ll want it too. In a call script you can say, for example, “Company XY has already made £10,000 thanks to us.” But be careful not to reveal information that the company in question considers confidential.
Tip 6: Be specific
When presenting your solution to a client’s problem, be specific. Don’t try to be vague, but instead be clear about what your offer will do for the customer. Numbers are the best argument. You can say things like:
- “I calculated that you would save £1,000 a month with this service.”
- “We’ve seen our clients’ sales increase by the average of 150%.”
- “You’ll see a return on that investment within five months.”
Tip 7: Prepare a scoring outline
Even the most experienced phone callers sometimes get distracted during a call and forget what they wanted to say. So don’t rely purely on your memory and instead write an outline that reminds you what you wanted to talk about with the customer.
How to prepare for cold calling
Calling requires information, information, and more information. That’s why it’s important to prepare a good database of contacts. For every person you call, you should know at least their name and position in the company. A plus is information on whether you have already communicated with this customer, and if so, what his objections were, what was the reason for not buying, etc. In general, the more information you have before calling, the better.
Creating a database of contacts requires a systematic approach, the ability to search for information efficiently and the knowledge of GDPR. If you are not interested in this kind of activity, leave the contact research to us. We’ll find potential business partners, customers and suppliers for you. (And if you want, we’ll call them right away.)
Before you start calling clients, you should also try a few mock calls – perhaps with friends. You’ll talk yourself out of it and test how your call script sounds in practice.
Tip: Record a few practice calls at the beginning and then evaluate them yourself. Most people find it uncomfortable to listen to themselves, but it will give you valuable feedback.
Dialing can be simple
You don’t have to worry about creating a database of contacts, writing a call script, or making the call itself. At myTimi, we’ll take care of the acquisition for you – just leave us a message. We’ll get back to you and together we’ll discuss what solution is best for your business. And don’t forget: The first consultation is completely free!