Why You Need a Sales Script
Should You Have a Sales Script?
One of the age-old questions salespeople face is “should you use a script or not?”
As someone who has made over 9,000 sales calls, I can tell you that I definitely would not have seen the success that I did in sales if I did not have a script.
In fact, as a mere college freshman I relocated for the summer to do direct sales with a college internship program through The Southwestern Company. Because of their training (and a stellar sales script!) I was able to make enough money to pay for college and graduate completely debt free.
So, yes…I believe sales scripts are effective. 😉
In fact, if you want to sell more training then you should absolutely have a sales script.
My guess as to why people shy away from having a script is that I think most people want to be as authentic and real as possible. For some reason they think having a script (or memorized words) would make them come across as cold, unrelatable, and therefore not likely to close the sale.
While being cold and stoic definitely will NOT help you close more sales, having a sales script doesn’t mean that you have to be any less authentic than you want to be. In fact, having a sales script will free you up to be even more relatable in the sales process.
Having a sales script doesn’t mean that you have to be any less authentic than you want to be.
A Script Helps You Be a Better Listener
This by far is the biggest benefit of having a sales script. Although, it may sound counter-intuitive. When you have a sales script, you already know what you are going to say for the most part. That means you can deliver those words authentically, and then listen intently at what the other person is saying.
You can listen (and analyze) things like:
- What are their biggest pain points?
- What frustrations do they have that I can help them with?
- What is their intrinsic motivation for wanting to get fit/lose weight etc.?
- What are they not saying that may be important to bring up in this conversation?
- Do they sound authentic in their response, or are they blowing me off?
- Based on what they’re saying, what objections might I expect? Should I cover them in advance?
When you’re able to answer some of these questions during the sales process, you can then tailor the rest of your script/the conversation to their specific needs. These questions will also help you uncover some of the reasons that he/she should (or should not) buy.
A Script Helps You to Find a Need
If you’ve done any sales training, then you’ve probably heard the phrase “find a need.” This means that essentially you’re searching for the reason(s) that a client should sign up.
For example, if during the discovery session you sense that their biggest pain point is not fitting in their old clothes, then you can talk about that specifically and even tell them some success stories about people who had the same issue.
“You know, Mrs. Jones, another client that I work with, Jane, was telling me the same thing. She said she knew it was time to make a change when she had an entire section of her closet that she couldn’t fit into anymore. That is frustrating, right? (look for an affirmation). That’s why she decided to sign up. She wanted to be able to wear all of her cute clothes again.”
If you don’t have a script, you are left to do all of this on the fly, while piecing together your own words and hoping they resonate with them.
A Script Covers the Main Points
Have you ever made a grocery list in your mind, and then you get to the store and can’t remember what you needed? :/
It may be that you are just forgetful. However, what is more likely is that you got in your car, then someone cut you off in traffic, then you couldn’t find a parking spot, then when you finally got in the store you ran into a friend and got distracted. Suddenly that burning need for almond milk falls off your brain-radar.
Quite simply put, the more moving parts there are in a situation, the harder it is to be thorough and comprehensive.
The more moving parts there are in a situation, the harder it is to be thorough and comprehensive.
But when you have a sales script, you’re able to identify what is important to cover, and then have a general flow of how to easily move from topic to topic.
This in turn will inevitably make you sound more professional and polished. Even just knowing the basic outline of what you want to say will help you stay on track and not forget to cover important things like objections, price, etc.
A Script Gives You Confidence
When we speak out loud, our brain is doing several things at once:
- We are thinking about what we should say.
- We are thinking about the right words to say it.
- We are thinking about the correct tone to say it in.
- We are thinking about how our words are going to be received.
- We are actually processing the way our words sound audibly in our own ears.
Simply said, there are a lot of thoughts going on in your brain at the same time. And we all know that multitasking rarely produces the best results.
By deciding on the words you want to say in advance, you allow your brain to focus on fewer things at one time. This in turns gives you more marginal brain power to focus on how you deliver your words versus the words themselves.
It’s probably no surprise why people who know what they are going to say appear more confident in their words. They know them. They believe them. And their confidence leads other people to believe them as well.
What NOT to Do
As you try to become a better salesperson (read: close more deals) then it is always important to look at things through the lens of what not to do.
Crucial Things to Avoid
Do not be robotic.
Nobody wants to have a conversation with a telemarketer that has a memorized script, and no flexibility. Know the words so well, that you can then make them reflect your own personality, intonation, and conversation style.
Do not manipulate people.
Having a sales script is formulaic. Therefore, there are people that will want to buy, merely because they have walked through the logic, emotion, and pricing and have a “buying” personality. However, if you don’t feel like they are a good fit, don’t sell to them. (There is a reason that sales can have a slimy connotation, so don’t contribute to that just to close a sale.)
A rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “If this person was my grandmother, would I still close the deal?” Meaning if you respected and cared for them like family, would you still go through with the deal at the same price? If so, then all systems should be a go.
Do not use a script “as is.”
Any sales script that you use will require you to put YOU into it. For example, if the script has phrases or words that you don’t use regularly, then sub them out for something that means the same thing and is more YOU. You may want to even rewrite the script in your own words.
Having a sales script is not something to feel slimy, or unethical about. It is a simple way to help you provide your service to more of the right people by:
- Being a better listener so you can empathize and be present with your clients
- Find a need so you can assess why they should/should not become a client
- Cover the main points so you don’t leave anything important out
- Deliver a description of your services with confidence
Any other benefits of having a script that we left out? Reply below!
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About the Author
Natalie is the Director of Marketing for the Fitness Consulting Group. She has spent the last ten years in marketing and consulting with business owners on how to effectively tell their story (and drive revenue) through digital marketing.
Her specialties are marketing strategy, lead generation, email marketing, content creation, analytics, and refining the marketing & sales experience for consumers in a digitally-driven landscape.