19 Huge Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Cold Calling Scripts

One of the keys to success in appointment setting and sales is having the best cold calling scripts possible. 

Cold call script writing is an art form that can take a while to get right when starting a new campaign. While it can take time to perfect your script, you want to make sure that you avoid the big mistakes from the start.

If you're working on your next cold calling campaign for B2B prospects and want to write the best cold calling script for your team, keep reading! We've outlined the top 19 things NOT to do when writing a cold calling script (and what to do instead). 

Cold Calling Script Mistakes

1) Leaving Out Key Data

If you include what the product or service can do in the script and how it can help the prospect, be sure to back up those claims with real data. Numbers, statistics, and cost figures speak volumes and do most of the heavy lifting for you. 

Make sure your points are easy to understand. They're there to reinforce your message, not confuse your prospect. 

2) Not Making a Strong Value Proposition

When writing a cold calling script, you want to make sure to include a strong value proposition near the beginning of the call. A value proposition shows the prospect how you can help and distinguishes the company from its competition. 

The definition of a value proposition is "a message that succinctly communicates your organization's points of distinction and exclusive value closely matched to your ideal target prospect's requirements." In other words, it's a quick way of explaining why they should consider doing business with you. 

Don't know how to create a value proposition? Here's a simple formula: Identify the target's problems and pain points and list the benefits the product or service offers that solve those issues. Figure out what makes you unique that the target customer may also find of interest.

3) Not Including Common Objection Handling Language

In sales and prospecting, you will have more doors shut in your face than successful experiences. The average SDR or sales rep will hear dozens of objections on any given week, and they need to know how to deal with them. 

Include responses to the most common objections in your script to help your reps out. Be sure to consider product-specific objections, and be prepared to answer how your company differs from its competition. 

No matter how many objections you include in your script, your reps will hear new ones as they begin making calls. Your feedback system should inquire about those objections so that they can be added to your script. 

4) Dragging Out the Hook

The hook is the part of the call where you pique your prospect's interest and keep them on the line long enough for them to decide not to hang up on you. 

You want to keep this part short, typically no longer than a paragraph. In most cases, two to three sentences will suffice

5) Completely Ignoring Your Prospects

Your prospect is the hero of the story, so you need to concentrate on their needs. Rather than giving them a lecture on what you think they should know, do some research to find out how to better assist them in solving their problems. 

If you focus on yourself, they'll feel like just another stepping stone for you to meet your quotas. Instead, aim to be as helpful as possible and work from there.

6) Not Using Personas 

Writing a cold call script is difficult when you don't know who you're writing for. To get a clearer idea of who your reps will be speaking to, it helps create a persona for your target prospect. 

7) Using Sales Rep Centric Statements 

Do you know the difference between a sales rep centric statement and a prospect centric statement? A sales rep centric statement focuses on what you want the prospect to do and attempts to corral them to the close. 

A prospect centric statement or a customer centric statement  tells the client how their specific problem can be solved and opens the door to further communication. 

Be sure to use customer centric statements while writing your scripts to make it clear that you're there to assist them in solving their problems. 

8) The Script Is Too Long

Making a cold call is not unlike showing up at someone's house or office uninvited. It becomes even more inconvenient when the person has no idea who you are or what you're talking about. If your prospects take time out of their busy schedules to speak with your team, be sure to keep the call brief. 

Your entire call script should typically be no longer than two pages. Focus on the point that is the easiest to communicate to hold your prospects' limited attention. 

9) Never Mentioning Value

Many cold call scriptwriters make the critical mistake of providing an overall statement about the product or service without ever mentioning how it can benefit the prospect.

Instead of only giving a detailed description of what the product does or how it works, focus on the problems that it can solve and how you can help make their life better. 

