Every salesperson uses a script. Period.
Many salespeople deny that they are using scripts. This is not true. What is true instead is that they use a script that they have never spent the appropriate amount of time or energy to craft as well as they should have and one that isn’t as effective as it might be had they done so.
Salespeople who deny using a script believe that because it isn’t written down, it isn’t a script. If you believe you aren’t using a script, reflect on your last ten sales calls. Did you open those ten calls in ten different ways? Did you ask ten different sets of questions? Did you attempt to obtain a commitment using ten different language choices?
You are using scripts. I am challenging you to make sure that your scripts include your very best language choices.
Never underestimate the power of the language choices you make on sales calls. What you say, when you say it, and how you say it can—and does—make all the difference in the world to your results and your ability to advance deals.
Take the Time to Craft and Rehearse Your Message
Sit down write out all of your common sales encounters. Make an outline of all of the most important points you need to hit to ensure that you create enough value on the sales call to ensure you can advance the sale. Then write out the best language for each of the points you need to make. Do it in two or three sentences.
Don’t reinvent the wheel here. Reflect on what has worked for you in the past. What opening has worked the best for you in the past? What story best illustrates the point that you need to make? What funny anecdote always breaks the tension? What transitions work the best?
Make sure you have a great sales call opening, a great value proposition, a spectacular and differentiating set of needs-analysis questions that prove your business acumen, a presentation that defines and validates your ability to achieve results, and tried and true commitment obtaining language.
You will have already rehearsed major pieces of your best scripts countless times on countless calls before now. But that isn’t a reason not to rehearse it again as a whole. Find a willing accomplice in effectiveness and rehearse together.
Take the Time to Craft and Rehearse Responses to All Common Objections
Make a list of all of the common questions and objections that you typically hear during sales calls. Start with the objections you hear during your prospecting activities. End with the objections you hear late in the process when your prospects and dream clients are resolving their concerns. Write down everything in between in an outline.
Repeat the process above. Choose the most powerful words, phrases, and stories that help to resolve concerns. Reflect on what has worked in the past and keep a running diary of new questions and concerns and your responses.
None of this means you need to sound contrived. But it absolutely must sound like you know what you are talking about. But it does need to sound well reasoned and logical. Rehearse! Rehearse! Rehearse!
I know. You object. Before you do, let me have a chance to change your mind.
1. I don’t want to read from a script! I want to be natural.
This has nothing to do with reading. I am not suggesting, nor would I, that you read from a script. I am instead suggesting that you take the time to write out the words and phrases that best convey your message and your meaning. I am suggesting that you yourself choose those words. I am insisting that you write the stories, you create the metaphors, you write the anecdotes, and you write the transitions.
Your script should be your script. It should contain your best words, your best phrases, and the best ideas that you have used to successfully sell.
2. I am too good at thinking on my feet!
And so you are. And you will surely have your chance to execute your ability to be resourceful, to be creative, and to think on your feet. But your opening, your value proposition, your presentation, your needs-analysis questions, and your commitment-gaining language choices aren’t the right opportunities to do so.
I promise, no matter how well prepared and well rehearsed you are, the question from left field will find you. But your commitment gaining language shouldn’t be a shot in the dark!
3. I love being challenged in the boardroom!
Me too! There is nothing like 14 people blasting you with rapid-fire questions!
Be honest. Aren’t you comfortable in that situation because you have such great command of your product and service? Aren’t you prepared because you have studied your solution well enough to know how to answer?
You aren’t going to enjoy sparring with the suits any less after you have taken the time to write down your best responses. In fact, you will enjoy it even more and your star will shine that much brighter.
Salespeople use scripts. Even those who believe they don’t use scripts are really relying on scripts, albeit ones that haven’t been refined as well as they might be. By writing and rehearsing your scripts, you will be smoother, you will be more consistent, you will be more persuasive, and you will be more effective.
1. What is your real resistance to writing and refining your scripts?
2. How would you benefit from having the best language choices available to you for each sales situation in which you commonly engage?
3. How does it damage a potential deal when a salesperson goes off script and wanders through a presentation or response? What does it mean about the salesperson?
4. What would your clients believe about you if you had an extraordinary set of needs analysis questions?
5. How would your clients benefit from getting a complete, well-thought, and well-reasoned response to their questions and concerns?
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