Scripting Cold Calls Is A Bad Idea: Why Most Call Center Managers Have It Wrong, from Forbes.
We’ve all been there. Maybe you worked in sales, or maybe you were fundraising, trying to get someone to pick up the phone and actually listen to you. Let’s face it, no matter which end of the line you’re on, unsolicited calls can be tough. But what if there’s a secret to keeping people on the phone? Some mutually beneficial formula that leads to cold call success?
In a study I ran using Qualtrics, I discovered that most practitioners have it all wrong. Nearly 4 out of every 5 call center managers—78% to be exact—said that getting reps to “follow a script” was a primary focus, but only 38% of scripted calls were actually successful. Of all the characteristics tested, only one predicted success when it came to making unsolicited calls. What was it? Not sounding scripted.
So why do phone research practitioners and sales trainers focus so much on following a script when sounding unscripted leads to more successful call outcomes?
I wanted to take a closer look at this prevailing industry belief that scripted introductions contribute to the success of unsolicited calls. I ran a second study with over 3,400 adults who listened to five brief excerpts from recorded survey invitations from the University of Michigan’s Research Center. Every excerpt averaged 10 seconds in length and consisted of brief introductory statements from the caller (i.e., “Hello, my name is Mike and I am calling from the University of Michigan about our community involvement survey”).