Monday, June 29, 2009
Sales scripts in today's business climate
This post is in response to a suggestion that "sales pitches and scripts are a thing of the past." I think not.
Years ago, I developed a system I called "The selected use of pre-memorized language." I discovered that successful salespeople in the same company had evolved to fundamentally the same words but, strangely, they had never talked with each other about it. This gave me a clue that "words mean things" and certain phrases were more persuasive than others.
I'm suggesting a mindful process whereby the salesperson connects with the prospect through listening, then "selects" phrases that resonate with the client. Again, a computer cannot do this - yet. The scripts are designed to describe certain aspects of the offering.
In contrast, salespeople without a script tend to ramble on or simply give the whole "pitch" without considering the prospective customer. I just had a travel agent give me five options for dining on a cruise I'm booking. I finally had to say, "I'm looking for advice - suggestions, not a list of benefits. I can get that on the web." However, when she describes the offering, I'd like it to be tight, well thought-out and clearly descriptive of what I can expect.
Where I use a script is describing the typical clients we have to ensure the prospective client can relate to this description - or not. Where I use a script is describing the typical clients we have to ensure the prospective client can relate to this description - or not. I want each client to hear it described clearly and concisely.
I worked with a salesperson who insisted she did not, and would not, use a script. I followed her around all day and was able to cite her script almost verbatim. She was unaware of her natural tendency to use similar phrases over and over. She became much more effective when she did this mindfully, rather than unconsciously.
The art is in hiding the art. If it sounds memorized or "canned" - you're an amateur. The pro can say the same thing over and over with the same energy and enthusiasm as well as personalizing each conversation to each prospective client.
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