Two Cold-Calling Scripts to Help Your Team Schedule More Meetings

December 16, 2021

Shawn Parrotte

Cold calling is probably the hardest thing to do in sales. The process isn’t designed to make sales development reps and sales reps successful, so they need as much help as they can get to overcome obstacles and objections. That’s why cold calling scripts can be so handy.

In this post, we offer two examples of cold calling scripts that cater to two distinct rep types. One will suit more methodically minded reps, and the other is for more improvisatory reps. No matter which type of rep you align closest to, these two cold calling scripts should help you to have more productive cold calls — and land more scheduled meetings.

What Is Cold Calling? #

Cold calling is defined as any unsolicited sales call. After rigorous prospecting to determine the companies (and the decision-makers and gatekeepers) to approach, sales reps will pick up the phone. Sometimes, they’ll have to make multiple phone calls to reach a potential customer, which is why voicemails and cold emails are also important tools for outreach.The core purpose of a cold call is to land a meeting with a prospect. That’s when you can really sell your value proposition and get the sales process moving in earnest.

Cold Calling Key to Success: Effective Prospecting #

Notice that in the definition of cold calling above, we note that this process follows “rigorous prospecting.” That’s because effective prospecting is a must if you want more of your cold calls result in scheduled meetings — and fewer immediate hang-ups.

You can generate solid leads through both inbound and outbound prospecting:

  • Inbound prospecting involves enticing your prospects to your site using methods like content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). When they register interest on your site, it’s a sign that they’ll likely be more receptive to a cold call.
  • Outbound prospecting is when your sales development pros actively pursue potential leads through channels such as Google, LinkedIn, or other social media. Cold emails are also a form of outbound prospecting.

Some Cold-Calling Facts #

At, we analyzed over 1 million cold calls using sales engagement products such as Outreach. We found a number of interesting statistics that can inform your cold-calling efforts.


The average duration of all connected cold calls is just over a minute—not everyone likes being cold-called! But the key to a successful cold call is to ensure that you have a longer conversation.


Only 10% of connected cold calls last more than two minutes, which means it’s difficult to craft a long conversation. The best cold-calling team strategy and coaching process need to focus on how to have longer, more meaningful conversations.


The average successful cold call (that resulted in a longer discovery meeting) lasts 7.5 minutes. This suggests that longer conversations are closely correlated with success. How do you make conversations longer? The secret clearly lies in how you use the first few minutes of the conversation. Are you interesting, intriguing, and likable on the phone? Can you build rapport with your prospect? Do you have an interesting story and some soul-searching questions that make the prospect reluctant to hang up and get back to their computer?

The answer to all these questions, of course, must be yes. And cold-call scripts are handy for helping make this happen.

The Science of a Cold-Calling Script #

The logic behind having a cold-calling script is to make it easier for reps to hit all the marks required to turn initial contact into a scheduled meeting. Along with building rapport, it’s necessary to use a cold call to identify customer pain points and cement your prospect’s idea of your value proposition. There’s no point in trying to advance a deal with a customer who straight-up doesn’t need your product.

Asking open-ended questions to get your prospect to open up is a key component of any cold call and can be scripted to powerful effect.

Here are some examples of effective open-ended questions:

  • What are your main priorities right now as a business/a [professional]?
  • What do you see as the main problem you’re trying to solve at the moment as a business?
  • What would the ideal solution look like to you?
  • What information do you need or what KPIs do you consult before making a purchase?

The point of these questions is to allow your prospect to fill in gaps in your knowledge so you can tailor your sales process to their needs and pain points. Needless to say, sales reps can’t be entirely passive on a cold call. Sales reps must be handy with follow-up questions to move the conversation along smoothly, and they must able to deal with common objections. Strive to make your product’s impact on the prospect’s bottom line and everyday processes very clear from the get-go.

Turning Best Practices into Scripts #

Phone calls might still be where the sales action is even post-COVID-19, but cold calls are intense environments that managers need to help their sales team handle with effective scripts.

Good sales managers will operate from the understanding that not all of their sales team members are alike in skills, disposition, or preferred processes. Not all sales reps will have an identical relationship with a sales script. As Nancy Nardin, founder of Smart Selling Tools Inc. and a co-founder of Vendor Neutral advised:

“If you've been told to use a script that doesn't feel like you, find a way to make it more natural to you.”

The first will suit process-driven reps, as it’s composed of a series of methodical steps that they can repeat on one call after another. The second will be better for reps who do their best work in a more spontaneous manner and are excellent at building rapport; in other words, they typically don’t like using a sales script. But this template provides a framework that will let them work freely without neglecting the fundamentals.

The Systematic Cold-Calling Script #

This first example is well-suited for process-driven reps, as it has a series of steps that you can repeat on every cold call. Systematic cold calling scripts can be effective for reps who are skilled at executing within clear bounds. It will help you attack your cold calls more confidently and smoothly, resulting in a higher volume of successful calls and scheduled sales meetings.

Here’s how a cold call might play out when you use a systematic approach:

Prospect: Hello?

Rep: Hi, [Prospect Name], this is [Rep] from [Company Name]. How have you been?

Prospect: Fine … May I ask why you’re calling?

Rep: Great question! Can I have 20 seconds of your time to answer that?

