I received a cold call from a salesperson that sells payroll processing services and I thought her sales pitch had room for improvement so I thought I would outline how the call went to create a cold call script example of what not to do.

Here is what she said on the call. I will break into the cold call script example with a little commentary.

Hi Michael, this is [her name] from [company name].

It has been about 6 months since I last spoke with you so I wanted to check in with you.

To have a “checking in” as the purpose of the call is a little weak. If you have absolute nothing else to say, it is an OK way to open a call. One way to improve that is to pick back up where the last call left off or try to get an update on something discussed on the last call or meeting.

How is everything going with your payroll provider?

It is not horrible to ask a “temperature checking” question to see how things are going in a particular area. The problem with this cold call script example is that my answer was “everything is going fine” and she had nowhere to go after that.

Sure if I had something to complain about to her, she would probably be able to improvise and have something to discuss around my concerns or issues. But I did not have any and her script should prepare her for what to do then.

One problem with this question in particular is that it is very broad. When she asked me this, even if there was one issue I was having, I would have to stop to think about the entire area of payroll processing and try to think about any areas. That is not only a little difficult to do when being put on the spot, it is actually a little bit of a hassle to stop what you are doing to make a quick assessment.

She could improve this question by either making it a little more specific or sharing with me some common problems to see if I have any of them.

Do you know when you might look at evaluating other providers?

When I said everything was fine her next response was to ask about when I was going to look at changing payroll providers. Not only is this a bad follow-up question to me saying everything is fine, but if everything is fine, would I have any thoughts or plans to make a change?

The problem here is that she is asking me about making a change and she has not given me any reason to make change. Does her company offer value or differentiation over her competition? That is what she should either be talking or asking me questions about.

My response to this question was that I do not have any plans to make any changes.

When would be a good time for me to check back in with you?

This was the question that she closed the cold call script example with, which based on our exchange, the real answer is to not check back in and I said “I don’t know, I don’t have any plans to change.”

Is it OK if I check back in with you in 6 to 12 months.

At this point, I don’t want to be a complete jerk and I say “sure” but given that will not be a good use of her time, I probably should have told her to email her info and that I would contact her if I need anything.

Quick Summary
As you can see, this cold call script example did not go real well. And while, I am content with my payroll provider and not looking to make a change, this call did not have to be so bad.

Latent Pain
Notice that I say that I am content, but that does not mean that things are not perfect or that things could not be better. But maybe I don’t know that and that would mean that I have latent pain – I have pain but I am not aware of it.

For example, if my car is getting bad gas mileage and I don’t know that or I don’t know that there are cars that get better mileage, I may think my gas mileage is OK or that everything is fine.

If she were to ask better questions or share common problems that people have with other payroll providers, it may make me aware that everything is not fine.

What is her value?
What is the reason for me to change from my provider to her? This cold call script example does not communicate that at all.

From what she asked, the only reason for us to talk is if we are planning to make a change. Is that the only reason for us to look at moving to them? Even if we were, there still should be a reason why to move to them over another provider.

What is the value that her company provides? Do the do anything better, cheaper, more reliably? Do they help to solve any problems that I may be having with my business or other providers? Do they differ in any ways?

The Best Salesperson is the One that Asks the Best Questions
Sure, a 2 to 5 minute cold call script example does not provide the time to get into all those details. You would need either an appointment or presentation type setting to outline all of that.

But here is the trick for how to get into that information in a very tight window. If you identify the value, pain, and/or differentiation points, for each point you can compose a question.

Those questions can then be asked to determine what the prospect needs or is interested in and start the conversation in the cold call script example. If you get a good response to any of these questions, you then use that as a reason to schedule an appointment or presentation.

We hope this cold call script example gives you some ideas for how to improve your cold calling and sales pitch!


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