How to Write a Cold Call Script That Sells + Free Templates

Learn how to craft the perfect cold call script with our detailed article, including free cold call script templates and examples for different scenarios.

A cold call script is a guide salespeople use when calling leads they’ve never directly spoken with before. Cold calling can be intimidating, but using a script can help sellers stay on task during their calls and effectively qualify and book meetings with leads. After familiarizing yourself with a general template as well as situation-specific templates for a variety of selling scenarios, you can create your own cold call script and adapt it as needed.

This article focuses on the creation of a cold call script. If you need a step-by-step process on how to actually make cold calls, read our guide on how to cold call.

Free Cold Call Script Template

Check out our standard cold call script template below, then read on for a complete breakdown of each of its components. You can use the template verbatim for general calls or tweak sections as necessary for your unique business. Then, check out our full list of cold call script templates and examples for a variety of situations so you can better craft your own. Jump to see them below.

Free cold call script template
Click to view/download
Free cold call script template
Click to view/download

Components of a Cold Call Script

Our template lists all of the key components of a successful cold call script, plus our suggested verbiage for each. Including all components will help you get acquainted with your new leads, remember everything you’d like to say to them, and get all of your initial questions answered. Let’s dive further into each component and what it helps you accomplish on your calls.

Opener

First, give a brief introduction that states your name and company. Confirm the lead's full name, showing that the call is specifically for them and their role in the company. Then, ask for a couple minutes of their time.

Hello, this is {your name} from {your company}. Is this {lead’s full name}?

(If the lead says yes . . . )

Great! Hi, {lead's name}. I was hoping to speak with you for a quick moment. Do you have two minutes?

Reason for Your Call

If the lead allows you to continue, immediately tell them why you're calling. In this step, you're starting to help the lead understand why you've called them specifically and setting yourself up as a helpful problem solver. Associate yourself with their industry, and mention three pain points they could be experiencing based on their field and your research into their business.

The reason I'm calling you is that I work with {customer type} in {lead's industry}, helping them with {specific business solution your company provides}. Many of them were struggling with {pain point that likely affects the lead}. They were also frustrated with {second pain point} because it was causing them to {third pain point}.

Unique Selling Proposition

Next, communicate your unique selling proposition (USP). The best way to do this is to explain what your product or service is and then tie it directly to the lead and their probable pain points. After telling them why they should care about your business and what's in it for them, ask them to speak with you further.

So very briefly, {your company}'s {product or service name} is a {brief description} that {USP}. This way, {positive result}. I was researching your company online, and I saw that {fact you researched about the company that’s relevant to their needs and your business}. I’d love to learn more about your goals and challenges in this area and let you know how I believe we can help. Is that a conversation we could schedule, or perhaps talk about now if you have some time?

Objection Handling

As you're delivering your USP, many leads will have objections to your call or your product or service. To combat this, prepare for common objections people use so you can respond to them accordingly. Depending on the objection they state, answer in a way that entices them to continue listening to you, or at least book a time to reconnect.

I understand you’re pressed on time. Can I have just a few minutes to ask you some questions, either now or later this week?

Needs Assessment

By this point, your lead has either expressed interest or not. If you've overcome their objections and confirmed that they're interested in continuing the conversation, execute a brief needs assessment and start to measure fit. This serves as the entryway into more in-depth questions you’ll ask during your next conversation with them, after you’ve verified that your solution can likely meet their needs.

Ask a few of the categorized questions below to initially qualify the lead and prepare for your next meeting:

  • Customer Needs: What are your goals and challenges? Where do you want to be, and what’s stopping you from getting there? 
  • Other Decision Factors: What other factors go into your buying decisions when considering a product or service similar to ours?
  • Competitors: Are you using products like ours right now? If not, any reason in particular? What do you enjoy about those products? What don’t you like about them?
  • Decision Timeline: What are your expectations from me so you can make a good decision on whether to purchase our product? Should I prepare product samples, product demonstrations, and/or contract agreements, and by when? How much time do you usually need to consider a product before buying? 
  • Communicating in the Future: How do you prefer I communicate with you moving forward? Will you be my primary contact? Is there anyone else you think I should introduce myself to?

