Article | 23 min read

Cold calling scripts: 14 examples, templates, and tips

Cold calling scripts can help you get more leads and reach sales goals. Get tips on how to write effective scripts, and start crafting your own with our free templates that actually work.

By Chalene Christian, Manager, Corporate Sales

Published September 14, 2021
Last updated November 18, 2022

Myth: No one likes receiving cold calls.

Contrary to popular belief, potential clients are often receptive to cold calls. A study by Rain Group found that 82 percent of buyers book meetings with sales reps after reaching out through a cold call. Despite the high odds of success, cold calling and discovery calls can still be terrifying for sales reps.

Cold calling is a delicate dance with the potential customer. You want to sell a new prospect on a product they know little or nothing about while trying to be respectful of their time and privacy. Sometimes, they hang up before you even have a chance to explain why you’re calling, and other times, they get upset—but more often than you might think, they listen to what you have to say.

Level up your skills with our cold calling scripts, tips, and templates, and give yourself the confidence to take the lead when you’re live on the sales stage. With the proper moves, you can find your rhythm and take your cold calling skills to legendary status.

What is a cold call?

A cold call is a way to introduce your products or services to new prospective buyers in a friendly, informative way. It’s a direct line to discovering what’s important to prospects, what challenges they face, and what they need in order to convert.

Use cases for cold calls

Each business has its own unique reasons for reaching out to prospects. Some of the most common goals are:

  • Scheduling a meeting with a prospect
  • Signing on new business
  • Finding out what consumers think about your product

Elements of a successful call

Cold calling can be the Wild West if you aren’t prepared. Getting caught without a plan of action can kill a sale and leave a bad impression of your company on the customer. Here are a few elements that make for a successful cold call:

  • Researched: Before you start making calls, it’s best to know who you’re calling. Try to find similarities between the prospect and other customers with whom you’ve had success.
  • Scripted (to an extent): Each scenario will vary, but having a script ready can help you know what to say to navigate your way to a sale.
  • Personalized: The flipside of the former tip is that you don’t want your call to come across as too scripted. Add personal elements to your scripts that will impress prospects and allow you to pivot based on their response.
  • Prepared (for objections): Objections are common, so practice handling them until your responses are seamless and natural.
  • Positive: A great attitude goes a long way. No matter what happens, always remain positive.
  • Practiced: There’s something to the saying, “Practice makes perfect.” The more swings you take at the golf ball, the more likely you are to get a hole in one.

It’s also important to make sure there’s a way and a reason for a prospect to follow up. Sometimes, people won’t answer the phone if they don’t recognize the phone number. If they:

  • Don’t answer: Leave a compelling message to entice them to call you back.
  • Do answer: Ensure the next steps are clear during the end of your call.

How to create a cold call script in 8 steps

how to create cold call scripts

What do you say in a cold call? Anyone can write a cold call script, but writing one that makes you sound human takes a lot of work, preparation, and planning. Use these tips as a guide when writing your cold call script.

  1. Determine your goal: Figure out what you want the outcome of your call to be. Do you want to secure an appointment? Will the appointment be an in-person meeting or a video call? Will it be a more in-depth phone call?
  2. Build a prospect list: Research who will get you the best results. Identify industries that have a problem your product can solve. Think about location, too, as local businesses tend to be more receptive to fellow locals.
  3. Start with asking the prospect for 60 seconds of their time: Start by asking permission to speak with a prospect to build rapport and show respect.
  4. Introduce yourself: Quickly introduce yourself and explain why you’re calling. You have only seconds to grab their attention before they hang up.
  5. Create a connection: Personalize the call with details about the company that you gathered during your research. Most importantly, pronounce their name correctly.
  6. Identify their pain points: Touch on the challenges that their company is experiencing. Let them know you understand these issues and have a solution.
  7. Deflect objections and rejections: If you haven’t hooked them yet, they may start to separate themselves from the call. Tell them you aren’t selling anything at the moment to relieve some of the pressure.
  8. Sell your value: Give examples of how your product helped other companies with similar issues. Talk like a human, but give them hard metrics that can raise their eyebrows.
  9. Ask for an appointment: Close out the call by asking for an appointment to discuss your product in-depth.

14 best cold calling script templates that actually work

To help guide you on what to say to prospects, we created 14 cold calling scripts so you can be prepared, no matter who picks up the phone. These scripts cover a wide range of scenarios, so you have a cold call template for all types of situations.

