Interesting conversation. A script is probably the best way to go when making cold calls, but if you know you`re likely to be stiff or wooden when using it, try tricking yourself with an outline, or practice it to the point where certain words trigger the right response. It`s a matter of being prepared for almost anything when you`re on the call.
Most people -- who don`t make cold calls for a living -- are so nervous when making cold calls that they are already not at their best. Having a script sort of increases your comfort zone. But being prepared with knowledge or information about anything the prospect might ask and knowing how to respond might be even better. Just my thoughts, I haven`t done sales.
It`s my opinion that a good salesperson can sell anyone something they don`t necessarily need or want ... if the salesperson strikes the right nerve. The trick is know which nerve to strike. That`s why I completely agree with your point about having a conversation with a prospect, asking questions & listening to what their needs are. It helps you get to the nerve & go for the kill. Sorry to sound so barbaric. I`ve had too much coffee.