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Your sales script is just the beginning [but for goodness sake make sure it’s interesting…]

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In this third article in her five-part series, Barrett Consulting founder, Sue Barrett, explores how to create a more effective, organic sales script.

Can you tell when someone is reading from a script?

While many organisations understand and appreciate the importance of a sales script, a clumsily-worded pitch teamed with awkward delivery is unlikely to inspire confidence in your business. Similarly, a salesperson who’s unable to think on their feet when the prospect strays off-script makes your brand look amateurish.

A sales script is important. However, its effectiveness lies in how it’s used. Hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of sales people around the world use sales scripts. When used properly, they lay the foundation for the salesperson to have a meaningful discussion with prospects and existing customers.

Sales scripts aren’t meant to be regurgitated word-for-word, nor are they supposed to be a one-sided affair. This approach is called ‘canned scripting’. You’d think that in this day and age we’d have ditched canned scripts, but they still regularly rear their ugly heads.

When executed properly, telephone sales can be a very effective technique. But when scripting removes the ability to genuinely listen and respond to a customer, we all suffer.

Don’t limit your sales people with a ‘one-size-fits all’ script. Trust your team to engage with people in meaningful ways by giving them the guidelines and tools they need to communicate effectively with the wide variety of people. By combining appropriate training, your team will learn how to use the sales script to guide their conversations rather than control them.

Before you train your sales people, however, it’s important to develop a good sales script. A well-constructed script should:

  • Be purposeful
  • Use language the customer understands
  • Be designed for the benefit of the listener  — remember, it’s always the prospects’ choice to accept or reject what they hear
  • Be brief and allow for questions and conversations
  • Aim to achieve a result – an appointment, donation, purchase, feedback, etc
  • Be planned not canned – allow the sales person to adapt to the different needs or queries of the prospect whilst maintaining the integrity of the call’s purpose
  • Leave the prospect feeling valued and informed, even if they choose not to proceed with you in this instance
  • Be at all times pleasant, respectful and engaging

Sue Barrett is a sales expert, business speaker, adviser, sales facilitator and entrepreneur and founded Barrett Consulting to provide expert sales consulting, sales training, sales coaching and assessments. Visit www.barrett.com.au

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