1. Referred by a colleague or friend script

A great way to get your foot in the door during a cold call is to name-drop a mutual colleague that referred the prospect to you. The familiar name should help them feel more at ease and open to listening to your pitch.

Hi, [PROSPECT’S NAME]. My name is [YOUR NAME], from [COMPANY]. How are you?

Our mutual colleague, [COLLEAGUE’S NAME], and I have seen great results with our [SOLUTION]. We were discussing others who would benefit from using our [SOLUTION], and [COLLEAGUE’S NAME] mentioned you.

I’m impressed by your company’s [TRAIT/PROGRAM] and love the [THING(S)] you are doing. I’d like to show you a demo and break down how we’ve been able to help [COLLEAGUE’S NAME] generate so much ROI in a short amount of time.

Do you have 20 minutes available on [DATE(S)]?

Download template

2. The interested prospect script

When you find yourself speaking to an interested prospect, the sun shines a little brighter, the air smells a little sweeter, and your call will be a little easier. You can simply present your product or service to see how you can help them.

Hello, [PROSPECT’S NAME]. This is [YOUR NAME] from [COMPANY]. How are you today?

I wanted to give you a quick call because we’re working with a few companies similar to yours who are looking to [SOLUTION OFFERING], and that’s what we do. Do you have a few minutes to talk about the different ways we can help you get your [OFFERING] where you want it to be?

(Prospect answers—if no: try to set up another time to talk; if yes: proceed with the script)

Can you explain what you’re using now and what results you’re getting?

(Prospect explains)

Good news. We should be able to help you via our [SOLUTION]. Are you available [DATE] to meet with me and [COLLEAGUE] to explain how our features like [FEATURE], [FEATURE], and [FEATURE] can help you [GOAL]?

Download template

3. The uninterested prospect script

When your prospect isn’t interested, it’s hard to move the call forward without them hanging up. This script cuts most of the fluff and asks for a specific amount of time so you can try to reel them in.

Download template

4. Script for the prospect who’s a bit of a stretch

Sometimes, a prospect might not fit exactly into your target demographic and you need to feel out the situation with extra sales questions. These may require you to get creative and go off script, depending on how the customer responds.

Hi, [PROSPECT’S NAME]. My name is [YOUR NAME], from [COMPANY]. I was hoping to speak with you about [SUBJECT]. Do you have a minute to spare?

[Prospect’s response: Yes]

Thank you. I speak with companies similar to yours all the time who share the same pain points.

May I ask how you have been managing your [PAIN POINT]?

[Prospect’s response]

Sounds like we could be a good fit to help you. Can we set up a time next week so we can speak more in-depth about a solution?

Download template

5. Script for the “perfect fit” prospect

Have you seen a unicorn? The “perfect fit” prospect is the closest you’ll get to one. You can simply present your product or service and explain how it can help them. After all, they are a perfect fit.

Hi, [PROSPECT’S NAME]. I’m [YOUR NAME], from [COMPANY].

I’m calling you because we do a great job at solving [PROBLEM]. Since [PROSPECT’S COMPANY] does [INDUSTRY], I imagine you might be looking for a solution.

Do you have a few minutes so I can break down successes we’ve had with companies similar to yours in the past?

Download template

6. Script to be as concise as possible: The elevator pitch

This script can help you get to the point and hook the prospect quickly.

Hi, [PROSPECT’S NAME]. My name is [YOUR NAME], from [COMPANY]. How are you?

[SPECIALTY] is our bread and butter. Do you have three minutes to talk about the different ways we can help [SOLVE ISSUE] with features like [FEATURE], [FEATURE], and [FEATURE]?

Download template

7. Giving your prospect options: The “choose your own adventure” script

This script allows you to provide the prospect with options that take the call through different journeys, with the ultimate goal of scheduling a product demo or an in-depth sales presentation.

Hello, [PROSPECT’S NAME]. This is [YOUR NAME], from [YOUR COMPANY]. How are you today?

I’m calling to discuss some solutions we provide to help you create [SPECIALTY]. Is that something you’d be interested in?

[If the prospect says yes]

Great! There are a couple of different options we have that can help your company. Our [PRODUCT OPTION 1] focuses on providing [SPECIALTY], whereas [PRODUCT OPTION 2] is created for [SPECIALTY]. Which one would be the best fit for your team?

[Prospect picks option 1 or 2]

Perfect. May I ask you a few questions?

[Ask them questions to gain a better understanding of how your offering will be most effective for their needs]

Are you available [DATE AND TIME] for a 20-minute demo or in-depth product review? I promise it will be worth your time.

