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Cold calling - Script or freestyle?

Looking to get peoples ideas and opinions on what is more successful when approaching cold calling - Having a preprepared script or going in freestyle?

Script or Freestyle?
Attached poll
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๐Ÿ“ž Cold Calling
โ˜๏ธ Software Tech
17
RealAF
Good Citizen
+2
National Director of Business Development
I commented Free Style, but let me explain. Use a script to get the messaging down. Add your personal touch every time, so you don't sound like a robot to your prospect.ย 
BD95
Arsonist
+3
Account Executive
I often have a couple key points about the prospect noted so I can expand on them if/when they come up during the call
RealAF
Good Citizen
+2
National Director of Business Development
There you go. Great strategy.
Chep
WR Officer
+10
Business Development Team Lead
preach
AutoSmiler
Arsonist
+7
SDR
Couldn't agree more, use a script more as a guide to start the call out, then segue into freestyle as the conversation goes on. If you are trying to stick to an entire script through a cold call, not much success will follow and it most certainly would not feel like a natural conversation.ย 
salesninja
Opinionated
+3
VP
While I donโ€™t follow my script word for word, I use it as a guideline to stay on track.
Salespreuner
Big Shot
+11
Regional Sales Director
I try to do the same. Guideline and depending on prospect, lil research and personalise
antiASKHOLE
Politicker
+8
Inside Sales Lead
I train new BDRs and AEs with a script and get them to perfect the "10 and 2" just like driving. After you have the basics down, then yeah, put your own spin on things.ย 
Soldmysoultoselltech
Praised Answer
+1
Account Executive
Couldn't agree more with this. This is exactly how I was trained and also how I train new hires
LSU
Old School Bravo
Partner Manager
Love this analogy. Going to use it for when our new hires hit the floor and they begin to hear the phrase "you're supposed to do it like this, but I do..." from teammates.ย 
1nbatopshotfan
Politicker
+5
Senior Director, Enterprise Technology
When I first started a script was helpful, but itโ€™s gotta be natural.ย 
BD95
Arsonist
+3
Account Executive
So build up confidence in knowledge and then allow the confidence to come through?
1nbatopshotfan
Politicker
+5
Senior Director, Enterprise Technology
Exactly. Practice the pitch and get off the script as quickly as possible. The more you can drive natural conversation and interaction the better.ย 
Show 1 more replies
KeepItReal
Good Citizen
Senior Client Partner
Free style if you are experienced enough, script if you are a newbie.ย 
wo
wonk
Politicker
+2
Business Development Manager
Rather than a read out loud script, I have a process that I stick to. I usually have the most important key words & topics written down.ย 
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+11
Needer of Life Alert
It helps to have a few bullet points you want to make, and freestyle the rest to sound conversational.ย 
CarolinaUnderground
Territory sales manager
Every actor in every movie you have ever seen has a script. They work well...in Hollywood and in sales too, but most people don't take the effort to learn to act it so that it sounds natural and not read.ย 
BD95
Arsonist
+3
Account Executive
A lot of good actors in Hollywood were once in sales.
pitchandputt
Valued Contributor
+4
Account Executive
This is so bogus. How do you have conversations with people if you're reading from a script? If you're just talking the script at prospects, aren't you basically just a robo-caller, not a salesperson?
CarolinaUnderground
Territory sales manager
My point is that you have to have some idea and preparation for how you plan on navigating a call. And you can call it what you want...but that is a script.ย 
Show 2 more replies
SellerBeware
Opinionated
+2
VP Inside Sales
nothing worse than someone with an unshakable "reading voice"!!
Ras_Rebuttles
Contributor
+2
Sales Consultant
You gotta freestyle the script!! Like if you're making a song (absolute sales playlist banger) record a nice powerful chorus and freestyle your verses
Broncosfan
Politicker
+5
Account Manager
I got good at reading a script to the point it sounds unscripted.ย 
koalifications
Old School Bravo
Salesforce Consultant
same - i pretend i'm on broadway performing my lines
Grant_Horun
Politicker
+5
Account Executive
I have a rough outline, but like to keep it fresh each call
GetAHobby
Arsonist
+8
RVP Sales
I always wrote a script and just practiced it over and over before I would make cold calls, then I would have just bullet points to keep me on track when I was smiling and dialing. I guess its to each person's comfort level.ย 
BD95
Arsonist
+3
Account Executive
Smiling and dialling - Love that! You can hear a smile!
GetAHobby
Arsonist
+8
RVP Sales
We use to give out mirrors that went on the corner of your computer screen to make sure and remind you to smile while making calls.ย 
BlueJays2591
Politicker
+6
Business Development Manager
I have a script tailored to the industry I'm calling into so that I can remember key points, but I try to freestyle it as much as possible to make it conversational and make sure I'm actually listening to the prospect instead of just trying to get through what's on the paper.
DwightsEgo
Politicker
+3
BDR Manager
mix of both. You need to have a framework- but also be able to react to questions/statements in the moment. Research the prospect and company before and have a reason for doing what you areย  doing......then lets discover and sell!!
JDialz
Politicker
+5
COO
I always have the script handy. I have made changes along the way if I felt like certain words or phrases would fit better, but everyone hears the same thing every time when I call them. Of course you have to be nimble enough to roll with any questions or objections that get interjected, but then you need to get right back on track.

