Friday, February 18, 2011

 

The problem with sales scripts

I’m willing to bet your sales team doesn’t use the sales scripts you gave them.  If you bothered to document the word-for-word transcript of how you’d like their calls to go, it was a waste of time.

Good salespeople don’t work from scripts, because they know that they simply don’t work.  If you’re reading from a script, you’re not listening.  If you’re using a script, you’re not customizing the pitch to what your prospect cares about.  If you’re using a script all day long, you’ve already made the assumption that every prospect is exactly alike.

Many of your prospects approach their problems in a different way.  They have different perspectives, different needs.  All a script does is water that down for everyone.  Worse, it commoditizes what you’re selling (and commoditization usually means you’ll end up competing on price).

Scripts work for voicemail messages.  They can work for your initial elevator pitch as well – those first few seconds you use to earn the right to continue the conversation.  But from there, you have to listen.  You have to adjust to what the prospects says, and wants.

This doesn’t mean you go into a sales call unprepared.  Have a crisp set of benefit-oriented key messages, a set of questions you’ll use to discover what’s really important to your prospect, and a set of desired outcomes for the conversation. 

Know what you have, why it’s important & valuable, and what you want from the prospect at the end of the call.  Let that outline guide you.

Sales scripts feel safe.  They’re coveted by managers who don’t trust (or don’t train) their salespeople.  But just because it feels safe doesn’t mean it’s going to work.


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