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When to Use and When Not to Use Scripts

Building an All Star Team

Ask any sales professional about the use of scripts and brace yourself. You’ll get one of three responses:

  1. No Way!!!

  2. OMG - Yes, of course!

  3. Uh, never really thought about it. But no.

Why is there such wide variance in opinions when it comes to preparing for sales conversations?

We don’t hear heated arguments about the best way to hone other crafts such as how to play a sport (defined drills) or learn to play a musical instrument (scales). And yet, when it comes to learning how to have the most impactful sales conversations, there appears to be no widely adopted “best practice”.

Scripts do play a key role in building a strong, scalable sales organization. However, there are reasons you should use them and reasons you should not.

Don’t use scripts if:

1. You sound like a robot.

This is the number one argument against using scripts. “I don’t want to sound like a robot.” Don’t use scripts if you are unwilling to practice them over and over until they become muscle memory.

2. ​You prefer to wing it.

If you believe that every conversation is different and unpredictable and you trust in your own ability to handle it better than any pre-determined response or set of questions, then don’t use a script. Go ahead and take your chances. Divide your mental efforts between trying to listen and trying to think of what you are going to say next. Keep in mind though that you will be up against some sales professionals who are much better listeners because they have learned great scripts and their mind is freed up to be fully present with your prospect

3. You like spontaneity.

Hey, what sales person doesn’t love adventure and spontaneity? If you prefer the thrill of the challenge more than the thrill of advancing the sale, don’t use scripts. Scripts bring predictable results.

Use scripts if:

1. You want to be customer focused.

Your prospect is investing time in a conversation and if you are customer focused, then you will be prepared with the information that is most important to them. Whether it is addressing a concern or explaining your product or service, if you have internalized your script, you won’t forget to ask or to tell your prospect something of importance.

2. You want to control the conversation.

Trust me, your prospect also wants you to control the conversation. You are the one with the ability to solve their problem. They don’t know what they don’t know. You can either leave it up to them to ask the questions or you can share insights and ask questions to create the right solution for them.

3. You want consistent success and scalability.

As an individual, you will avoid those “off days” because your scripts are muscle memory. As a sales organization, you’ll be creating an all-star team, not a group of individual sales superstars. If you prefer to be the company with the strongest team, versus the one with the best individual players, then use scripts. A sales script helps to bring new people up to speed faster, train and benchmark them better and scale your sales faster.

If you’re sold on adopting scripts here are a few things you need to know in order for them to deliver consistent results:

  • They must become muscle memory. Role-practice with the teams every day. Just like the soccer team who runs drills where they pass the ball, practices footwork, and attempts kicks from all angles every day in practice, your teams need to drill the scripts. With the basics committed to memory, the soccer player’s individual actions are automatic and their mind is freed up to play the game more creatively, intensely and strategically. You can achieve the same thing in sales.

  • Allow for creative use of them. Once they are committed to memory, then each individual can add their personality to them. Think about any movie you’ve ever watched and particularly one that moved you to tears. That was a script.

  • Keep them alive and relevant. Make it a point to meet monthly and discuss the scripts. Are they working? What needs to be tweaked?

Scripts take effort. They can’t be created in a vacuum and they can’t be done one time. They require constant tweaking and updating. But they are well worth the effort! If you don’t agree, listen to your reps on the phone or worse, listen to your own calls, starting with voicemails.

We can help you get your teams aligned around your customer and comfortable with delivering value in every conversation. Or, you can take your chances and you may have a team of sales people that sound like this.

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