Prospect: OK, sure …

Rep: I noticed on LinkedIn that you recently moved into X position at your firm, and I thought we should connect. Our company provides [Product/Solution] that helps teams like yours perform better. We know from working with other firms in your industry that your organization is likely struggling with [describe pain point]. I’d like to explain how we can help you address that issue and …

Prospect: I’m afraid I don’t have time right now, but thanks anyway.

Rep: I know that I called you unannounced today, but I do believe this information will be useful to you. Could I call you again on Thursday, around 2 p.m.? Would that time work well?

Why this approach works:

  • Using a greeting like “How have you been?” can be disarming, as it implies that you and the prospect already have a pre-existing relationship.
  • Asking for a specific amount of time to give your (brief and well-rehearsed!) elevator pitch can be comforting to the prospect — you’re promising to be efficient and respectful of their time, and they know they don’t have to hang on the line for very long.
  • In the scenario above, the rep references LinkedIn to help spark a conversation and build instant rapport. If you use this strategy, it shows the prospect you’ve done your research.

Remember, the cold call isn’t when you try to close a deal — you want to get a scheduled meeting. The rep in the scenario above uses the prospect’s deflection as an opportunity to schedule that meeting — and get the prospect to commit to a specific time and date. When you do the same, be sure to reach out to the prospect with a supplemental follow-up email and a calendar invite to cement your meeting time.

The Freewheeling Cold-Calling Script #

Next up is a cold calling script that’s ideal for reps who do their best work in a more spontaneous manner and are excellent at building rapport. In short, these are the reps who don’t typically like using a sales script! If this describes you, know that this template provides a valuable framework that will let you “do your thing” while also helping you keep fundamentals in focus.

This open-ended approach to cold calling emphasizes personalization and relationship-building. More business owners and executive decision-makers are joining sales calls these days. In light of that trend, and the fact that effective relationship management is central to ongoing SaaS success, the freewheeling option can be a strong choice among cold calling scripts.

Here’s how a cold call might play out when you use a freewheeling approach:

Prospect: Hello?

Rep: Hi, [Prospect Name], this is [Rep] from [Company Name]. How have you been?

Prospect: Fine … May I ask why you’re calling?

Rep: Absolutely. Our company provides [Product/Solution], and we’re working with businesses like yours to resolve critical issues that are hurting profitability. Let me ask you this: What do you see as the main problem your organization is trying to solve right now?

Prospect: Well, we’ve been dealing with this one issue … [describes issue]

Rep: Thanks for sharing that! We know a lot of companies are struggling with that exact problem. I’m confident we can help you, too, and here’s why … [explains why, using data points to underscore customer results/product value]. Does this sound like a good option for you?

Prospect: Maybe … I’m not sure, though. I need more information.

Rep: Of course! Let’s set up a call to discuss this opportunity in more detail. How about next Thursday at 2 p.m.?

Why this approach works:

  • First, note that the freewheeling approach starts out like the systematic approach. All cold callers need to maximize the value of those key moments after a prospect picks up the phone.
  • After the rep in the scenario above gives a brief elevator pitch, they use an open-ended question to get the prospect talking and turn the cold call into a conversation. Open-ended questions also help you establish your understanding of the prospect’s specific pain points.
  • Note that the rep employs data to underscore the value of the solution and the results other companies are seeing. This is information — when used strategically during the cold call — that is likely to make a positive impression and stick in the mind of the prospect.
  • And similar to the systematic approach, the rep in the freewheeling scenario is also making sure to schedule a meeting (and not try to pressure the prospect into a sale). Again, when you do this in a cold call, be sure to reach out with a supplemental follow-up email and a calendar invite to ensure things are set in stone.

The freewheeling approach can work well for improvisatory sales reps. And, if the customer is receptive to this approach, it can increase the likelihood of a sale. This warmer, less-formalized sales script can help you understand where your customer really sees value in your product, and it can boost a vendor-client relationship in a way that can pay rich dividends over the long term.

Did you know? #

Research from shows that if a cold call is going well, the prospect will ask two or three questions other than, “What do you do?” If this happens, it’s a great sign that the prospect finds your proposition intriguing.

So, use every opportunity to create engaging moments with the prospect (i.e., where they talk for more than 30 seconds). According to our analysis of over a million cold calls, you want to create at least one or two of those moments — and asking open-ended questions can help you do exactly that.

For more tips on cold calling, download our free cheat sheet.

Listen to the voice of your customers #

So, after reviewing these two cold calling scripts, which approach do you think will work best for you? Systematic or freewheeling? In either case, you’ll be even more effective in the cold call process if you take the time to listen to your prospects.

Also, be sure to use cold calling scripts as guides for your conversations with prospects. Cold calling scripts are not meant to be inflexible structures that dictate how every discussion should flow. While you have a clear goal in every cold call — getting a meeting scheduled — aim to make the conversation as natural as possible. That will greatly improve your ability to create a positive and meaningful connection with a prospect that will keep them on the phone — and interested in learning more.

Also, to understand what messages and strategies will likely resonate best with the prospects you cold call, tap into the conversation intelligence provides so that you can get insight straight from the voice of your customers. And don’t miss our blog post, 12 Cold Calling Tips and Best Practices to Make Better Deals, which offers even more insight on how to succeed at cold calling.

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