Phone prospecting may be an old commercial method, but it is still widely used today. Many firms (of different sectors and sizes) see the many advantages of phone prospecting, such as reduced costs, fast and easy exchanges with prospects, increased efficiency, more secure prequalification, etc.
This simple method is suitable for all products and salespeople. However, phone prospecting cannot be improvised. Developing a genuine phone prospecting template ensuring the call is successful is essential.
What is a phone prospecting template?
A phone template is a call script framing a fictional communication discussion in the context of phone prospecting. The script simulates the first discussion between the prospector and the prospect.
As such, the phoning script is the call’s guiding thread, providing the essential information of a conversation between a salesperson and a prospect. Developing an adequate frame is the first step to efficient phone prospecting.
The role of a phone prospecting script
It helps make prospecting calls more coherent. The template entails preparing both arguments and answers to a prospect’s potential questions or objections. As such, calls are better prepared and more effective.
Since they are equipped with a clear framework for their calls, sales representatives are guided in their work. They can focus on the language used, practice, and ultimately gain confidence in their work. This makes them clearer, more confident, more relaxed and better prepared to answer prospective questions.
The main aims
A phone script has many aims, such as:
- Capturing the caller’s attention with clear and precise sentences;
- Proposing a highly relevant sales pitch and arousing the prospect’s interest;
- Incorporating timely pauses in the exchange to allow the potential client to better express himself;
- Anticipating the prospect’s questions and objections in order to draft and plan the best possible answers;
- Avoiding blanks and silences, along with any “stammering” from a taken-by-surprise salesperson.
How should one create an efficient phone prospecting script
Key steps and flexibility
There are several steps to creating an efficient phone prospecting framework. One must first correctly determine the prospecting’s objectives, but also precisely define the target audience.
These are the main elements allowing the correct drafting of the template. It must contain a catchphrase, exhaustive content and a conclusion.
Despite this essential template, the phone script must not be a fixed document listing all words and sentences that a sales assistant should use. The template is rather a guiding thread for salespeople who must always remain in control of the call. They must both adapt it to the caller’s profile and to the call’s turn.
Step 1: Determining one’s objectives
First and foremost, it is essential to precisely define the objectives of phone prospecting. Do prospectors want an ulterior appointment? Do they wish to present and/or propose a new product?
Most of the time, the first exchange is aimed towards obtaining a future appointment. Therefore, being exhaustive on the product or service’s presentation isn’t useful, so as not to annoy the caller. The latter don’t always have much time to devote to the call.
Step 2: Defining your target
“Who will I be talking to?” This is the core question that every salesperson must ask themself when drawing up their phoning prospecting template. As such, the script must be adapted to the target audience and their needs. This will make it less general and more effective.
Creating a contact file enables better targeting potential leads and identifying the right contacts in each entity that you wish to contact. At noCRM, we offer a very useful tool for creating a prospecting file.
Knowing your target audience also allows one to better write the template’s content, from the prospect’s point of view. Over the entire call, salespeople should focus on their prospect’s interests, questions, needs and objections.
For instance, targets may include customers to recontact and retain, prospects to convert into customers, or prospects to be qualified (in this case, additional information is usually needed). For each of these targets, a specific and adapted template is to be drawn up.
Step 3: Drafting the catchphrase
The catchphrase is the first contact between the prospect and the prospector. Although it should remain as natural and warm as possible, it should not be improvised. Finding an adequate catchphrase is a crucial step, determining whether the prospect will wish to continue discussing or not.
As soon as possible, the salesperson should then convey all the key information to the prospect: their identity, the organisation they work for and the call’s aim. This then invites the prospect to talk, knowing who they are speaking to.
Step 4: Writing the content
A phone prospecting script should remain flexible and adapt to how each call turns out. However, the script’s content should be the salesperson’s central tool. Accurate and comprehensive content will quite often give them the confidence to turn their prospects into customers.
The content should guide salespeople with key questions and indications. Care should be taken not to use lengthy sentences, usually making the presentation too “robotic”.
Moreover, salespeople should be able to easily use the framework and quickly find the information they need. To this extent, the content must be classified, by qualifying questions, sales arguments, answers to the prospect’s possible objections, and so on.
Ultimately, the call should remain a discussion and not a monologue (the conversation may well become very monotonous). As such, the discussion must remain natural, and nothing must seem over-prepared, even if a script has been planned by a sales assistant beforehand.
Paradoxically, developing a call script should leave plenty of room for silence. These pauses allow prospects to express their needs and objections. Salespeople must thus engage with the prospect by asking several questions and actively listening.
Step 5: Concluding
Just like the catchphrase, the conclusion should not be neglected. This last part summarises the main elements discussed over the phone call and specifies the next steps (future meeting, email exchange, etc.)
The template must absolutely include the call’s final objective in its conclusion, i.e. generally obtaining a future exchange with the interlocutor. There may even be space left for sales representatives to write down their specific observations for each interview.
Some additional tips for a good prospecting template
Naturally, a prospecting template should list presentation elements of the product or service proposed: price, differentiation, calendar frame, advantages, disadvantages, specificity, etc.
The script must also focus on the person to whom the salesperson is going to speak. Salespeople must thus use emotional intelligence to increase return on their phone prospecting investment.
To do so, salespeople must let callers express themselves as much as possible, so as to better identify their needs. As such, salespeople must be aware of both verbal and non-verbal elements, such as the following:
- Breath management;
To this extent, psychologist Albert Mehrabian showed in 1967 that communication is 38% vocal and intonation-based. The above-mentioned elements of non-verbal communication are all elements that translate emotions, such as:
These elements should be a guide for the remainder of the call.
Rather than developing a defined sales pitch, salespeople should focus on questions and objections in order to provide the quickest and most accurate answers possible. Accordingly, the prospect will feel both listened to and understood, and this can only increase their will to schedule a future exchange.
The more precise the call template, the more confident salespeople are. This essential planification tool allows them to practise and anticipate prospects’ objections in order to better find answers. Armed with knowledge of the specifics of the product or service they propose, salespeople with a good call template are inevitably more natural and warm in the eyes of their contact person.
Preparation and practice are essential. However, when making calls, salespeople must keep track of other priorities, such as being warm, honest, willing to listen and interested in the prospect. This crucial framework is the key to turning prospects into customers.
A phone prospecting template is a call script that reproduces a communication between a sales representative and their prospect.
The script serves as a guide for each salesperson, giving them the correct language and answers to potential questions, thus increasing confidence and efficiency.
One needs to determine the template’s objectives, define the target audience, write a catchphrase, core content, and ultimately a conclusion.