Download template

8. Script for speaking with gatekeepers

Occasionally, you’ll need to speak with a gatekeeper who acts as a filter between you and the decision-maker. Use this script to persuade them to pass you on to the prospect.

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9. Leaving a voicemail script

You may find yourself using this script a lot, as many people won’t answer calls from numbers they don’t recognize.

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10. Follow-up voicemail script

Once you’ve left an initial voice message, be sure to follow up with another, 24 hours later. Not only does leaving a follow-up voicemail show the prospect you’re interested in them, but it also doubles the chances of a call back.

Hi, [PROSPECT]. This is [YOUR NAME] from [YOUR COMPANY]. I am just following up on the message I left you on [DATE] and was hoping to connect and talk about how we can help make your [PAIN POINT] better.

Again, my number is [YOUR PHONE NUMBER]. Feel free to call or text, and I look forward to speaking with you.

Download template

11. Script for the “I don’t have time to talk” response

This response shows they want to get off the phone, so you have a very small window of time to grab their attention. Set the expectation right off the bat to buy some extra time.

Download template

12. Speaking their language/personalization script

Personalization can go a long way on a cold call. It allows you to break the ice and connect with the prospective customer before getting down to business.

The following cold calling script example illustrates how to personalize a script. This sample text can be tailored to your own scripts.

Hello, [PROSPECT’S NAME]. This is [YOUR NAME] from [COMPANY]. Before we talk business, I saw on [SOCIAL MEDIA] that you [FACTS ABOUT THE PROSPECT].

[Prospect reply]

Great! I am calling to speak with you about [SUBJECT]. Do you have three minutes to talk about the different ways we can help boost your [SUBJECT] with features like [FEATURE], [FEATURE], and [FEATURE]?

Download template

13. The follow-up call to an email script

If your first pitch was via email, moving from text to voice can be seamless. It may even work in your favor, as they’ve already seen your name prior to your call.

Download template

14. Managing objections script

Prepare yourself for rejections because you will experience them. Try to stay positive and direct, and see if you can find a way to schedule a meeting or demo. This cold call sales script can help you in this situation:

Download template

20 cold calling tips and examples for a successful encounter

Here are a few extra tips and scripts to help you maximize your success while on your call.

  1. Be an active listener

  2. Active listening is key to building trust with a prospect. Repeat back the important details to demonstrate that you’re listening and interested in what they’re saying. Here are some ways you can signal this:

    Sample cold calling script:

    “To make sure I have this correct, you’re looking to improve employee productivity and would need an easy system that integrates with your own, yes? Great. So just to confirm, you’ll also need to see a demo on how it works before moving forward, correct?”

  3. Gauge interest before diving in

  4. Before jumping into your script, check to see if it’s okay to proceed with your potential buyer. Giving them the option to say no shows that you respect their time.

    Sample cold calling script:

    “Hello, Teresa. This is Carl from Zendesk. How are you today?

    We have a few new solutions that have been successful in helping others recruit and train new members of their marketing team. Does that sound like something you’d like to learn more about?”

  5. ​​Set time expectations

  6. From the beginning of your call, let the prospect know the expected length of the conversation. Prospects are more likely to commit to the call when they know how long it will last. Make sure you stick to the time limit you mention to avoid losing the prospect’s trust.

    Sample cold calling script:

    “Hi, Teresa. Thank you for taking my call. Can you spare two minutes for me to explain why I called and answer any questions you may have about our product?”

  7. Identify the prospect’s pain points

  8. Start your pitch by asking questions about the prospect’s challenges. You’ll be able to identify specific ways your product could help the prospect and tailor your sales pitch to solve their unique problem.

    Sample cold calling script:

    “Hi, Teresa. This is Carl from Zendesk. We create software designed to improve the customer experience and help companies build relationships with customers. What would you say are your biggest challenges in regards to your customer experience?”

  9. Highlight product benefits

  10. Introduce examples of how your product or service solves a problem. You could reference current customer data to find common pain points many prospects face. You could also review buyer personas and their corresponding pain points. Match prospects to each persona to determine which product features to talk about.

    Sample cold calling script:

    “My name is Carl, and I work at Zendesk. We build software designed to help companies improve their overall customer experience.

    I wanted to reach out to introduce myself and share some best practices. I’d like to explain how companies similar to yours are meeting customers where they are in regard to their preferred communication channels.

    Do you have 30 minutes this week to discuss these benefits in more detail?”

