Some people say cold calling is dead, that B2B prospects don’t answer the phone anymore. But my guest in this episode of the Modern Selling podcast says that he gets a 95% closing rate with the cold calling scripts he shared during our interview.
Meet Joe Pici, CEO and co-founder of Pici & Pici Inc. Joe is co-author of Sell Naked on the Phone and the host for the popular SALES EDGE Podcast. Joe has functioned as a catalyst for sales teams and individuals. Starting in 1992, he relentlessly studied and applied cutting edge sales techniques, propelling himself to be a top 25% producer internationally.
This led business leaders globally to hire him for sales seminars. He then distilled his strategies into a skill-based, sales training program, Rapport Mastery™, which helps sales professionals sharpen their skills for creating appointments and closing sales through live, outbound phone call workshops. He was the 2020 recipient of the #1 sales trainer ranking by Global Gurus and his sales development program was voted BEST IN THE WORLD.
Join us in this fascinating conversation and take note of the proven cold calling scripts Joe has used to book thousands of appointments across different industries.Cold Calling Today
The phone today doesn’t have the importance it used to have in sales. In fact, at Vengreso, the phone is the third step in our sales cadence. In our experience, B2B buyers are not answering or returning calls, so the sales rep must warm up the call through an omnichannel approach, combining social selling and email outreach.
Joe, however, says he favors the phone to make the first approach. In fact, he says there is no such thing as a cold, warm or hot call; the success of the call depends on the sales script and the bridge statement you use (for example, “Mario recommended I called you.”).
By the end of the day, succeeding with a sales call is not about being charismatic or having a charming personality but about having a system. Joe acknowledges that he wasn’t charismatic at all when he started in sales, but he discovered a system that worked and now he teaches other sellers to implement it in their lead generation process.Cold Calling Scripts that Your Sales Team can Use to Book More Appointments
I found it surprising when Joe shared one of his sales scripts to hear that he asks a question many sales experts say you should never ask: “Is this a good time?” But he says it actually works!
Let me explain. The first script he gave me is this: “Hello, John. This is Joe Pici from Pici & Pici. Is this a good time?” If the answer is no, then Joe asks, “What would be a better time?”
At that point, most people will reply, “Well, what is this all about?”
That's the question you want as a seller, because the prospect has given you permission to tell him or her your value proposition (the secret is to do it in one powerful sentence).
Here’s what Joe says: “John, I specialize in helping speakers, trainers and consultants [replace with your vertical] take their intellectual property and talent and make more money.” And then he doesn't say another word.
Although many salespeople are afraid of the silence and love to talk, the pause here is very important. You must give them a chance to process and respond, even if the silence becomes uncomfortable.
Many times, people would say: “Tell me more.”
“Would it be worth 20 minutes for me to show you how to take your talent and intellectual property and monetize it?”
If they say no, the call is done, they have disqualified themselves. But if they say yes, that’s the time to book the appointment or even move into the appointment and start asking questions about the pain, the desired results and the timeline.
I loved this cold call script because Joe is talking directly to the pain of the prospects and telling them how he can help them. This is exactly what we do in our social selling through LinkedIn, when we send InMail messages. It’s the same approach but through a different medium.
Joe’s specialty is cold calling, mine is digital selling. So, I asked him about leaving voice messages when people don’t answer the phone. He said he always leaves a voicemail and gave me the script that gets him 81% of return calls. Here it is:
“This is Joe Pici of Pici & Pici. I'm sorry I missed you. I know we're both very busy. The reason why I'm calling is I specialize in helping sales professionals get better leads, book better appointments and close more business. My phone number is 407-947-2590. If I don't hear from you in 48 hours, I'll give you another call.”
Joe explains the psychology behind this sales script: the sales rep releases the prospect from the guilt of not calling back and makes a promise to call again, warming up the next phone call.3 Tips for Creating the Perfect Cold Call Script
Here are some great tips I gathered from my conversation with Joe Pici.1. Be specific with your value proposition
One of the key elements in Joe’s sales call script above is the value proposition, which can be tweaked depending on the industry or vertical you are dealing with.
For example, Vengreso’s value proposition is: “We help sales leaders train their sellers to create more sales conversations to increase their pipeline.”
But if one of our sellers were calling a prospect at an insurance company, Joe recommends saying this instead: “We specialize in helping insurance sales leaders train their producers to create more sales conversations to increase their pipeline.”
In our case, as it is the case with Joe, the statement above is true, because when we train a group of salespeople in a particular industry, we tailor the program to their particular needs.2. Follow a system that works
As mentioned before, cold calling is not about personality or charisma, but a process. You may encourage your sales reps to try their own variation of the scripts mentioned in this episode, or create their own from scratch. Once they find what works for them they should follow the scripts.
Listen to the episode to learn how Joe trained a 74 year-old lady to follow the scripts and how she booked 12 appointments during the practice run on the third day of the training program.3. Write scripts that are not personal
Nobody likes rejection, nobody likes the word “no”. In fact, many talented sellers quit the profession because of the constant rejection. When a sales rep’s call script says something like, “Can I take a few minutes of your time?” and the answer is negative, they are taking a personal rejection because the script is personal.
However, if the script is about the benefits the buyer will receive from making business with your company, when they say no, they will be saying no to the results, not to the sales rep.
As a sales leader, you must protect your sales team as much as you protect the buyer. Therefore, teach them to write cold calling scripts that are not personal.
Listen to the whole episode for some great anecdotes and examples of how Joe used his cold calling scripts to book appointments and close deals and how your sellers can do the same.Outline of This Episode