From 5:15 by the Who from the film and album Quadrophenia
Truth be told I’m more of a progressive rock fan – bands like Yes, King Crimson and Genesis have always been my favorites. But Pete Townshend and Company said it perfectly with line above: Why Should I Care? And I know they’re on to something because early on in their career, their 2nd album was smartly titled “A Quick One”.
One of our longest surviving bands has provided us with the best road map for creating an effective cold calling script. The key message your prospect needs to hear is “Why Should I Care” and equally important, it must be quick and simple. Throw in their other hit “I Can See for Miles” – keeping a long-term focus – and you have the perfect recipe for your cold call efforts. OK, no more Who comparisons…
As a follow-up to my post “Should Nonprofits Cold Call” (http://www.trainingforgoodinc.com/blog-basic-training/should-nonprofits-cold-call) I wanted to provide essentials for building a call script. I’ve learned about cold-call prospecting through training and trial and error. My first experience was building a book of business as an advisor in the financial services industry. Over the past 16 years in the nonprofit sector, I’ve continued to make calls whether it was for my own start-up or working with large national charities. I’ve learned your call can be delivered in three tight sentences as follows:
1. Who are you and what do you do? This seems straight forward. It’s not. There’s a tendency to share more information than necessary and before credibility is established. The goal is simple: Let the caller know your name, organization, and what you do.
Good example: Hi, this is Robert Grabel with Teens Run Westchester, a local mentoring organization that helps our young people lead successful healthy lives.
Bad example: Hi, this is Robert Grabel. I was calling because I want (on and on and on).
2. Why are you calling? What’s your purpose in calling today. No long explanations. And of course, no formal ask. You haven’t earned that right or established it as a possibility.
Good Example: I’m calling today because I’d like to set up a quick meeting to share why there are some common interests for us working together.
Bad Example: I’m calling today because we’re looking for a $10,000 sponsorship and we heard you have money, are looking for some good PR etc.
3. Why should I care? Where’s the alignment? Why should they care to share their valuable time with you? If you’re struggling, take another look at your prospect list. Who is on it and why? If your only connection to your prospect is their appearance on lists made available to the public you’re fighting a losing battle.
Good Example: Listen, I know we haven’t spoken before but (name of contact) suggested reaching out to you due to your interest in mentoring.
Bad Example: Listen, I know we haven’t spoken before but we’re calling the top 25 companies in our city to see if they’ll help.
The topic of cold-calling scripting is worthy of a much longer discussion and lots of books (they’re out there). What I’ve tried to provide are quick tips on getting a starter script. Ultimately, if you stick with it, play with your wording and stay consistent, you’ll find what works for you. If you have questions or need more ideas, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org