  11. Showcase what makes you different

  12. Explain what sets you apart from the competition. Research your competitors so you can offer rebuttals and showcase your unique selling proposition. Remember to always be respectful of your competitors—prospects may have used them in the past (or are currently using them)—and leverage consultative selling.

    If the prospect asks about your competitor, use the following example.

    Sample cold calling script:

    “Great! You’re familiar with King Systems. Their product is similar to ours, but we’re actually innovators in the relationship management industry. Compared to our competitors, we offer a wide range of customer service tools for businesses of all sizes, at any stage.

    Could I offer you a quick 20-minute demo of our product early next week so you can see the true difference?”

  13. Use social proof

  14. Social proof—such as testimonials and reviews—is a compelling sales tool. 77 percent of people trust consumer opinions posted online. Using sales psychology like this can help you get to the next stage of conversion.

    The following cold calling script highlights current customers who are similar to the prospect and already use the product being sold.

    Sample cold calling script:

    “Hello! I’m Carl from Zendesk.

    I’m reaching out today because your company values providing great customer service. At Zendesk, we take the customer experience seriously.

    We have helped companies like Grubhub increase their CSAT scores by 90 percent, and Tile cut their customer wait time by 40 percent by automating processes.”

  15. Mention if it’s a referral

  16. Ninety-two percent of people trust recommendations from peers. Get prospects interested in what you have to say by sharing the experiences of people they know.

    The example below not only showcases benefits but also names the referrer. An approach like this makes the benefits more meaningful—the prospect knows the referrer and hopefully trusts their judgment.

    Sample cold calling script:

    “Our mutual colleague, Sandy Jones from CallTech, referred you to us after seeing the great results she had with our conversational CRM.”

  17. Show that you did your research

  18. If you’re cold calling a prospect, chances are they don’t know you well. You can gain their trust by showing how much you know about them or their business. Use LinkedIn and the company’s website to learn about them, their company, and current events to demonstrate your interest.

    Sample cold calling script:

    “Hi, Teresa. I saw that you’re an alumnus of the University of Alabama. Roll tide!”

  19. Share powerful stats

  20. Share data that relates to your prospect’s pain points. For example, if a prospect wants to improve their productivity, tell them how your product helps them do this.

    Sample cold calling script:

    “Hey, Teresa. This is Carl from Zendesk. I wanted to call to see if you may be interested in our customer service software that can boost your company’s ticket resolution speed by almost 42 percent.

    What are the biggest problems you’ve experienced with your customer service?”

  21. Ask questions

  22. Ask key questions to better understand each of your prospect’s needs and show that you’re genuinely interested in helping them. By asking questions, you’ll be able to tailor your pitch for the prospect you’re speaking to.

    In the following cold call script for sales, the rep asks the prospect a question to gauge their hiring needs.

    Sample cold calling script:

    “Hello, Teresa. My name is Carl and I work for Zendesk. I wanted to reach out because we help companies like yours implement omnichannel communication options. Are you familiar with omnichannel communication?”

  23. Highlight product efficiencies

  24. Show prospects they’re missing out on efficiencies by not using your product. Explain which product features address these inefficiencies, and give examples of current customer wins.

    Sample cold calling script:

    “Hi, Teresa!

    My name is Carl and I’m calling from Zendesk. How are you?

    Do you have two minutes to talk about our customizable software that you can integrate with your existing systems right out of the box? Similar software is not as quick and easy to use and may not work well with your current systems. But after investing in our software, our customers experience fast time to value.

    Are you free for 15 minutes on Thursday to have a quick Zoom call with our Sales Director, Brandy, to discuss what our software can do for your business?”

  25. Tell an engaging story

  26. Grab a prospect’s attention by sharing the outcome of a customer success story. Talk about the problem they experienced—choose an issue similar to the prospect’s—and explain how you worked with the customer to solve it. Only use this approach when the prospect says they have time to discuss. They won’t be receptive if they’re pressed for time.

    The cold calling script below tells the story of an industry issue and how the product solved it. The language is descriptive and paints a vivid picture for prospects.

    Sample cold calling script

    “Hey, Teresa!

    My name is Carl and I’m calling from Zendesk. How are you? Great!

    First, are you familiar with Two Crows Coffee? I know! Their coffee is amazing. But they get a ton of orders and, as you know, their weak spot is customer service. They have incredibly long wait times, and you can only reach them through phone or email. Their orders get backed up for days or weeks—and good luck speaking with someone if you have an issue.

