Sales scripts. From the blogs and posts I read, these things pretty much polarise opinions. They’re the Marmite of the sales world (FYI I like Marmite!).
Way back in the day, I used to sell aerial pictures of houses to the home owners, I would be the annoying guy knocking on your door at 8pm trying to sell you an aerial picture of your home, complete with your neighbours bins in the photo too, nice! I once got the full wrath of a Manchester United supporter as I disturbed him watching the Champions League final they won against Bayern Munich.
I was taught a script, and bizarrely I can still remember it now. However, this was pre-internet. I felt like a big deal as I had a pager (It never went off!) and before Google maps pretty much made that business model redundant. But the power of knowing what you’re going to say, before you say it and knowing it word for word, was ingrained into me.
Fast forward many years and a recent role I had, sales script was a big part of my day too. We would spend an hour a day rehearsing, listening back to call recordings, making sure we knew the lines word for word. Throwing in the odd curve ball to make sure we could still bring the conversation back around. However the really important thing was making the script not sound scripted! It needed to sound natural not robotic. I needed to know the words I needed to say inside and out without thinking about it.
The reason I bring this subject up is recently my family decided we needed a new car (Sorry, I write about cars a lot!). We had a convertible, but the kids are getting bigger and they no longer fit in the back without folding their legs up into something like a contortionist. I had my eye on a several BMWs, five doors, M Sport, fully loaded etc. The weekend came and the family and I set off for a morning of car viewing and test driving (My wifes idea of hell!). We finally settled on the one we wanted, then the battle lines were drawn! I want it for as little as possible, he wants to sell it for as much as possible.
So now bringing in sales scripts from above, I’d already prepared what I was going to say, why my offer was one to be considered. I had gone through this pitch in my head many times. And this is the thing. Sales scripts work, fact. Even Robert De Niro practices his lines. Getting it right in your head with what you’re going to say, before you say it is so important. You don’t get flustered, fluff your lines etc. You can speak with authority, knowledge and clarity.
Now up until the car buying, I had only every used scripts for when I was (and still do) sell. It helps me keep focused and cover all the points I need for my clients. However this was the first time I used it as a buyer. The unsurprising thing was it worked! Why wouldn’t it. The dealer was a nice guy, he understood what I wanted to make the deal agreeable for me. But knowing what I was going to say to him, practising those lines in my head, made all the difference. I go the car at a great price, with loads of extras thrown in (My son had to walk away at one point trying not to laugh).
So the reason for my post is this, if you’re not working with scripts, give them a try. Make sure you know what you want to say before you say it. How can I sell my product to meet my client’s needs? What points do I need to get across, how can I keep it simple, but all the while sounding natural. Practice with your colleagues. It doesn’t matter if you make an ass of yourself to them, but it does with your clients. Also are you using scripts to purchase? having a clear idea of what YOU want to move forward with a deal, will save you money.
So there you go, for me sales and buyers scripts work. But there again I like Marmite so what do I know!