10) Scripting the Entire Call

Cold calling has been around for a long time, and most prospects know when the caller is reading from a script. The cold calling script is a tool to help your SDRs include essential points and maintain the structure of the call, but it shouldn't replace human conversation

Leave some room for the SDR to do what they do best - communicate. Instead, focus your script writing on the two most difficult parts of the call, the introduction and the value proposition

The introduction is the only part of the call where the SDR has complete control of the conversation. Make the most of these 15 to 30 seconds before the prospect chimes in.

11) Not Identifying Key Decision-Makers 

The person on the other end of the line might not be the only key decision-maker who needs to be at the scheduled meeting. You don't want to make the mistake of booking important appointments with people who hold little to no decision-making power or influence. 

Be sure to include a question in your script about other decision-makers who might need to be in on that meeting ("Is there anyone else who should be in on this call?"). Doing this helps your SDR team set the sales team up for success. 

12) Not Mentioning Pain Points

While writing your cold call scripts, you should know your potential prospects well, including their pain points, which problems they need to solve, and how the product or service might solve them. 


13) Never Asking Open-Ended Questions

Many call scripts can be read through without asking a single open-ended question. Open-ended questions are essential to help your SDRs gather more information, determine if the person on the line is the right fit, and establish honest human communication. 

An example of an open-ended question is, "What is the biggest problem you face right now in regards to productivity?" Closed-ended questions are also helpful to keep the call moving, but they provide less information, e.g., "Is this something you might be interested in?" 

14) Not Having a Voicemail Script

Often, if the prospect does not recognize the phone number or is too busy to pick up, they'll let the cold call go to voicemail. In this case, the SDR needs to know what to say without having to improvise. 

Cold call scripts are made for human interaction and can translate awkwardly to voicemail, so be sure to prepare a brief voicemail script for when your SDRs need to talk to a machine. 

15) Not Offering an Alternative Option

When cold calling, you will speak with prospects who are the right fit but are just not interested at the moment. Instead of hanging up and giving up, try offering them something free and helpful that can keep that connection in place just a little bit longer. 

For example, you can ask if they'd like a copy of your free ebook emailed to them or invite them to a free webinar. They may never take an interest in your product or service, but you can keep the door open for them to do business with you one day.

16) Never Revising Your Script 

Never set your script in stone after the first draft. Your cold calling script should be a living, breathing document that is continually improving to increase the success of your calls. 

It's essential to keep testing your message and making adjustments as you discover what works in real-time conversation and what falls flat. 

17) Not Being Open to Feedback 

Check in with your call reps and ask questions periodically. Find out if they're having to repeat themselves while delivering the script or if there are certain things that prospects don't understand. Which parts are the most confusing? When do people start to lose interest? 

Trained SDRs can "hear" when a prospect is not listening, so ask at which point in the script this tends to happen.  

18) Not Reading Your Script Out Loud 

One of the easiest ways to test your script before using it on real prospects is to read it aloud. Reading your script can help you pick up on cumbersome language and gauge how long the lines take to get through. 

Try reading the script to a team member to see if it's easy to understand and follow along. Ask the listener for candid feedback. Specifically, you need to know if the script confused them or made them feel bored at any point. 

19) Not Including Reminders 

Before the end of a call, your salespeople or SDRs need to confirm the prospect's information, including title, name spelling, phone number, email, the date and time of the meeting, and the specific time zone in which the meeting is set. 

An excited rep might forget to confirm these details, so help them out by including a reminder note in the call script.   

Do you need cold calling?

Despite what some may say, cold calling is still an extremely effective method for booking qualified sales meetings with your target customers. If you want help with your B2B cold calling campaigns, ProSales Connection can offer the expertise you need to increase your revenue and grow your business. 

Book a 15-minute call with us today or explore our services to learn more.  


Mike Faherty

Mike Faherty is the Founder & CEO of ProSales Connection, a sales and marketing firm based in Houston, Texas. ProSales Connection specializes in helping B2B and technology companies grow through sales appointment setting and outsourced inside sales programs.

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