    They recently merged with Organic Scene Coffee Beans, which is one of our clients. They were able to use our software to integrate Two Crows Coffee’s existing systems in just a couple of days. Now, when you want to speak with someone at Two Crows, you can pop onto Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or whatever communication channel you prefer and speak to someone right away.”

  27. Utilize your industry expertise

  28. Prospects want to work with a salesperson who knows their stuff and offers relevant solutions. Show off your expertise by referencing recent customer successes, case studies, and industry awards.

    Sample cold calling script:

    “What if I told you 68 percent of customers will switch to a company’s competitor after just one bad customer service experience? At Zendesk, we focus on helping businesses provide great customer and employee experiences. Our software makes life easier for customers and employees alike and enables your team to build relationships with buyers.”

  29. Explain next steps

  30. Even if a cold call goes well and the prospect was engaged and asked lots of questions, you can still lose the connection. Don’t close the sale—instead, explain the next steps so prospects know what you need from them.

    Sample cold calling script:

    “Our automation features and chatbots could do wonders for your team. I’d love to schedule a walk-through demo for your team so you can see the impact our software can have on your ticket times, ticket counts, and employee productivity.

    Are you available Wednesday or Thursday next week for a 20-minute demo? I promise it will be worth your time.”

  31. Be polite yet persistent

  32. If the prospect says they’re not interested, don’t immediately lose hope. Touch on the benefits of your product or service and its value once more. Prospects may voice common sales objections, but calmly explain what you can do for them. Never be aggressive or pushy.

    Sample cold calling script:

    “Teresa, once you integrate Zendesk with your current systems and leverage its unique features, you will notice a significant improvement in your customer experience—and so will your customers. They won’t jump ship and swim toward your competitor.

    If you have 15 minutes next week, we can walk you through our demo so you can see how easy it is to set up and use our product and how it can benefit your business.”

  33. Prepare for strategic follow-up

  34. Try to schedule the next meeting during your call. Sometimes, prospects will deflect and ask to connect through email when they can look at their calendar. If you follow up by email and they don’t respond, be persistent.

    Following up multiple times is normal—the “Rule of 7” says that brands who engage with a prospect seven times are more likely to earn their trust and get a sale.

    The call center script example below shows how to capture email addresses and book sales follow-up meetings in the call.

    Sample cold calling script:

    If the prospect deflects the proposal of setting up a meeting:
    “Do you have just 20 minutes next week to talk more?”

    If the prospect asks you to send an email so they can check their calendar:
    “Absolutely. What’s the best email to use?”

    Once you have their email address, you can add:
    “Perfect, I’ll send you an email with a few times for you to pick from. Is there a day (or time of day) that works best for you?”

  35. Leave voicemails

  36. Leaving a voicemail might feel like something from your parent’s generation, but in a world full of packed email inboxes and unread messages, leaving a voicemail may actually set you apart.

    Sample cold calling script:

    “Hello, Teresa. This is Carl from Zendesk. I am calling to learn more about your company’s customer experience and talk about how we can help you make it better.

    Feel free to call or text me at (555)-867-5309. I will also follow up with an email if that works better for you. I look forward to connecting.”

  37. Focus on the prospect

  38. It is human nature for people to want to talk about themselves. Always try to position your scripts to put the spotlight on the prospect and their company.

    Sample cold calling script:

    “What are some pain points you are experiencing with customer service?”
    “How much do you think you would benefit from a solution like this?”

  39. Make it easy

  40. Frame your initial cold call as a casual conversation to make it easy for the prospect to agree to a meeting or a demo. Prospects don’t want to feel like they’re on the hook for something they don’t have all the details about.

    Sample cold calling script:

    “Without any risk or commitment, can we set up a Zoom call with your team next week so we can present a demo and show you how our product can improve your ticket times, ticket counts, and employee productivity?

    Does Wednesday or Thursday work for you? We only need around 20 minutes of your time.”

    Achieve scripting success

    cold calling script success

    The best cold calling scripts help you introduce your products or services to prospects in a friendly, informative way. Now that you’ve learned from our sales script templates and cold call examples, you can start creating a few of your own. As your sales journey evolves, you’ll discover what scripts for sales calls work the best and feel the most comfortable. With enough practice, your script might even become second nature.

Unlock the hottest cold call scripts

Get all our free cold call script templates so you can be prepared for every scenario.

Unlock the hottest cold call scripts

Get all our free cold call script templates so you can be prepared for every scenario.

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