- When you first started selling, you probably thought, “I don’t know what to say – I need something written out, so I don’t screw up!” That should be the only time in your sales career that a script is an effective tool.
When you don’t know how to do your job.
Other than that, sales should be an organic process of building rapport, asking questions, listening, paraphrasing, and basically – having a conversation that leads somewhere. YOU shouls also understand the intrisic motivators of conversation and how to use them. Read more on my post “The Secret of Getting in The Door.”
However, many salespeople think that they can “wing it” through their experience and charm and still be able to create consistent results. But that doesn’t work either. Before you begin the conversation, you better be prepared…and practiced.
The trap of scripts are that they are enablers of laziness. To be the most effective, salespeople should be trained in the art of conversation, so rather than scripts, teach them about talking points. Learn how to ask questions, listen, and understand the customer’s needs, then ensure you have clarified that you understand. Only then are you able to properly provide solutions. Read my post on “5.1 Steps to Listen your Way Into More Sales.”
I just read an BRILLIANT article from Eyesonsales about sales call preparedness. http://www.eyesonsales.com/content/article/bad_sales_call_dont_do_this.
The tips are:
- Pre-Call Research
- Engaging Opening Statement
- Proper Objectives
- Strong Engagement Questions
I also want to share with you a conversation I recently had. Here is an email regarding scripts that I sent to a friend of mine who is just starting out as a sales trainer:
“Well firstly, I don’t believe in scripts… But… It depends on the nature of your call. You should have a set of criteria that you are using and multiple stage scripts if you do. If you are doing a cold call, you will have a different call than you do a warm lead. A confirmed second call that was pre-set by the potential client is also a much different call.
Before you cold call, you should ensure your team has done sufficient research on your customer and understands their needs in order to address them. You will also need to be clear on your Unique Value Proposition (UVP) and succinct in how you deliver it. Depending on the answers by your clients, you will need different responses to help them move towards a call to action. Regardless of their response, there should always be a confirmed next step, whether it be a confirmed appointment or even a call/email. Never let the call end without getting some type of approval to proceed. If they hesitate on a call to action, you will either have a stall or objection and must deal with those appropriately.
Scripts are only as good as the process around them and how well your team can deliver the material. If you have only one standard script for everything, you are wasting yours and your customer’s time. Teach your team how to probe, ask questions, and listen, and you will deliver results.”
I don’t believe in Scripts, I believe in Conversations. I would love to hear your feedback.
image by Tomotaka