That isn't to say that I "read" the script. I just have it up on my second screen as a prompt.ย 
BD95
Arsonist
+3
Account Executive
I do sometimes get taken on a tangent so I may try and introduce this to my calling - Thanks!
JDialz
Politicker
+5
COO
Look up what Jordan Belfort talks about with regard to "looping." No matter what the prospect says, you have to find a way to get them back to the purpose of the call - whatever that may be.
Show 3 more replies
Chep
WR Officer
+10
Business Development Team Lead
Really depends on the level of the prospect. I try and pull out the customized lines for the higher ups and keep it sweet and simple for the lower level prospects
Je
Jedi_Zizz
VP
Does anyone have a basic script? I'm looking for some new material to look at.
SalesAssassin
Praised Answer
Senior District Manager
Having a script in front of you is useful to help stay on track, but one should never read directly off of the script!
TheLoneGun
Good Citizen
Extremely Rad Product Offloading Specialist
1.Script? No,ย  an outline
2.freestyle the filler
3.sound genuine
4.close sale
5.make bank
6.Marry Tall Model
BD95
Arsonist
+3
Account Executive
Still waiting on 6
TheLoneGun
Good Citizen
Extremely Rad Product Offloading Specialist
Keep circling back to 4. and 5.ย  You got this ;)ย 
Show 1 more replies
WillSell4Commish
Opinionated
+3
VP of Deez
I always prepare a script, but as soon as I get punched in the face the plan goes out the window and I freestyle. The preparation that goes into the script turns into points I can easily come back to, and I can guide the conversation the same way the script planned to since I thought it out beforehand.ย 
MrMotivation
Politicker
+4
Sales
I mean the messaging is the same for the specific persona I reach out to, which i know like the back of my hand for different industries/personas, but it isn't "scripted"ย 
BD95
Arsonist
+3
Account Executive
To add to this - How do people tend to close the call?
Soiboi
Politicker
+5
Account Executive, EIAS/Compliance
Script, so much cleanerย 
Trinity
WR Officer
+7
BusDev
There's nothing wrong with a script if new to the role. It just feels unnatural with a script
Nikosuave
Opinionated
+1
Outside Sales Manager
When I first started I used a bulleted list to remember to touch on certain things but the script just felt robotic.
NeildeSaaSTyson
Good Citizen
+1
Senior Account Executive (MM)
Freestyle, but with meaningful research and a thought-out positioning statement in advance.ย  Its 100% unique to each prospect so its not really scriptable, although I am always comfortable with a scripted elevator pitch of my own company.
CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
I'm not a big fan of even training people with scripts. A lot of people will get thrown off if he/she perfects a script and then gets interrupted by a prospect, asked a question or need to change direction.
deviantzen
WR Lieutenant
+9
Consultant
Despite my name I think this depends on your product and sales cycle.

If you're selling transactional, slight roboticism is ok if it increases your output.ย 
If you're selling interest in a "let's evaluation this business value" sense then you might do well to be more human.

A good middle ground is to have scripted elements: common opening talk tracks, memorized objection handles, and next step process, etc

Outline style >>> Word for word
TheJohnDalyofSales
Valued Contributor
+3
SDR Manger
Freestyle ๐ŸŽค
Wi
Wildcard
Praised Answer
+2
Account Executive
You have to use a script. Makes the process more consistent and reliable.ย 

Read the books by Scott Channel. Easily the best books on cold calling with a ton of real word for word examples.
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Ithryll , ย  salesforceceo.com , ย  SADNES5 ย  and 32 people voted