Summary & Call-to-Action

Toward the end of the call, read back a list of the lead's needs. This will prove you have their best interest at heart, and it will establish trust. Then, end with a call-to-action (CTA) that states next steps; for example, maybe you’ll send a calendar invite containing a few materials the lead can review before your next conversation.

So, what I’m hearing is that {describe the lead's needs}. Based on our call today, I think we have a solution that would work great for you. I look forward to telling you about it and hearing more from you on our next {call/meeting}. Is there a day and time that works for you next week? I have {day and time range you’re available} open if you’re free then.

(After confirming the next meeting . . . )

Great, I have our next {call/meeting} down for {day, date, and time}. When we hang up, {next steps for you and/or the lead}. Thanks, and talk soon!

How to Write a Cold Call Script

Now that you're familiar with the components to include in a cold call script, let's go over how to use our template to write your own script from start to finish. Writing a script for your cold calls involves completing pre-work, drafting a script, and getting comfortable with your script. To do so, follow the steps below.

1. Research Your Leads' Goals

Understand who you’re creating a script for, what's important to them, and the challenges they're facing so you can write a targeted script. The best way to do this is to establish your ideal customer profile (ICP), then research your ICP's typical goals and challenges as well as each lead's goals and challenges. If you complete both types of research, your leads will be more likely to trust you, as they'll feel that you understand their pain points and how to help alleviate them.

2. Determine Your USP

Based on your research, identify your USP and how it relates to each lead. Plan to explain your product or service and then immediately tie it to their needs. Here, you're showing your lead that you've done your research, and you're helping them understand how your business can improve their unique situation.

3. Draft the Components of Your Script

Write out each component of your script using our template above. Again, these components include:

  • Opener: State your name and company and your lead's name, and ask for their time.
  • Reason for Your Call: Explain why you're calling the lead.
  • USP: Start to show the lead how your business can help them.
  • Objection Handling: Prepare rebuttals to common objections.
  • Needs Assessment: Initially evaluate the lead's fit.
  • Summary and CTA: Confirm your ability to help, then plan another conversation.

You might choose to skip a component or two on certain calls, but write them out so you can be prepared with every lead.

4. Practice Your Script

Rehearse your script with a coworker to ensure you're ready to use it. Ask them to play the role of several different leads so you can get comfortable treating your script as an adaptable guide rather than following it verbatim.

After you draft your first script, you may find that you need additional scripts for various scenarios. Next, we'll look at template examples for different situations. When writing your situational scripts, follow the steps above, keep the components in mind, and use the examples below for inspiration.

Cold Calling Script Template Examples for Any Situation

To know what to say on your cold calls, have a script handy for the scenarios you’re likely to face. The following are templates for a few common scenarios, built with tools necessary to break through to the next phase of the sales conversation, yet with enough flexibility to pivot when needed.

Finding the Key Decision Maker

Who Should Use It: Any B2B salesperson who needs a simple cold calling template to get past the gatekeeper at their leads’ companies.

Why It Works: It establishes immediate rapport. Often, the receptionist is the gatekeeper to the decision maker, so you want to treat them equally as important. This approach also gets right to the reason you’re calling, which should be directly relevant to the lead’s business. Save the small talk for later in the call — they’ll see this ploy a million miles away if you use it out the gate.

cold call script template find decision maker
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Getting a Meeting With B2B Leads

Who Should Use It: Any salesperson whose role is selling to businesses in person or via Zoom or another platform.

