The Importance of Practicing a Telemarketing Script – Lead Generation or Appointment Setting


practice makes perfect


“Practice makes perfect!” We all grew up hearing this phrase from our parents, teachers, and coaches. While this phrase has proven to be accurate in sports and schoolwork, have you ever considered it for your telemarketing efforts?

As discussed in “Writing a Script for a Telemarketing Campaign”, having a script is vital to successfully executing a telemarketing campaign. This notion can seem somewhat black-and-white. However, what is not always black-and-white is the notion of practice. There are two different components of practice when it comes to telemarketing: practicing the script and practicing with your staff, commonly known as role-playing. These two go hand-in-hand and are equally important.

Practicing the Script

It is amazing how differently a freshly written script sounds when you hear it spoken out loud as opposed to when you write it and read it silently to yourself. Practice allows you to identify the weaknesses of your message and subsequently, correct those weaknesses prior to going live with calls.

In some businesses, prospect database records are very valuable. There are not enough records to waste during early stage phone calls where the process has yet to be refined. Testing a script in a role-play environment helps preserve the value of prospect records. Almost always, you are going to find the opportunity to refine, improve, and provide more clarity to a message during a testing phase. Testing the message will also help develop a more complete list of common objectives and FAQs, as well as prepare appropriate responses to commonly asked questions.

Practicing with Your Staff

Role-playing is one of the more nerve-wracking elements of a telemarketer’s job. This can be seen as the “down-side” of it; however, the good news is that role-playing is the best training for when the calls go live. It offers benefits such as feeling comfortable navigating the script, becoming familiar with common industry terms, and an all around feeling of preparedness.

It is difficult to find shortcuts when it comes to the act of preparation. Your employees should competently represent your company if they have spent 30-60 minutes speaking the message and addressing common questions and challenges during a role-playing session.

The 30-60 minutes of practice makes the assumption that the staff is already experienced at making prospecting calls or is knowledgeable in the area of your product and/or services. If the caller does not have either area of experience, role-play will take longer, but it will be time well spent. Try to create an environment where you can minimize nervousness.

Once your staff is prepared, the next step is to go live with calls. Stay tuned for our next article, which will focus on key points of going live with telemarketing calls.

Writing a Script for a Telemarketing Campaign – Lead Generation or Appointment Setting




Now that you have identified your database (see “How to Build Your Database”), the next step in implementing a telemarketing campaign is to write your script.

  • Think of a script as documentation of how you would speak naturally
  • Do not get caught up in using fancy words
  • Write your message with the mindset of “what is in it for the prospect?”
  • Be brief and quickly get to the point

The introduction should briefly introduce you and your company; the first goal is to identify or confirm who you need to speak with. If you do not have a contact name, help the gatekeeper out by offering typical titles of people that are involved in the decision making process. For example, “May I please speak with the person who makes the banking decisions?” This is a commonly used practice in many telemarketing campaigns. If title descriptions are not helping, ask to be transferred to the appropriate department and start your information gathering at that point. With certain businesses, initial intelligence gathering can be accomplished at the gatekeeper level, which will help prepare you for a call back at a future date to speak with the right person.

Once you connect with the right person (could be a decision influencer or decision maker), introduce yourself again and offer a very brief statement of what you do – as always in telemarketing, the fewer words, the better at the beginning stage of a cold call conversation. Then, as quickly as possible, ask a question that helps determine early stage need or interest. For example, if you are doing appointment setting calls for a bank, you might ask, “Are you satisfied with your current banking situation?” This first question is important in gauging the prospect’s willingness to give you a few quality moments. If you are catching them at a bad time, do not be afraid to call them back at a more convenient time. If they are willing to continue a conversation, present a brief value statement that should be meaningful to them. This statement should communicate “what is in it for them (the prospect)”. If the timing is right, at this point, you should be able to ask questions concerning:

  • Current situation
  • Future plans to change (timing)
  • Does the current situation satisfy immediate and future needs
  • Satisfaction

If timing is not right, still gather basic information as listed above. Ask for permission to stay in touch. Have a good CRM system in place that will help you track and time your follow up calls. An efficient CRM tool is very helpful with most telemarketing campaigns.

In closing out your call, attempt to gather the person’s email address. This will be helpful in staying in touch, incorporating in newsletters, and inviting them to upcoming events. Email is a great complement to telemarketing calls and can be used to increase overall appointment setting and lead generation results.

It is important to set proper expectations when making phone calls. It is uncommon to sell business the first time you call someone. Typically, early stage phone calls are the beginnings of building a relationship that leads you to earning the right to sell at a point in the future.

Many times, the patience and tenacity of staying in touch timely become key attributes in lead generation; therefore, earning the right to sell. Timing and persistence are more important than fancy words.

Now that you have your script, what comes next? You should practice with the script and role-play before going live with calls. Check out our next article, “The Importance of Practicing a Script”, which discusses the importance of becoming familiar with your script.