A Modern Approach to Incorporating Antiquated Sales Scripts
Let’s face it, sales people are often annoying and frequently focus too much on their own goals rather than the needs of their customers. On the telephone, the sales process is often worse; too direct and pushy with the sales person often sounding insincere and untrustworthy. Today, the Prospect drives the sale far more than ever before and the sales person has much less room and time to do his or her “thing.” The Prospect’s needs must be satisfied within just seconds.
So how can you create interest in such a short time window? Consider a script. Sales scripting receives a bad rap. It’s viewed as old-school, stating that sales people need to be more flexible and better able to think on their feet. However, several of my clients have recently asked me to develop a sales script, leading me to reconsider its effectiveness. I believe that when combined with a modern prospecting approach, sales scripts can still enable sales success.
Sales Scripts as Part of the Sales Process
Walking through business parks knocking on doors to learn the name of the decision maker is a dead technique. Modern prospecting requires the sales person to first understand why their current best clients are their best clients. What do you do that brings your customers value and happiness? Then identify similar types of companies that may have similar challenges and goals, i.e. where your successes will resonate fast.
Broach the Prospect. To make the conversation valuable, you must be able to explain the value you generate to your top clients. Because the content of those first words must be value-based, a sales script makes it easier. Then tell a story around that value. Salespeople need to think, speak and respond fluidly, otherwise the Prospect will tune out immediately.
Creating a sales approach and sales script focused on the Prospect, not on your goals, will improve the likelihood of interest generation – which is all you can hope for early in the sales process. The dialogue needs to be driven towards learning the challenges of the Prospect and expressing the value you have brought to others. To that end, pre-planned statements can entice interest and avoid sounding unnatural and robotic. Which when followed by good listening skills, will allow the sales person to pivot towards the needs of the Prospect, identifying if you can help them, not yourself.
Alleviate Sales Stressors
Sales is often ranked as one of the most stressful jobs. The pressure to say the right thing at the right time can be tremendous. Creating a modern prospecting strategy and process identifies appropriate target clients based off the solutions and successes of your best clients, then facilitates the development of value statements to add to your sales scripting. Pre-planning will remove the stress during the phone call by identifying some of the more specific areas of value, and the best practice methods to draw out the conversation in a positive light. Effectiveness can be improved by carefully choosing the words you want to use, and making observations about what is working and what isn’t working, allowing you to experiment with language choices to see what is most effective.
As with many tools, sales scripts alone are weak. However, when you address the potential needs of prospects by associating what you do well in prepared value statements, you can make sales scripting, and your sales person, more effective with better outcomes.
Michael Wills is the founder of Top Line Solutions, powered by Sales Xceleration. He specializes in Outsourced Sales Leadership, focusing on revenue growth and sales organization for small and medium-sized businesses. Connect with Michael at email@example.com.