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I did a teleconference a few weeks ago with people who were new  

in sales and new to prospecting. The focus of the call was to  

help participants get beyond fear and understand their  

prospecting process. 



One of the participants on the call told me that she had been  

given the telephone prospecting script that her team leader uses  

to set appointments. The team leader was a highly successful  

sales professional who had been in the business for many years  

and made quite a lot of money. The participant, who had been in  

the business for approximately a week, told me that she was going  

to work with the script and "make it her own." 



"No!" I cried out. "Don't do that! Don't make it your own!" 



My reasoning? This participant was a beginner. She knew nothing  

about sales or prospecting. She had a script that was crafted by  

someone who was highly successful on the telephone. This  

particular participant did not know enough to make it her own.  

More than likely, in making the script her own she would  

eliminate all of the powerful, persuasive and motivating language  

used by the sales super star who had given her the script. 



When you are on the telephone with a prospect you have about 10  

seconds to grab and hold your prospect's attention. If you do not  

do that within that first 10 seconds, your call is more than  

likely over. If you get through that first 10 seconds, that buys  

you another 10 seconds. If you get through that 10 seconds it  

buys you yet another... and so on... 10 seconds is not a lot of time.  

To get through those 10-second increments, you want to use the  

most powerful and persuasive words that you have at your  




If you are a beginner it is entirely possible, indeed even  

likely, that you may not be comfortable with certain powerful  

words or phrases. They may be very unlike your usual way of  

speaking. Even if you've been in sales for a while you might be  

set in your ways, accustomed to certain words and a certain  

delivery, and changing that might feel uncomfortable. 



I've met many people who say they do not want to work with  

scripts because then they "cannot be themselves." Remembering  

that your prospecting call happens in 10-second increments you  

want to be the very best self that you can be, every time. That  

requires preparation. 



One of the things that I've always loved about being in sales is  

that it is crystal clear. You always know exactly where you are.  

You are either scheduling appointments, or you're not. You are  

either closing, or you're not. 



If you are new to sales and a successful professional gives you  

their script--don't change a word. That script will be your gold  

mine. If you've been in sales for a while and want to try out a  

new script, test it first. Your old script becomes your baseline.  

For example, make 30 prospecting calls using your usual script  

and keep track of the number of appointments that you schedule.  

Then make 30 more prospecting calls using your new script exactly  

as written. Keep track of the number of appointments that you  

schedule. At the end of those 60 calls you will know which script  

works better. That becomes your new baseline. 



© 2006 Wendy Weiss 

This Sales & Marketing article was written by Wendy Weiss on 7/29/2006

Wendy Weiss, “”The Queen of Cold Calling,”” is a sales trainer,
author and sales coach. Her recently released program, Cold
Calling College, and/or her book, Cold Calling for Women, can be
ordered by visiting Contact her at Get Wendy’s free e-zine at