Why It Works: This script quickly opens the door to the next phase of sales, assessing customer needs. And the customer’s needs are exactly what you’re prioritizing with this approach, even over your own. This script also politely offers the customer the option to plan a future time for an initial conversation, as many B2B decision makers have busy schedules.

cold call script template get meeting B2B leads
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Cold Calls From Referrals

Who Should Use It: Any salesperson who has spoken to a colleague of the decision maker.

Why It Works: This is often the quickest and most effective way to warm a cold call. It removes any potential awkwardness that may come with initial contact, as you’ve already corresponded with someone who works with the decision maker in some capacity. Moreover, that person recommended you to the decision maker, so they share the burden of outreach with you. Because the lead is a referral, you can also skip over initial qualification and plan a longer call.

cold call script template referrals
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Calling During Challenging Times

Who Should Use It: Any salesperson during times of economic hardship or a health crisis.

Why It Works: Let’s not beat around the bush — this approach turns misfortune into opportunity. During tough times, everyone is fighting a hard battle or is close to someone who is. Such circumstances put us all in the same boat, allowing you to establish an immediate bond and a way to break the ice, human to human rather than salesperson to customer.

cold call script template challenging times
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Scheduling a Demo Presentation

Who Should Use It: Any salesperson selling a product or service whereby the most effective approach is a hands-on demonstration of what they’re selling. This usually happens after you’ve spoken with the lead about their needs relevant to your business.

Why It Works: First, it shows you’ve listened to and understand the lead's needs, and may have a solution. Second, the product you’re selling is almost always your most effective sales tool. That’s what the lead is considering buying, so what better way to have them envision using it than actually seeing it in action, particularly through the lens of their own needs.

cold call script template schedule demo presentation
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Calling a Customer With Minimal Time

Who Should Use It: Any salesperson selling for a company with a lot of leads under intense time constraints, or selling to a customer who isn’t inclined to give much time. Often, you’ll encounter this scenario in advertising sales, or if you’re selling to a C-level business person (e.g., CEO, president, director). If you know your lead is going to be too busy to talk to you, use this script template. 

Why It Works: It cuts out the fluff and gets right to the point, which the customer will appreciate.

cold call script template busy lead
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Leaving a Voicemail

Who Should Use It: Any salesperson who fails to connect live with the designated decision maker.

Why It Works: This cold call script is quick and to the point, and it doesn’t give away too much. There is enough for the person listening to understand why you’re calling, but also enough mystery to compel that person to call back. However, most people won’t return a voicemail. The primary goal is to build awareness. Pair it with an email. Both serve as a “touch” — the more touches, the more awareness, and the more chances of a conversation.

cold call script template voicemail
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Things to Remember When Writing Your Script

As you draft and modify your script, keep the guidelines below in mind:

  • Keep Your Script Focused on the Customer: What’s in it for them? Why are you and your product worth their time and consideration?
  • Make the Script Confident and Pleasant: Write your verbiage to strike a balanced tone — not overly cheery but also not timid or restrained. At the end of the day, you are not a threat. You are offering the customer a potential solution to their problem.
  • Continually Tweak Your Script: As you discover what does and does not work, rewrite your script as needed to increase your success rate.
  • Prepare to Stray From the Script: It’s okay to go off-script, especially as you get comfortable with cold calling — this can keep the conversation fluid and help you be an active listener. As you write your script, know that you might deviate from it a bit.

After you’ve drafted your script using these steps, components, templates, and tips, read our article on cold calling tips for advice related to the practice of cold calling as a whole. To learn how to make your calls from start to finish, check out our article on how to cold call, where we detail the steps to make a successful call.

Bottom Line: Cold Call Script

Cold calling can be a daunting endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be. As long as you have a script that’s designed to be customer-focused, efficient, and adaptive, cold calling can become a great lead generation strategy. The best way to perfect your script is by rehearsing and tweaking it. The best way to rehearse it is by diving in and using it. The more you use it, the more comfortable you’ll get, and the more comfortable and receptive the customer will be. You’ve got this!

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