A sales script can be categorised as writing down and refining the process of making a sales call to prospective customers. They take different forms from a collection of loose pointers to steer the conversation, to a word-for-word conversation. I recommend that you consider landing somewhere in the middle.
An average salesperson can become a sales superstar with the right tools and a little bit of coaching. Often, it’s just a matter of shifting their perspective…
Two shoe salesmen go to a remote island to break into new markets. After a few days, one salesperson calls the office and says, ‘I’m on the next flight. Can’t sell shoes here. Everyone goes barefoot.’ The other salesperson sends an email to the boss minutes later: ‘Get ready! The prospects are unlimited. Nobody wears shoes here!’
Why a good Sales Script is not Salesy at all.
A well-developed and practised sales script will be the difference between buy-in or brush-off. But the foundation of a good sales script is the almost complete lack of selling what you’re offering. The anatomy of a good sales script:
Rule #1: Don’t be side-tracked
Your script will help you to steer the conversation, especially in the early stages where it’s vital that you’re actually talking about the results the client is looking for – and not wandering off on a journey into the technical details of your incredible solution.If you allow prospects to wander into the granular detail of your technology in the beginning of the discourse, you run the risk of going down a rabbit hole of minutiae which can have multiple consequences including:
- Digressing from the main purpose of the call which is to set up a meeting
- Seeing the client make judgement calls about whether they need what you’re selling without the full story
- Giving them a headache from information overload and going into their ‘too-hard’ basket.
Rule #2: The 70/20/10 Rule
Keeping your prospect engaged requires discipline around the questions that you ask because you really need to understand why the client is on the call. In order to present how your tech fits with them, you need absolute clarity around their problems, needs and goals. To achieve this and keep the conversation free-flowing we suggest you follow the 70/20 /10 rule of sales – that is 70% the potential client talking and 20% asking questions and 10% you explaining / pitching. You need to ask way more questions than you answer and to keep questioning until you can pinpoint exactly what the client is looking for (or thinks they’re looking for) very very clearly.
Rule #3: Human to Human
People often worry that a sales script could make them sound forced or robotic. Only a bad script that hasn’t been practiced feels robotic. If you practice your script, record it, and listen back to yourself it will take only a couple of days before you sound completely natural.
The basis of the sales script should be questions. Therefore, you can frame those questions and finetune them to make sure you’ve got a structured set of questions to go through. Here are the key scripting points to consider:
- It’s important that you take control of the conversation and steer it to where your prospect is sharing valuable insight into their wish list and goals and feel really comfortable doing so.
- You need to explain your product and service quickly and simply without going into lots of detail.
- You need to be able to present the ‘idea ‘of your business. I’ve listed a couple of my favourite script tactics below.
Example: practice deflection (for all the right reasons)
We’re dealing with a client who starts to ask a series of product detail questions.
Respond with “We’ve got a number of ways of doing that- do you have a particular preference?”
This response applies universally, whether the prospect is talking about databases, email programs, or tech stacks. Your response is to ask them why they’re asking and qualify with whether or not they’re open to suggestions. If they are, then you’ve got a good potential customer on your hands. If they say no, then you have a clear brief and you can decide how you want to proceed.
It’s much easier to conduct the early conversation in this way and discover whether the prospect is a good or bad fit for your company, than to find yourself talking for a very long time, only to find out there’s one piece of information you missed that is a deal breaker for the client, or for you.
Example: your pitch in context
You get to the point of the conversation where they ask you what you do.
I like to use some phraseology built from what they have said so far and feed it back, for example:
- “People typically buy from us when…
- “Our customers are usually businesses looking to…
As you might know. Tech Torque works with companies in the software and technology sectors and after qualifying the client and understanding that they have built their foundation and can deliver, I might say something like
“Companies who work with us generally have a proven product with great delivery and are ready to scale.”
Avoid the follow-up loop from hell.
All going well, the person asks for proposal. The worst thing to say… “I’ll send it to you today, and I’ll follow you up on Friday”
Yes, I know; you’ve said that 1000 times. Stop it!
The next bit of scripting is an absolute MUST. You need to understand their timelines, how important this project is and give them a job. A sales process that is 100% passive for the client will rarely get you the deal.
Try this on your next call or meeting:
“John I’ll be more than happy to send that to you. I’m going to get it to you by (Set expectation as to when you can send it) Wednesday afternoon. When do you think you’d have a chance to read it and get back to me?”
Or if you want to be a bit more relaxed with that question: “When would it be reasonable for me to expect to hear back from you?
By doing that you get the prospective client to actually OWN those steps in the sales process and they now have a job to do. Whereas “I’ll send it to you today and call you back by Friday” allocates all the responsibility to the salesperson. It’s almost guaranteed that unless the customer is highly motivated to buy your thing, they are going to put your proposal on the “to-do” list for the future, and when you phone, they probably have not read it, so they won’t answer your call creating the dreaded and hellish “follow-up” loop while the deal goes cold.
Consistency is Key
Consistency is the key there for sales groups whether you’re a team of one or 201 – the consistency of the message that goes out in the marketplace is absolutely paramount. It also serves to enable other team members to pick up where you left off – if it becomes necessary.