Many salespeople are told or advised to use a script. I’m going to share with you why this can inhibit cold calling success. Let me start first of all by explaining my understanding of what a script is.
If you look up the dictionary definition of the word ‘script’ as a noun it refers to either a set of instructions, a handwritten note or lines for actors in a play, film or theatre. In any of these versions of its definition, a script is a written version of what is going to happen. And there lies the problem. No one can predict what is going to happen on each of your calls. So, there is no way you can have a script that will deal with every possible scenario. They work in films or plays because the other person has a script to compliment your script. Your customer is not going to slot into your script - ever! So, the more you rely on the script, the more frustrated you will become with it. Imagine a love scene in a play and only one partner has a script. How many different endings could you possibly imagine right there? If this is not enough to convince you then here are three other reasons why you should dump the script.
1. It takes away the human you.
The whole reason you should be in sales is that you have a personality that is your own. It is your personality is one of the things that makes your call different from any other. I say this because in many cases what you are offering is being offered by other salespeople too so one differentiator during a cold call will be you and your personal approach. The question you should always ask your self is why they should talk to me out of everyone? Then use your character to stand out from the rest win over the customer. More than half the battle is in the delivery and not just what you offer. Remember what I said about objections: you have to be liked. Your first objective on a call is always to be 'liked' by the person on the other end. Whatever stage you are at with your sales call no one will want to know what you have to offer if you don't come across like someone they can or even want to speak to, let alone do business with. A listener can sense that you are not speaking to them from your own heart & mind.
2. It takes away your confidence.
A long time ago, I worked in an organisation called the Caudwell Group, and I was asked to step in and train the telesales team. After listening to them for some time, I decided that the reason they weren't selling as well as they could was that they were too reliant on their scripts. They would take ages trying to look for responses to the customer in their flow chart of a script; this was distracting for both the customer and them so in most cases they lost or did not even gain momentum for a lack of rapport. I explained to them that as long as they were a slave to their script, they would never gain the confidence to overcome objections and get passed the gatekeepers. Having tried the calls without scripts, both inexperienced and experienced salespeople began to open up and have more enjoyable conversations with their customers, hence produced better results. So proving that previously the script took away their right to be themselves and thus their confidence in themselves. As a salesperson, you need that self-confidence. You need to know that YOU make the difference between a sale and a no sale. The word of what I did got to their manager whose first response was not favourable of my approach until a couple of weeks later when they saw that sales figures from those who didn't go back to using the script went up! Sometimes you must make brave steps to get a return for your hard work. So ditch the script before it rules over you and takes away your self-confidence.
3. It takes away your ability to listen and understand.
The number of times I have heard cold callers completely ignore the customer is unbelievable. Generally, this happens when the caller is following a script strictly asking questions in the format listed on the script. Questions themselves are great to have but formatted into a script means the salesperson is so busy trying to get through and tick off all the questions that they are not really listening to the answers. I mean how many times has a salesperson asked you for 5 minutes and then ignored your response anyway? Without a script, you are more alert, and more engaged meaning you listen more carefully in order to respond effectively. Unfortunately, when a script is involved, salespeople start to focus on getting through it rather than making use of it. I would suggest that you ditch the script and create a structure. The difference between a structure and a script is that a structure assumes nothing; it highlights a pathway to an end goal. For example, my suggested structure as in my book is: first, make a great first impression, second ask and answer questions, and the third present the value. A script is more like being on stepping stones. If you fall off or lose control of it, you will lose your place and the call!
So please have a think about what I've shared with you today: If you can dump the script you will;
ALL OF THAT = GREATER SUCCESS. Trust me it works!