Why Most Sales Scripts Suck (And What You Should Do Instead)
If you have read countless sales books and listened to the many old-school sales gurus – you’ll recognize one common theme in much of the rhetoric. That is: you should use sales scripts.
Although this may sound like music to your ears if you’re new to sales or have just started a business, this advice could actually be more damaging than beneficial.
Before we go into the why, let’s first explore why using exact sales scripts is so often taught.
It’s an easy fix solution
Diet pills and quick weight loss solutions; get rich quick schemes and much more – you may be smart enough to avoid products that focus on this kind of quick-fix marketing, but they’re still out there in great abundance. Why?
Because they sell, and can be very profitable.
The reason being, a quick fix, and quick result is a marketing tactic used by many because it works. Sadly though, most of the time it doesn't. But because it sells, many still sell and use this rhetoric.
In reality, your potential clients are allergic to using exact sales scripts, and we’re going to explore three reasons why.
It makes you sound robotic
You answer the phone, only to dread and learn that it’s another telemarketer trying to push a product or service. Before you have the chance to respond, they go into script mode – quickly reading off a piece of paper the words they’ve been taught to carefully use. Yuck.
The reason we feel this way is that when someone is using a script, we naturally know that they’re not being themselves. We can sense if it is either too staged, polished, or inauthentic.
This creates distrust, and people buy from people they trust. Naturally, we’re turned off, and it just overall makes the conversation (often one-sided) feel awkward.
Scripts work great only in the movies
Furthermore, if the respondent doesn’t follow the script like the salesperson has been taught, this will then throw them off guard. Having them thrown off script creates extra pressure, and thus we have a downward spiral of more awkwardness and distrust.
Many sales gurus defend their position of using scripts by explaining how it works well in the movies. Someone says their script, the other person prepared with their script – follows suit with their carefully planned words.
However, in real life when sales professionals or entrepreneurs are engaging with potential clients, they’re missing their end of the script – meaning it’s more rather like improv than acting.
Because our potential clients have numerous ways to respond, and we’re then going off script. We’re setting ourselves up to fail. We’re keeping our response within a box, rather than actually being present to understand what it is they’re responding with.
It prevents your ability to be present in the moment
If you’re trained to respond with scripts, then you’re listening out for responses so you can use your next prepared script. This creates a disservice to both you and your potential client, because it robs you of the ability to be completely present, and actively listen to their areas of concern, or what it is they want to buy or achieve.
As a sales professional or an entrepreneur, the most vital aspect of the sales process is being able to actively decipher, understand and learn what it is they are actually saying.
So what can you do instead?
Use a sales structure and process, rather than a sales script. A sales structure means you have a step by step system that you can replicate consistently - so you know exactly where you are in the sales cycle, and what topic to focus on in your next line of questioning.
By using a sales structure, you can stay on control, qualify your potential clients, and build enough trust and value prior to asking for the sale.
A sales structure creates certainty for both yourself and potential client, as well as consistent positive experience for your current, and future clients.
By using a sales structure and not sale scripts – you’ll win more sales. And that too consistently.