“I hate sales scripts”
It’s equally funny and scary when sales people tell me they hate sales scripts. When I ask why they come up with a bunch of silliness in response. Things like, “Well, I like them as talking points”, or, “I use them as a guide.” or “They are more of a flowing guideline.”
And my response is something, “WTF? Why are you lying to yourself?”
Every. Single. Salesperson. Uses. Scripts. Daily.
Yes, you read that right – every single one, and in every single call.
Let me ask you this. When you get to certain parts of your pitch, demo, or discovery, do you say the exact same thing? If you incorporate story telling into your pitch, do you say the story the same way each time?
If you tell me you don’t and you wing it each time, well, simply recognize your lying to yourself.
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a newcomer just stepping into the sales arena, scripts play a crucial role in shaping effective communication. If you’re still here, lets dive in. If you choose to leave, well, not much I can do to help you.
The Scripting Conundrum
Some critics contend that relying on scripts in sales can result in conversations sounding rehearsed and insincere. However, the crucial point lies in discerning the difference between having a script and sounding scripted.
No salesperson, or frankly, anyone, should sound scripted. Do we really believe that Matt Damon, Zendaya or Jessica Chastain simply walk onto the set after looking at the script a few times? It takes real effort to not sound scripted.
The intention is not to create salespeople who recite lines mechanically. Actually, scripts function as a valuable foundation.
A script provides a structured framework that maintains consistency in communication while still affording room for personalization and adaptability.
We believe there needs to be about 20% flexibility for authenticity and customization to be included.
A Script Improves Active Listening
The most successful sales reps recognize the strategic value of using sales scripts.
Specifically, if a sales rep knows exactly what to say, when to say, and how to say it, the mind is more open to receiving information. Essentially, it creates space for strategic thinking.
When you know what you are going to say, how to say, and when to say things it clears space in your mind to pay attention to the world around you.
On the contrary, if you are free-styling all the time, your brain is thinking too much about what to say the next second, so it’s harder to read the room.
Thus, sales representatives use scripts strategically. This way, they ensure that repetitive elements are seamlessly integrated into their conversations. This doesn’t mean sacrificing authenticity.
In addition to empowering sales professionals to deliver a coherent and effective message. In essence, sales scripts are a tool for honing and refining communication skills.
By striking a balance between structure and the authentic voice of salespeople, there is space for customization based on what your prospect or customer wants to discuss.
Repetitive Words on a Script
Sales representatives, regardless of their experience level, often employ repetitive words strategically throughout their conversations. These elements are scripts tailored to specific points in the discussion.
Scripts may undergo slight modifications—perhaps a 20% change. However, maintaining a consistent structure is paramount for delivering a compelling and effective message.
Remember, we want to use a script, not sound scripted. There is a big difference.
The Myth of Endless Creativity
While there is a prevailing notion that each sales demo or discovery call should be a bespoke masterpiece, the practical reality paints a different picture.
Crafting entirely distinct presentations for every interaction is simply impractical in the dynamic world of sales.
Reminder: we want to leverage a sales script, not sound scripted.
Achieving mastery in sales necessitates a level of repetition and refinement. This is where well-crafted scripts come into play. Adhering to a script that has demonstrated success in the past provides a reliable framework.
Consequently, this allows them to focus on refining their delivery and adapting to the unique needs of each client. Salespeople understand that the value lies in the consistent application and improvement of proven strategies.
The repetition inherent in using sales scripts serves as a foundation for building expertise. Thus, it fosters a deep understanding of customer needs, and refining the art of persuasion.
In this way, the seemingly paradoxical combination of repetition and refinement becomes the cornerstone of successful sales strategies.
Leadership and Training
The success of a sales team is undeniably influenced by the sales training. It must be provided by sales leaders, managers, directors, VPs of Sales, and Chief Revenue Officers.
The notion of allowing individuals to independently “figure it out” is increasingly perceived as a lackadaisical approach rather than an exemplification of effective leadership. It’s called being a lazy leader
In the dynamic and competitive landscape of sales, structured training and guidance are fundamental to fostering a culture of continuous improvement. Leaders who provide a solid foundation for their teams and incorporate valuable tools like scripts, demonstrate a commitment to equipping their sales professionals.
Experienced sales professionals, despite their years in the field, find immense value in ongoing training and guidance. The use of scripts, within a structured training framework, acts as a crucial element in shaping a cohesive and effective sales strategy.
Additionally, this approach not only empowers individual salespeople to refine their techniques but also contributes to the overall success and cohesion of the sales team.
Thus, embracing a proactive and supportive leadership style contributes significantly to the professional development and success of the sales teams.
Finding Authenticity Through Scripts
While the ultimate goal is for salespeople to find their authentic voice, this journey often begins with the use of scripts. The early stages of a sales career, or even a transition between companies, demand a solid foundation that scripts provide.
Over time, as sales professionals become more adept, they can infuse their personality into the scripts. This way, they can create a unique and genuine communication style.
Adapting to Change
Sales scripts are not rigid and inflexible documents. Instead, they are dynamic tools that can be adapted to suit different customers, markets, products, or services.
Experienced sales professionals understand the art of shifting their script. They adapt their scripts based on the nuances of each interaction, allowing for a tailored approach that resonates with diverse audiences.
The use of sales scripts is not a crutch for the inexperienced. It’s a fundamental aspect of effective communication in the sales realm.
Scripts can be a structured foundation for newcomers and a guiding framework for seasoned professionals navigating new challenges. In other words, scripts are an indispensable part of a salesperson’s toolkit.
Embracing the power of scripts allows sales teams to maintain consistency. Thus, they will be able to refine their approach, and ultimately find their authentic voice in the dynamic and ever-evolving world of sales.
If you need extra help, I invite you to check our 4 Week N.E.A.T. Selling™ Sales Training & Reinforcement Program, where we can support you with our sales training.